The Lost Class, Naturals vs Artificials 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 stunt to raise awareness about gun violence in the US, fun ads for Burger King and more.

Change the Ref: The Lost Class

Patricia and Manuel Oliver lost their son in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in 2018. Change the Ref, a gun safety organization founded by them aims to ‘To raise awareness about mass shootings through strategic interventions that will reduce the influence of the NRA on the Federal level’. Recently, they pulled off an audacious stunt by inviting a former President of the NRA to what he thought was an address at the graduation ceremony of James Madison Academy’s 2021 graduating class. He was told it was a rehearsal and hence the chairs were all empty. The 3,044 empty chairs represented members of the high school class of 2021 who aren’t graduating due to gun violence – they were the Lost Class. Also there was no such institute called James Madison Academy.

They also invited a gun rights activist for a similar ‘event’. Not surprisingly the stunt got a lot of press. I liked the sheer audaciousness of the idea and being aware that there could be blowback. But I doubt if such will result in a change in gun laws immediately but these are much needed steps. Nice to know that an ad agency was involved in pulling off the idea.

Agency: Leo Burnett

ESPN App: One App, One Tap | Phase 2

‘Execution is everything’ is the mantra of business success. In advertising too, that holds true especially when the execution is the idea. As in their first edition, ESPN has created a montage of eye-catching visuals with some great editing and set to music from the Puerto Rican Urban Pop Duo Domino Saints.

Agency: BSSP

Matalan: Love the summer

‘Why is a Good Insight Like a Refrigerator?’ is an oft-quoted reference about the topic of advertising insights. ‘Because the moment you look into it, a light comes on.’ said Jeremy Bullmore of WPP in a famous article. I was reminded of that when I saw this from fashion brand ‘Matalan‘ alluding to our behaviour when we think we look good – sizing up ourselves in a mirror or any shiny reflective surface. Good attire gets attention and as a result takes away attention from a flaw or goof up too. All of these are captured so well in just 30-seconds in an ad released in May this year.

Agency: McCann, Manchester

Burger King: Naturals vs Artificials

Isn’t marketing all about telling a story? A mundane proposition like ‘no articial ingredients’ is told as a ‘Naturals vs Artificals’ duel where the former throw out the latter. Loved it.

Agency: We Believers

Sports Direct: Just a Game?

For fanatics of a game – be it football, cricket or any other sport, it is just not a game. While it may not be a bindingly new argument it is presented in a riveting film starring Eric Cantona and some eye-popping camera work.

Agency: Copa 90

Citroën: Gogglebox – speaks your language

If you love outside the UK and not familiar with the show ‘Gogglebox’ then this is a very good ‘unlike a car advert’ advert. It doesn’t have the usual cliches of racking cars in the great outdoors, close up shots of the cars exterior & interior and so on. It breaks the clutter even while putting the brand smack bang in the centre of the film. Turns out all the characters are from a famous show ‘Gogglebox‘ and its armchair critics commenting on Citroën’s C4 electric vehicle. The clutter-breaking setup for a car ad, the jargon-free language all tie back nicely with ‘The French Car That Speaks Your Language’ theme.

Agency: Havas, London

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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