Creating clutter breaking advertising is difficult. Not surprisingly, a majority of the ads are not just mediocre but are totally ignored by consumers. During my stint in ad agencies, I too have had my share of such run-of-the-mill ads. As a token of appreciation for those crafting good ads, I attempt to share a compilation of creative ads every week (and an occasional commentary on the business of advertising). In this week’s list,
Paralympic Games; #WeThe15
Images of super-human activity and appreciation for their determination and fighting against all odds is what comes to mind when we think of Paralympians. Truth be told, it does attraction attention in popular culture and advertising. We have all seen ads from Channel 4 which celebrate this angle of Paralympics over the years. Just when you thought there wasn’t another relevant angle possible, comes this delightful campaign portraying the everyday challenges of people with disabilities. The ‘wonderfully ordinary’ represent 15% of the population and we need to ‘break down the barriers that keep us apart’ is the proposition. The ‘handle’ and the logo are easy to remember and drive home the point well. Loved it.
Axis Bank: Pause the bargain
Right from the beginning of the lockdowns in early 2020, it’s been interesting to see how brands responded to the, sorry to use the word, ‘opportunities’ in a changed business environment. Some brands urged us all to stay indoors, practice social distancing, wear masks while some others got preachy and told us ‘they were there for us’ (whatever that means). Brands got opportunistic too and sought to cash in on people’s anxieties. All of these were triggered by consumer sentiment. A new ad for Axis Bank is anchored on how many of us feel in these tough situations: we must do our bit to help small businesses and neighbourhood stores.
The sentiment is smartly linked to the bargaining habit of most Indians and the build up leading to the plea of setting that habit aside in order to help small businesses is interesting.
Agency: Autumn Grey
H-E-B and Favor: delivery
‘Delivery in a jiffy’ has become a generic promise in what has come to be known as the ‘Quick Commerce‘ category. Brands are trying to create differentiation by promising unbelievable speed of delivery. The use case for such delivery services ranges from running out of essentials or having to trash a home-cooked meal. A new set of ads for H-E-B a Texas super market chain has some quirky directorial touches. Using the ‘voice of God’ (a person talking off camera to the protagonist) is a common technique – but here the one who triggers the ordering through an app appears in unlikeliest of places – on the TV screen, off a book and a gym-equipment screen.
Agency: Plot Twist Creativity; Director: Kiran Koshy
Dunzo Daily: 19-minute delivery
In Bangalore, Dunzo, a delivery service brand, has a huge fan following and user base (as with in other cities I presume). Over the years, the in-house creative and social media teams have also added to the affinity towards the brand thanks to their humour-laced outdoor ads, social media content and even in-app copy. The brand is known for its word-ply and punny repartees on Twitter. They have recently launched Dunzo Daily which promises a 19-minute delivery time in the city. Such services seem to be targeted at other players in the market (such a Big Basket) who offer delivery slots to consumers – sometimes such slots are allotted the next day or even a few days later during excess demand. Swiggy, another player in this domain took potshots at competition through their print ads recently. The creative team at Dunzo has chosen to anchor their TVC on a popular dialogue from a Hindi film where the hero, Sunny Deol (who plays the role of an anguished husband) laments that only ‘dates’ are being given and groceries delivered late.
I quite liked the approach in print (though using four full-page ads in Times of India is a tad excessive. But hey, when you are funded to the gills why bother with optimal spending? My daughter noticed these two ads (out of the four) and chuckled a lot noticing the various elements. The first one takes the popular meme and tweet format ‘tell me you are XYZ without telling me you are XYZ” and links it to things which can be relatable to a Bangalore resident. The second takes an advertorial approach with some fun snippets and copy. ‘Features’ like Bangalore Bingo are likely to bring a smile on the faces of locals. Nicely done. Good to see some effort go into creating print ads.
P&O Ferries: the sea is calling
Isn’t audio-visual medium fantastic? The combination of visual cues and audio in this ad for P&O Ferries transports you to another world and triggers longing for travel – in a cruise of course. Great example of subliminal advertising.
Ghadi: vaccination drive
Among the many ‘intent’ of advertising with COVID-19 related issues as a theme, tackling vaccine hesitancy is an admirable objective for a brand. A new film for a detergent brand, known for its socially relevant themes during festivals and special occasions has released a simple, non-preachy film which highlights the typical issues faced but with a nice twist to the plot. At 23.8 million views currently it is quite popular alright.
Avanti: feel good travel
Some creative ideas and scripts can perhaps never be story-boarded. Here’s one such which aims to highlight how travel ‘should’ feel. And it’s all about the production values and execution.
Motorway: This Way
An app which offers convenience in selling your used car? And promises to get you great prices? We’ve seen such told in many boring ways. Here’s an interesting way which cues convenience (getting things done in a bath tub) and better prices (visuals of price tags atop cars and some racing ahead) in a visually engaging way (no pun intended).
Agency: Wonderhood Studios
‘Not all brands are unique, but they can be distinct’ is a great marketing mantra. Brands & agencies which have created distinct brand assets (an ownable tag line, a design element, sound mnemonic) must be applauded. The McDonald’s ‘M’ is one such. ‘Enjoy Your Holiday’ is the claim from a campaign in Austria which suggests there’s no escaping being reminded of the brad everywhere you go.
Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale: Raksha Bandhan
Nowadays, the benchmark of success of an ad campaign is to check it it has made to WhatsApp groups and other forwards. A sweet film (tad long perhaps) which pays tribute to the ‘sisters’ – nursed who did their duty even during the time of COVID-19 to help deliveries of babies, is doing the rounds in social media.
Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.