Mid-week creative review: Apple’s epic new ‘The Underdogs’, brilliant ads for FIFA Women’s World Cup and more

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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:

The Underdogs: Swiped Mac

In 2019, Apple released the the first ad in ‘The Apple at Work’ series showing the features and connected devices of the ecosystem. The 2020 version, released during the remote working era was even more relatable. A new film – quite a mad caper, takes forward the idea that Apple devices are great work companions by showcasing the same ‘startup’ and their adventure chasing a stolen MacBook. 8-minutes of fun, cleverly showcasing the features and devices woven into the story line.

Orange: Women’s World Cup

Here’s a film that has deservedly gone viral. A great mix of strategy (‘what to say’) and execution (‘how to say it’) as it touches upon several aspects that strike a chord. Equal treatment of sports – be it men or women is a theme that resonates globally. All of us including the media & marketing industry can relate to topics like deep fake and use of technology in creativity. All of these come together in a brilliant idea from Orange in France – where the viewer is led to believe that jaw-dropping football skills of players shown are male, until the delightful twist.

Agency: Marcel, Paris

Coca Cola: Women’s World Cup

I guess fizzy, carbonated drinks have to resort to advertising magic to create or hold on to the affinity they enjoy. A new anthem film in time for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 does that – showcasing the struggles of players through their journeys to reach where they are. A nice feel good film with the product being incidental – and yes, being an iconic brand millions already crave for, helps.

Agency: Mercado McCann and WPP

CP Chicken: go for launch

The brief: convey that CP Foods, Thailand will be sending its chicken meat to the International Space Station via Space X Dragon. And in truly Thai style, an over-the-top brilliantly produced humorous film does the job.

Agency: BKK Thailand

iPhone 14 Plus: Battery for miles

Apple has again kept things simple to communicate long battery life of the iPhone 14 Plus. A quirky film in all respects – the setting, casting, music and the premise all add up to bring a smile when the penny drops.

Mini USA: minilogue

I liked the strategy of listening to our mind voice when it comes to choosing electric vehicles in this ad for Mini USA. I guess those considering to go electric have their own inner voices speaking about pros & cons. That’s brought alive in this campaign which also has an interesting AI-driven consumer activation to indulge in a ‘mini-logue’.

Agency: Pereira O’Dell

Johnnie Walker: watch women’s sports

Popular Apple TV show Ted Lasso has become a pop culture phenomenon of sorts. Hannah Waddingham who plays the owner of AFC Richmond in the show is now featured in an interesting initiative from Johnnie Walker: get people to watch women’s sports. How does it work? Visit Just Women’s Sports and sign up to receive match video bulletins from Hanna – for every sign up, Johnnie Walker will donate $10 to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

adidas: Play until they can’t look away

Even though its a straightforward montage of player moments, I liked the idea of ‘play until they can’t look away’. A new spot for adidas, for the Women’s World Cup includes ‘next-gen icons Alessia Russo, Lena Oberdorf and Mary Fowler accompanied by a star-studded lineup of David Beckham, Leon Goretzka and Ian Wright, actor and football fan, Jenna Ortega, as well as Argentina’s World Cup hero, Lionel Messi.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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