Allianz’s ‘Start Making Cents’ and other top creative ideas of the week

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Most ads are simply ignored. That’s a fate worse than being noticed but disliked or being indifferent about it. My weekly compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads is a small tribute to brand teams everywhere who manage to pull of good work despite so many hurdles such as poor briefs and subjective approval processes. Here’s a collection of ads and other creative ideas which caught my eye this past week:

Allianz: start making cents

While the tagline ‘star making cents’ brings a smile, the whole package – the strategy and execution, for a new campaign for Allianz, is thoroughly enjoyable. The ads feature actor Christoph Waltz going about daily chores – each one being linked cleverly to an attitude to finance or investment tip. For example, a skin care routine before bed time is linked to starting the investment habit early on in life.

The earlier you start. the better you’ll look later’.

Similarly there are others: ‘Do your research before you do it yourself’ refers to the habit of DIY investment by some. Loved the dialogue-less approach, the casting and acting aside from the overall strategy of creating an educational campaign without being preachy.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy/Amsterdam

Novo Nordisk: A life made possible – 100 years of driving change

‘100 years ago, diabetes was considered a death sentence’ is a great starting point to tell a story about how far we have come in terms of medical innovations over the years. A film celebrating the centenary year of Novo Nordisk tells the story of a man who survived and lived life to the fullest.

Agency: Honeytrap Film

FT: 130 years of pink

Distinctive brand assets, when executed well deliver disproportionate value. Nike Swoosh was designed by graphic designer Carolyn Davidson in 1971 for an invoice value of $35. It’s another matter that the brand used it consistently across products & communication for it to become iconic. Similarly, ‘Diamonds are forever’, ‘Intel Inside’ and several more have given their respective brands an enormous edge in the market place to aid recall value and a positive association with a brand. Among business newspapers, Financial Times is closely associated with its distinctive pink colour (though there are copy cats in other markets) and is celebrated in a new film to commemorate 130 years of the brand.

Kleenex: save the sleeve

When an ad evokes reactions like ‘yes, this has happened to me’ or ‘I could so relate to it’ we know it is based on an universal human truth. Wiping snot from runny noses on any available surface – be it the sleeve, jacket or pants is common behaviour. A new film from Kleenex in UK urges us to ‘save the sleeve’ and use Kleenex instead.

Agency: FCB Inferno

7UP: new design

When it comes to developing a new brand identity – the ‘back story’ or rationale is as important as the actual design. A new effort from 7UP is apparently based on what the brand calls ‘UPliftment’. I am a bit skeptical about lofty descriptions and ‘reasons why’ that accompany every brand identity refresh. Though I agree that designers simply cannot get into a ‘design mode’ without a logic or objective. Either this effort seems clutter-breaking, easy on the eye and the makes the brand feel contemporary.

Agency: in-house

Prime: brand identity

I sometimes have ‘accomplishment envy’ when I look at the output from design agencues such as Pentagram. Apparently, Amazon envisions the Prime Video platform as a “rabbit hole” of entertainment where viewers can get lost in millions of content choices. According to Pentagram, the strategy was to use the familiar brand elements in fun and surprising ways, recasting the dimple-arrow of the Amazon smile logo into a distinct, ownable shape that conveys movement, momentum and energy as it points the way into the Prime Video rabbit hole. I loved the way the edge of the smile has been reimagined which works both in animation as well as static media.

Agency: Pentagram

National Citizen Service: two views

The behaviour of the Gen-Z demographic evokes sharp reactions from others. Many consider them to be too self-absorbed in themselves, cut off from the real world and lacking many characteristics which were common to older generation. A new film for National Citizen Service in UK takes this view head on by presenting two starkly opposite perspectives about this generation.

Agency: Accenture Song

Uncommon: Sex Brand condoms

London based ad agency, Uncommon is known for some great work for brands like ITV, British Airways and more. Now they have co-created a sexual wellness brand called Sex Brand anchored on research feedback which says that due to digital distraction, dating apps and other addictions this generation having less sex than the pervious ones. I found the direct, bold approach to be refreshing and clutter breaking.

Volvo: when you feel safe

Among cars, ‘safety’ is a benefit strongly associated with Volvo. They take that promise forward in a new film which is not so much about its features but about life instances which make us feel safe.

Agency: AKQA

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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