Ads which break through clutter of information overload and other messages vying for one’s attention need to be applauded. Because getting noticed is the first and most important task of any ad. If ignored, it’s a fate worse than being seen and disliked. My weekly compilation of creative ads (aside from my occasional views on the business of advertising) is a small tribute to brand teams & agencies everywhere. Here are my picks form the past week:
For brands, it pays to sharply define an ‘enemy’. smol offers a range of everyday cleaning products that are ‘planet friendly’. A new ad positions plastic as the enemy in the laundry detergent category: ‘Over 70 million plastic laundry packs end up as waste every year. We’re smol, and we’re sick of plastic.’ Loved the set up and the ‘casting’ which heightens the drama.
O2: switch up
Advertising is ‘suspension of disbelief’. No viewer expects a chewing gum to give shiny white teeth that radiate bright enough to double up as lamps. But exaggeration – as long as it is not stretched too thin, helps to drive home a point. Of course, the creative idea has to be relevant to the audience and the story has to be told engagingly well. In markets like UK, switching mobile operators seems relatively more difficult than, say India. The proposition ‘Switch to a new phone when it suits you, and we’ll pay off your current contract‘ is dramatised by the brand mascot Bubl showing up at unlikely places (well, almost) to switch up. Entertaining spot that drives home a fairly ‘regular’ feature.
Bumble & Gymshark: outdoor
Two brands – Bumble (online dating application) and Gymshark (a fitness brand) have collaborated on a campaign that emphasises the significance of compatibility in dating. A smart word play brings the idea alive on outdoor.
Nike Football: this is our beautiful game
‘Nothing can stand in the way of our beautiful game’ is the starting point of this ad for National Women’s Soccer League. In a stunt the football kicked on a screen from match footage is made to jump out of the screen and smash through a bus parked in front of a goal post. A tad stretched perhaps but makes for fun viewing.
DIRECTV: overly direct spokesperson
Brian Cox from the popular series, Succession carries forward his persona from over there as a ‘overly direct spokesperson’ to promote – what else, DIRECTV.
Federation Against Ageism Towards Ad Creatives: the last march
In 2020, I had said this in the context of ageism (a reality in the advertising business): ‘the desire to position young talent over senior folks (positioned as ‘has-beens’ who don’t get digital) is directly linked to the ad business’ compensation structure.’ A new film addressing the issue of ageism from Federation Against Ageism Towards Advertising Creatives (FAAAC) shares grim facts about what one is likely to face as an advertising creative:
Less than 5% of Ad agency staff are over 50 and most aren’t in Creative. Fighting age discrimination starts with exposing the unvarnished truth about what it means to have a creative career in advertising these days and warning those considering one about the fate that awaits themSource
Director: Kiran Koshy
Toyota Prius: black sheep
‘When the world zigs, zag’ was the strap line created for Levis’ black jeans by BBH in the 1980s. I was reminded of that when I saw this ad for Toyota Prius. I am guessing the hybrid nature of the model is a gentle dig at petrol or diesel fuelled cars, represented as sheep
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Walmart+: save on your favourite thing
A membership that delivers benefits such as free delivery and subscription to an OTT service. That could have been announced in a very direct (read boring) manner or shown the possibilities in this simple, yet full-of-warmth-ad. Not a creative leap but makes a common proposition interesting.
Agency: Detusch LA
Samsung OLED: more wow than ever
‘When in doubt, cast a cute baby or a dog’ – used to be a rather snarky comment about ads from industry insiders about creating user engagement for ads. We now have a talking cat which goes ‘wow’ instead of ‘meow’ – but only when seeing the 8K OLED screen of a Samsung TV.
Agency: BBH Singapore
Ambitious About Autism: ‘Me, my autism and I’
This powerful film portrays the life of Ash, a 15-year old with autism and the typical challenges she faces in a day. The realistic portrayal shorn of any ‘advertising’ claims is riveting. The sponsor, Vanish, a laundry product brand is relevant as the story unfolds.
Agency: Havas, London
Ardennes-etape: travel together
A holiday home provider in Europe, Ardennes-etape has a sweet, category code breaking ad which conveys ‘If you really want to get to know someone, travel together’. Set in the Belgian Ardennes, the films show the shared moments of a group travelling together. The unusual choice of music and a simple, cheery montage approach makes the films endearing and the setting, very inviting.
Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.