Apple’s outstanding ad on accessibility features, Swiggy Instamart regional ads, Spotify ‘Wrapped’ and more: creative ads of the week

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My weekly compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads is a small tribute to marketing & advertising teams everywhere. An ad first has to get noticed. Unfortunately, a majority of ads are simply ignored – a fate worse than being disliked. Apple’s brilliant ad to highlight accessibility features, Spotify’s annual ‘Wrapped’ campaign are among the pick of the ads this week.

Apple: The Greatest

The mobile world is dominated by Android. When it comes to choice of operating system – be it on the desktop or mobile, to each their own. Unfortunately, as with many aspects of life, it is pitched as a battle between two factions. Both iOS and Android users have their own reasons for brand choice, affinity and loyalty. It is silly for one group of users to say that someone else’s personal preference is wrong. That said, the affinity quotient is perhaps higher among Apple fans for their ecosystem – be it hardware or software.

The halo around Apple is bright derived primarily from love, often irrational, towards its products & services. The marketing story is only the icing on the cake. A new ad from Apple is a good example as it showcases the various ways by which its products & services make a difference to people with disabilities. It’s timed with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) which is observed on December 3rd, every year. The ad demonstrates how Door Detection, Sound Recognition, and Voice Control help on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

When it comes to portraying people with disabilities as protagonists, brands need to tread carefully as what needs to come across is empathy and respect – not sympathy. Channel 4 has done some great work portraying them as Super Heroes during the Paralympic Games. In the Apple film, normalcy which the protagonists carry on with their tasks thanks to little help from Apple and the overall positivity appealed to me.

Pirate Ship: Quicksand

Got to announce a product feature or benefit such as ‘huge savings’ which is not exactly earth-shatteringly new? Quirky humour that is in line with the brand name, a character that aids in memorability definitely helps – as in the case of Pirate Ship, which promises savings on shipping costs.

Agency: Mother

True Elements: speaking truth

‘Food that does not lie’ is the premise of a new campaign from True Elements, and is based on this insight:

Consumers are smart and know when a brand lies, which, in turn, needed to change. Building upon this, the campaign by True Elements showcases the brand drive the switch between telling lies to saying what is true.


I quite liked the premise and the context where one typically ‘hides’ the truth.

Agency: TBWA

Swiggy Instamart: regional ads

The plural nature of India presents a unique challenge to marketing & advertising folks. It is very difficult to find that one big idea that can be translated across the major regional languages. As I said in my 2010 blog post, the ideas are often ‘lost in translation‘. In that context, it’s good to see an effort which is written for regional markets’ with local insights and humour. In several Indian languages its common to use references to vegetables and food items to describe a concept or even a person. For example, in Tamil ‘no masala in head’ could simply refer to someone who is dim witted or not having the smarts to handle a situation. A new set of ads for Swiggy Instamart are anchored on this observation and work extremely well to drive home the message of instant delivery of groceries (will only be appreciated by those who understand Tamil).

As an aside, I guess this raises the question of celebrity casting too. Would this script have worked just as well if the protagonists were not Madhavan & Simran (popular Indian film actors)? I think their sheer presence, cast not as celebrities but as characters lifts the film, attracts attention and adds to the ‘likeability’ of the idea. What say?

Agency: Mind Your Language

Thai Health Promotion Foundation: New World

Another over-the-top, laugh riot from Thailand. The intent: create awareness about the dangers of excessive sodium intake in one’s diet. Apparently, an average Thai consumes more than one teaspoon of sodium per day, which is higher than the WHO’s recommended daily intake. A contributing factor is ‘ready-to-eat’ and frozen food which have high sodium levels and could lead to life-threatening diseases.

The message is driven through a story of intrepid space travellers in search of a ‘travel for many years to find the ‘new world’. They survive many obstacles and are fortified with ample frozen food. What happens in the end is the penny drop moment.

Agency: Leo Burnett, Thailand

Does humour take away the seriousness of the message? In the laughter that is likely to ensue will the grim reality of the message be lost? What’s your view?

Tourism Tasmania: come down for air

We’ve seen tourism advertising that urges us all to take a much needed break from work or urban stress. A new campaign from ‘Discover Tasmania’ takes a refreshingly new perspective. Even when on holiday, many of us try to pack the day with many activities with little time or intent to ‘take it easy’. Tasmania urges Australians to visit the state and ‘do nothing’ if they choose to.

Loved the outdoor lines and the imagery too.

Agency: BMF

Spotify: Wrapped 2022

Over the last few years, Spotify’s ‘Wrapped’ has become a much-talked about and anticipated year-end activity. At its core, it is a showcase of the brand’s user analytics capabilities. But there are many layers to it: it builds affinity among users as it gives vibes of a ‘brand that understands my taste in music & podcasts’. It also assures advertisers that the brand has rich data about its users and delivers the message that it can reach an engaged audience.

Also the campaign has become larger than life as it has huge ‘shareability value’. Users share data of their listening habits as its a reflection of their personality. I also feel the clever use of a traditional outdoor medium adds to the buzz around the campaign. Here are a few notable ones from this year.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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