BMW ‘The Calm’ and other top creative ads of the week

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Anybody can be a critic of advertising. But that’s not the toughest part of the business – getting noticed is. A small number of creative ads manage to break through the clutter and get noticed. A fewer number of these go on to be recalled and talked about in a positive way. My weekly column of creative ads is a small tribute to brand teams everywhere who produce entertaining, engaging and relevant creative work. These were some of the ads which caught my eye this week:

BMW: The Calm

BMW can be credited with being a pioneer of ‘branded content’ concept. In the early 2000s, they created a series of long-format films, titled ‘The Hire’. Directed by popular filmmakers from around the globe and starring Clive Owen, these were cinematic experiences than the conventional 30-second TV commercial. BMW is back with another long-format film – this time showcasing its electric variant – i7 M70 as part of the Cannes Film Festival. It’s absolute popcorn time as it is as riveting as a top-notch Hollywood action movie. As expected the features of the car are cleverly weaved in while sparing no expense to get top notch talent as the crew.

This latest installment features a thrilling chase aboard the BMW i7 M70, the most powerful electric Bimmer today. Leading the charge is actress Pom Klementieff, best known for her role in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” The supporting crew is just as exciting. Golden Globe winner and “Kill Bill” star Uma Thurman makes a cameo appearance, while Oscar winner Hans Zimmer provides the perfect score. 


Apparently, as the Official Partner for the Cannes film festival, BMW will supply more than 200 EVs this year. Every element, including the promotional poster is line with the movie association.

Sound design forms an important part of the film – to cue silence associated with electric cars.

We tried to create the complete opposite of most chases: watching from outside the car, you hear all these engine noises – exciting, adrenaline-pumping. Now, all is whisper quiet when the camera is outside the car while it is driving. Inside the car, however, there’s an acoustic beat going on that’s in direct contrast to what’s happening outside.


Brady: a story of survivial

This is a brilliant film to highlight the need for gun control laws in the US. War veteran Dan Kirchner reads a story that sounds like a first-hand account of combat in a war zone. And then as a twist, is asked to read what’s on the back of the page: it is written by a 6-year old survivor of a mass shooting at a day camp. Extremely well thought through idea and script – but will it make a material difference in terms of legislative changes?

The campaign also has a series of compelling visuals – of coffins placed in unlikeliest of places – a basketball court, super market etc., likely to be frequented by youngsters. This campaign comes from Brady, one of America’s oldest gun violence prevention organisations.

British Heart Foundation: this is science

What if we could travel inside the heart of a person? A new film for the British Heart Foundation, has a protagonist reminisce key memories from her past only to wake up at a hospital bed having undergone a heart surgery. The film dramatises how important the heart is can also be vulnerable carrying powerful emotions with it.

ESPN: One app, one tap

After 2020 and 2021, ESPN is back with it’s ‘One App, One Tap’ idea with a similar – effective execution. This ad too, set to a foot-tapping jingle showcases all that can do on the app.

Beyond: billboard

I thought this was a billboard for Nike when I saw it first. I have no idea of the brand or context (got to know that its about an NBA game from the Instagram post) but simply loved the line at first sight.

ITV: Britain get talking

As part of the ongoing ‘Britain get talking’ initiative which urges all to get talking with each other about mental health issues, the focus shifts to school children under exam stress. A short film, radio and print executions highlight the anxiety of exams and urges them to open up. The twist in the tale to common exam moments drives home the point.

The latest campaign features relatable exam papers across print and audio to reinforce that heart-pounding fear that exams can evoke and to remind parents and carers that a simple chat can often make the world of difference.

Agency: Uncommon London

LeShuttle: experience the extraordinary

I wasn’t aware of LeShuttle, an existing car rail service between England and France. A new film reveals a new branding and captures the excitement of travel so well.

Royal Bank of Canada: iPad

‘Get an iPad when you switch your account to Royal Bank of Canada’ has a tactical vibe to it. Even when there’s such a seemingly ‘boring’ brief, it is converted into a fun spot with the features of the app built in.

The Sunday Times Rich List: 35 years of…

The Sunday Times’ ‘Rich List’ campaign have had some memorable campaigns in the past. In 2014, I had shared a campaign which juxtaposed a bar chart on the face of celebrities. And in 2015, an award winning campaign portrayed them literally as ‘fat cats‘. In its 35th year of the listing the focus is cleverly shifted on to the ordinary folks and their typical reaction to such announcements. Loved it.

CER: The lost ride

CER is a driving schools network in France. As is wont, most car driving lesson trips have just two people in the car: the student and the instructor, when cars can seat upto five. They decided to offer the seats at the back of its car as free rides during its lessons for people in need. A smartly made case study film captures the idea and the impact.

Agency: BETC

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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