Burger King ‘Confusing Times’, CRED ‘Venkaboys’ and more: 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 brilliantly crafted ad for the Impossible Burger from Burger King, a fun ad for CRED and more.

Burger King: confusing times

Sometimes you find an ad riveting, engaging and entertaining but feel like a total letdown when the brand (and product category) is revealed. The reaction ‘you’ll never guess the product till the end’ is not always a good thing as it suggests a disconnect between the context, storyline, the benefit and the brand. A brilliantly crafted new from Burger King has that quality: it reflects the current mindsets triggered by the global pandemic which has upended our lives in more ways than one. We have all come to accept to expect the unexpected and that’s the link to burger made with plant-based protein, instead of meat.

Agency: David

CRED: Venkaboys

For a while, the ads from CRED have been debated on media. That in itself is proof that the advertising has done its job – the campaign has been noticed. Despite all the discussion, not everyone is clear as to what the app does. Maybe that’s a deliberate strategy as the app is frankly, not for everyone (hence, the ads are not meant to appeal to everyone?). The service allows for credit card bills to be paid through them in return for ‘rewards’ by way of freebies, price offs and other offers. The deals are definitely different from other such services and are target at the upscale customer.

The ads reflect the target audience who are likely to recall the 90s with nostalgia. The protagonists – Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Bappi Lahiri, Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sanu, Jackie Shroff (perhaps the weakest script of the lot) have an appeal among them. The latest in the series is the casting of cricketers Venkatesh Prasad, Javagal Srinath, Maninder Singh and Saba Karim as part of a ‘boy band’. The ad is likely to get traction as Venkatesh Prasad himself tweets about it (other cricketers did too – maybe a paid campaign?). If one were to dissect the ads, one may feel that the link between the ‘situation’ and the service is tenuous or even forced but as I said in the beginning, the ads are noticed, discussed and found to be entertaining. The campaign seems to have helped in growth in app installs. The impact beyond that in terms of regular usage and profits for the brand is still a fuzzy area.

PhonePe: just PhonePe

Ad campaigns telecast during the IPL this year, have largely been pedestrian. Among the few stand outs has been a campaign promoting the ease of use of PhonePe when it comes to payments. The near total absence of dialogue is an attention grabber from both the non-stop commentary and the high-decibel ads such as those for Just Dial. The situations are quirky and have a huge repeat value as one looks for that one funny or memorable moment (‘you bought the kurti?‘).

Agency: The Script Room. Production House: Nirvana Films. Aside from these are more films created by ad agency, Leo Burnett apparently.

IKEA: it’s what nature would do

A new ad for IKEA brings alive the environmental friendly nature of a product line without getting too preachy. A friendly polar bear ‘watches over’ everyday situations which could be ‘good for the earth’ (such as avoiding plugging in the laptop when not needed) and reminds us all of the small steps we can take. I like.

Agency Ogilvy, UAE

Swiggy: try something new

What I found fascinating about the Swiggy campaigns over the years is the strategic direction of egging (no pun intended) users into change of behaviour. The ads helped address barriers people could have about online food ordering (no minimum value, safe to order and so on). Data may have shown that most users stick to their favourite dish, cuisine or restaurant and are not adventurous in terms of trying something new. A new set of ads address that opportunity with humour – casting the by-now-famous ‘Swiggy uncle’. In one of the ads, he laments being typecast as ‘jamun uncle’ and hence ordered ‘krossaant‘ to change the situation.

Formula E: Change. Accelerated.

While many believe (and rightly so) that electric cars are a better alternative than petrol or diesel cars, some scepticism remains about their widespread adoption. Availability of plugging point networks, the cars ability to travel long distances or in top speeds have been common doubts. Formula E, officially the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, is a single-seater motorsport championship that uses only electric cars. 

The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship actively promotes electric mobility and renewable energy solutions to contribute to reducing air pollution and fighting against climate change around the world.


A new campaign, ‘Change. Accelerated‘ aims to promote the championship as catalyst for cause of climate change. The theme film uses the actual voice of Sir Arthur C Clarke – ‘a futurist who as early as the 1960’s predicted many of the things we take for granted in our modern world; from space travel, satellite enabled telecommunications, to the internet and AI’. The disbelieving onlookers with a jaw-dropping reaction juxtaposed with Sir Clarke’s voice works very well.

Agency: Uncommon, London

McDonald’s: delivery

Distinct brand assets are a good thing. Not enough brands invest in creating a strategically relevant, unique brand asset such as a tag line or design element. In that context, the ‘arch’ of McDonald’s is a huge advantage for the brand. A new campaign uses it cleverly to cue home delivery services. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all in a multi-ad campaign of this nature, though.

Agency: DDB

FedEx: Willie Nelson – Delivering for Earth

Isn’t the creative mind wonderful? Who would have thought, there could be a connection between ‘You are always on my mind’ from Willie Nelson and an ad for FedEx. This brought a smile.

Agency: BBDO

Colgate: smiles always find a way

After the onset of the pandemic, many wondered if mouth fresheners would take a hit as people were used to stepping out wearing masks. Brands like Colgate too would have seen limited opportunity during these difficult times. A new print campaign from France tries to bring back the association of smile even with visuals of masked people and in the bargain strikes a chord.

Agency: VMLY&R

Taylors: great coffee, made simple

Many brands have tried to tell their brand benefit through a creative device of ‘If only everything in life was like this’. Ages ago, Trikaya Advertising ran ‘If only everything in life was wide’ to convey the proposition of wider tyres. A new amusing, likeable ad for Taylors Coffee wishes that everything in life was as simple as making their great coffee.

Agency: Lucky Generals

Which one was your favourite? Comment in.

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