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 7-min ad from Sinyi Realty in Taiwan (released late last year) among others.
Siny Realty: in love we trust
Isn’t it lovely when a strategic business problem is sought to be tackled through creativity? In Taiwan, divorce rate has surpassed marriage rate. The root cause seems to be fear of commitment among the youth which is further fuelled by the high divorce rates, raising doubts about the success of marriages. In October last year, Siny Realty released a 7-min film telling the story of a protagonist who works at the Household Registration Office and comes to know of births, deaths, weddings and divorces. The film urges viewers to trust in love with some standout lines: ‘Happiness lies in the unknown future, but you must learn to trust first’. Such gentle nudges, without an overt sell of the property brand would help in bringing clarity in many people’s minds, I would imagine. Another interesting piece of dialogue was when the protagonist reflects on how people choose to separate ‘because they finally understand each other’.
Agency: Dentsu Mcgarrybowen Taiwan. Story via The Drum.
The film also brings to the fore the question of an ad or web-film’s duration. Some say a long format film such as this will put off viewers as everyone is hard pressed for time and attention. Who has the patience to watch a 7-min film in a world obsessed with fleeting media? Howard Gossage’s quote from the 1950s comes to mind: ‘People don’t read ads. They read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad’.
Flonase: petal monster
Personification of a concept or object is an effective way to create a memorable visual impact. In this film for Flonase, a nasal spray, allergy is portrayed as a monster out to wreak havoc in the big city. It’s a big bang Hollywood-like production and the scenario would be familiar if we have seen Godzilla or King Kong. The simple way to tackle it (‘Psst! Psst! All good’) provides a lovely contrast.
ITV Hub: poison
We’ve all seen promos from TV channels claiming an overload of entertainment. Most of them follow a template – a montage of visuals sometimes edited well to convey a straightforward message. But magic happens when the same proposition of great content is re-framed. In a new spot to promote ITV Hub, ‘drama’ and ‘reality’ fight for viewers attention. The film is a riveting watch with outstanding performances from BAFTA-winner, Jason Watkins, and Love Island winner, Kem Cetinay. The plot is the familiar ‘adding poison only to have the glasses switched’ routine but the dialogue delivery and acting are just superb – drives home the point so creatively.
Agency: Uncommon, London
LinkedIn: let’s step forward
Once you see the wilted plant you get the drift of the ad. Nevertheless, in these difficult times the plot anchored on someone being made redundant and using LinkedIn to get back into the job circuit is likely to strike a chord.
Sandy Hook: how to overload a circuit
In 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred in the US. The Sandy Hook Promise aims to prevent gun violence and their earlier films did a fab job of bringing alive the issue. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic they have expanded the scope to include mental health issues. A new film showcases how being plugged into bad news all the time affects the minds of school children.
Guinness: welcome back
I don’t know if the natural elements and props shown in the film were staged (most likely yes) but its a clever reinforcement of the iconic ‘Guiness glass’ image to suggest that things could return to normal soon, at least in the UK. It also reiterates the need for a strong, unique visual hook (or a distinct brand property such as a tagline) for brands to imbue a multiplier effect.
Agency: AMV BBDO
Verizon 5G: built for gamers
Internet lag is bad news. Non-gamers may experience such with buffering of video calls or pixelation of high-resolution streaming content. But for gamers it can mean a poor experience at another level. Verizon’s 5G is positioned as ‘built for gamers’ as the ad tries to highlight all the things that can go wrong due to a slow network.
Fjord FSTR: Titanic
A laugh-out loud film to dramatise the high-speed ferry service between Norway and Denmark with the re-creation of a scene we are all familiar with.
Lynx: smell iconic
If you were to watch some of the British campaigns for Lynx (Axe in other markets) you’d be left wondering how they even got approved. Some of the plots and themes would land the company in trouble (and rightly so) today. Boy-girl attraction has always been the plank of the brand, sometimes being blatantly sexist. Axe attempted a different tack in the US briefly. A new agency and a new campaign with the same theme of attracting the opposite sex is back without some of the cues which were part of the template earlier. It is predictable, but the quirky treatment makes it worth a watch.
Which one was your favourite? Comment in.