Amazon Alexa ‘Pompeii’, Dove ‘reverse selfie’ and more: top creative ads of the week

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Every week, I attempt to share a compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads and occasionally some commentary on the business of advertising. As many have noted, a majority of the ads out there go un-noticed, so managing to break the clutter is actually a big deal. This week’s compilation includes a humorous ad for Amazon Alexa, Dove ‘reverse selfie’, a topical ad from Heineken and more.

Amazon Alexa: Pompeii

The ease of use of Amazon Alexa was dramatised using humour in the advertising. The take, ‘‘A Voice Is All You Need’ conveys that any information or command can be performed with Alexa, as speaking is natural. So one can ask actors to re-do a take while ironing clothes or get answers for daughter’s school projects effortlessly as shown in this epic production.

Agency: Droga5

Apple AirTag: couch

Physical trackers – the ones which enable tracking keys, wallets or tags aren’t new. Tile is a leading brand in this category. Their benefit is apparent and doesn’t really need an education for consumers. But it can still be brought alive or dramatised as we see in this spot for AirTags from Apple. We all know how frustrating it can be to search for everyday objects such as remotes or keys, especially when such get embedded in the deep recesses of a sofa.

Dove: Reverse selfie

Campaign For Real Beauty was first launched in 2003. It showed regular, everyday women (instead of professional models) in attempt to redefine what is considered as beautiful. In 2006, Dove released ‘Evolution’ an ad with dramatised how drastically images are manipulated in the beauty industry in order to create awe and then a fan following among the key target audience. It’s been 15 years since the launch of Dove’s Evolution, but it still feels as if the discussion on brands adopting a higher ‘brand purpose‘ is contemporary. The plank of Real Beauty is an important one as the damage caused by unrealistic beauty standards can have a devastating effect on the self esteem of impressionable minds. It goes beyond body confidence and can have an impact on self esteem.

In that context, a new ad from Dove is effective as it is anchored on a practice which universal: use of apps to ‘enhance’ or modify selfie images so that it can increase the chances of likes on social media sites such as Instagram. The TV spot uses a smart visual device of a reverse to go back to the natural look.

Agency: Ogilvy

1 in 4 girls think they don’t look good without photo editing. Such numbers bear the need for such a campaign.

The print ads highlight the damage beyond just retouching an image.

“Girls all around the world have begun to feel the pressure to edit and distort how they look, to create something ‘perfect’ which cannot be achieved in real life.” 

Highkey: craving

Earlier this year we saw an engaging, entertaining launch commercial from Maximum Effort (after Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile and others), the agency launched by Ryan Reynolds for Highkey, a snack brand with a promise of low carb and sugar. The brand has an antagonist in the form of Sugar Panda who tries to entice people who’ve switched to Highkey. Loved it.

Agency: Maximum Effort

Heinz: this magic moment

The first few seconds of this ad for Heinz holds your attention as it dramatizes the messy situations that can arise around consumption of food, especially with a ketchup around. The transition to a change in mood is endearing. Also notice how ‘keystone’ the brand element has been highlighted. Last year they had a brand refresh where I said, ‘One of the best mantras of marketing is that ‘not all brands are unique, but they can be distinct’.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

South Australia Police: selfish prick

Advertising in Australia has used blunt language – which may even rile some. In order to effect a change in behaviour they called a spade a spade with a campaign to deter drunk driving. ‘If you drink, then drive, you’re a bloody idiot’ was part of a successful campaign which ran for 20 years. A new campaign from South Australia police takes it to another level by not just labelling drunk drivers as ‘selfish’ but cursing them.

Agency: Black Sheep Advertising

The campaign involves collateral at touch-points which are relevant, like in a pub.

Heineken: topical ad

I am not a football fan so I did not get the context of this topical ad immediately but recalled having read about an attempt to create an alternate football league – so the penny dropped a bit late. As an aside, what makes this ‘moment marketing‘ attempt endearing as opposed to most such attempts? Do comment in.

Agency: Publicis

Finolex pipes: forget my name

This campaign, for Finolex pipes, is an attempt to make people think about a brand in a low-interest category. We usually don’t pay attention to products (and brands) which are behind the scenes (like say, car tyres) as we assume that they work fine. We tend to pay attention only when something goes wrong. This mindset is given a twist with ‘only those which work well for long are not remembered’ with cricketer Sehwag cast in many characters. As an aside, kudos for styling that last ‘throne’ shot.

Agency: Finolex

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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