Joyful Diwali ads and few other compelling creative ideas 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. The first job of any ad is to get noticed – because of it is not, it is a waste of time, effort and monies. So, as many have noted, managing to break the clutter is actually a big deal. Festive seasons ads – either in India or in the west face an even more tougher challenge as there is increased media clutter and the risk of ‘sea of sameness’. In that context, here are a few ads which caught my this week (aside from the ones which were a topic of outrage on media recently):

HP India: diya se diya jalao

The plot reminded me of the Diwali ad from Facebook last year, as both are centred around the product or service as an enabler to do good for others. The effectiveness of the ‘formula’ if one can call it that, depends a lot on the believability and the execution. On both counts the HP ad scores as it tells the story of people using an HP printer to create posters to promote a business. The theme is likely to resonate with both small businesses and end users as we’ve all witnessed the closure of several neighbourhood shops due to the negative impact of COVID-19.

Amazon India: #DeliverTheLove

Earlier this year, India faced an unprecedented crisis during the second wave of COVID-19 as the healthcare system was overwhelmed with a huge and sudden influx of patients. Availability of beds for COVID care became a huge issue and there were heart breaking appeals for help on social media from those affected. Naturally in such a situation those who helped to arrange a hospital bed were true heroes. Social media played a role in amplifying such pleas and it was great to see the selfless manner in which some helped others. This film which carries forward Amazon India’s ‘Deliver the love’ platform is not one with a total twist in the tale but the situation strikes a chord and is likely to make the viewer emotional.

The proof of success lies in the fact that many related to such a situation and acknowledged the role of those who helped.

Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale: Bhumika

I loved the way the product story (‘sweet ending) and a social message of ‘relishing our local language and local sweets’ has been woven into the plot. A feel-good short film in Marathi.

Prime Video: Apno wali Diwali

The link between Prime Video, Diwali and the plot maybe tenuous but actor Pankaj Tripathi carries it all very well. What’s more it is refreshing to see a brand simply wishing Happy Diwali instead of sermonising or preaching.

Oatly: 9 ads in one

It’s tough for brands to beat the creativity of everyday content creators on a platform like Instagram. A vegan food brand from Sweden, Oatly created a smart campaign recently in the UK. A new ad from them on Instagram is ‘meta’ with due apologies to Facebook as it weaves a story of how nine ads for Oatly (or is it ten) fit into one. Quirky and fun.

B&H: customer stories

I have heard the brand name B&H but had no associations – positive or negative towards it. After watching just two ads, I feel they are specialists in the field of photo & video equipement. In these customer stories as ads, B&H does a wonderful job of showing how exactly they add value to some demanding customers while managing to create a perception of their staff being a cut above. Loved it.

Agency: Sibling Rivalry. Read more about the campaign here.

Ladder Insurance: so good

‘Life insurance so good you might wish you didn’t have it’ is a gutsy route to take in the domain from Ladder Life. Apparently it is anchored around a real consumer insight: almost 1 in 2 couples with life insurance joke about taking each other out for the payout, according to a recent survey of 3,000+ respondents. The proposition and the consumer view it arises from lends itself well to humour – again, a refreshingly different approach in the category.

Agency: Fred & Farid

Cadbury: supporting local retailers

Agencies speak of being at the ‘intersection of technology and creative’ and here’s a good example of that in action. Simply put it uses Artificial Intelligence to help small store owners create their very own personalised ads using a virtual Shah Rukh Khan as their ‘ambassador’. Based on area codes, the ad has the celebrity ‘recommending’ local stores for Diwali shopping. Coming at the back of a tough lockdown period, the idea is relevant and sits well with the brand proposition of Cadbury Celebrations: ‘who will you make happy, this Diwali?’

Agency: Ogilvy

Bitbns: interviews

The crypto investment market has seen a spurt of action recently. Couple of brands in the space have sponsored big-ticket events like the IPL. In that context comes this effort from Bitbns (a brand name I heard of for the first time after coming across the ads) which uses humour well. I like self-deprecating humour and it works well in this series where the brand comes across as light hearted and not taking itself too seriously.

Agency: Ogilvy

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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