Creating great creative ads is not easy. In advertising it is believed that the important task of an ad is to first get noticed – otherwise, everything else is academic. Unfortunately a majority of the ads go un-noticed in all the media clutter and the priorities which occupy our minds. My weekly compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads is a tribute to such work. Here are some favourites from the past week or so:
TCM: Happy Place
Turner Classic Movies is best placed to claim ‘Some films just stay with you’ as the catalogue largely consists of classic, often cult films. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is not only a popular film, there is a particular scene at a restaurant, starring Meg Ryan which has gone on to become a internet phenomenon too and having been spoofed in popular culture. It fits perfectly in this setting featuring an old couple as a woman goes on to imitate Meg Ryan. Drives home the point and brings a smile.
Amazon Alexa: prom
It is said that the best of ads leave something unsaid (without spelling everything out) so that the viewers or readers can connect the dots on their own. In this touching spot for Alexa, the ease with which deep emotions can be stirred through voice commands is brought alive poignantly. The state of mind or condition of the aged protagonist is left to the imagination of the viewer and that makes this made quite powerful.
OnePlus: geared for greatness
I am clearly not the target audience for a smart phone aimed at the Gen Z and geared for gaming. Yet, I found the idea and the execution of this ad for OnePlus 9RT 5G (man, how do tech bloggers keep track of variant nomenclature across Android phones?) interesting as it’s got a ‘life as a mobile gaming environment’ vibe to it – or shall we go with the flow and say ‘set in the metaverse world’? Either way, it is a departure from simply listing tech specs and shows the benefit of top-of-the-line features. Likely to appeal to our gamer friends.
Cadbury 5 Star: valentine’s day alibi
As I watched this, I would not help relating to the situation Unilever found itself in when two brands in their portfolio took seemingly opposite stances on a subject. When Dove was pitching empowerment, Axe (called Lynx in some markets) was portraying women as objects with some risqué, double entendre filled communication. This one for Cadbury 5 Star is not exactly in the same position (as another brand in the portfolio asks ‘How far will you go for love?’) but pitches staying away from sappy, sugary romance during Valentine’s Day. There is a connect to the brand – albeit tenuous with the rationale being: indulging in a 5 Star makes you forget the world temporarily – lose yourself – forget everything – do nothing. Beyond a claim, there is a stunt involved where those who want to escape the Valentine’s Day pressure can do so. In recent past they executed another stunt involving ‘NothingCoin’ – all of which makes me wonder if brands are becoming incidental to the brand story.
Formula E: no turning back
In May 2021, Formula E, officially the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, a single-seater motorsport championship that uses only electric cars aimed to promote the championship as catalyst for cause of climate change. This year the intent is even moe lofty:
The high-energy film produced by London-based creative studio, Uncommon, shows the world that the competition between drivers to win the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is part of a bigger, relentless race to fight climate change through the adoption of electric mobility solutionsSource
I think it drives home the never give up attitude combining the high energy aspects of the sport and cleverly weaving in the various locations of the event as well.
Coca-Cola: Real Magic
‘When you have nothing to say, sing it’ is a quote attributed to David Ogilvy in the context of jingles. In the case of fizzy, cola drinks where there is no product story, instead of jingles, they seek to dramatise the craving for the product, dramatising it as ‘irresistible’ or something you go to great lengths to get it. Michael Fox’ Pepsi or versions of Thumps Up have used this template. Coca-Cola treats the brand as the enabler of moments where people – friends or families come together, thereby creating ‘moments of magic’. If not told well, such a claim or story will fall flat as it is after all just sugared water. A new spot for Chinese New Year has all the ingredients to evoke the ‘so sweet!’ reaction. I loved the way they have created a distinct brand identity with the brand name cueing the unique shape of the bottle.
Agency: Ogilvy, Shanghai
Which one was your favourite? Comment in