Apple Pay, Got Milk? and Independence Day ads: top creative ideas of the week

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Independence Day ads have become a part of a brand’s communication calendar in India for a few years now. This follows the pattern of the moment marketing initiatives, a digital-age compulsion thrust on brands. This year too, saw a slew of ads with only a handful with a refreshing idea or execution – something we see in regular advertising too. What makes for a good creative ad? While it must pass the first job of any advertising -i.e., get noticed, it must convey a focused message in a relevant and engaging manner in the right medium. My weekly compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads is a small tribute to such efforts. Here are some ads which I caught my this past week or so:

Apple Pay: ease of payments

Comparing an ‘other’ ecosystem to drive home the benefits of Apple’s products & services has been a successful strategy for Apple. Remember, ‘Get a Mac’ or even the switch campaigns from 2002? A new ad for Apple Pay does a stellar job conveying the complexities of the payment options out there while presenting the simplicity of Apple Pay. Loved the focus, casting and small touches like the ‘beep’.

Kalyan Jewellers: saluting the stories of courage

The product is at the centre of this ad for Kalyan Jewellers as it is anchored on the wedding day of the protagonist. The twist in the tale is interesting and brings a smile, evoking a feel-good aspect towards the brand. I guess one can overlook the fact that there isn’t a product benefit that’s cued but the stance taken by the brand is what builds affinity.

Zomato: moment marketing

India is perhaps unique in seeing millennials and Generation Z as a key target audience for many domains. In markets like the US many pundits advocate that the buying power of this segment is far less compared to the older generation – especially when it comes to high value purchases. In India, this segment is a favourite for many categories – such as telelcom, food delivery and several tech or app-based platforms. The entry barrier to such categories is low in India and hence affordability is not an issue. That probably explains the focus of brands like Swiggy & Zomato on this segments and hyper-visibility on platforms such as Instagram. Both these brands almost always have a ‘moment marketing’ initiative and the latest one from Zomato is quite clever and charming (as was their post from last year).

Coca-Cola: growing belief

Sugared, fizzy drinks don’t have much of a product story and hence need to create ‘magic’ around themes where the role of the product is minimal. A new initiative linked to the FIFA Women’s World Cup is in that league with an on-ground messaging.

Agency: OpenX and AKQA

Lazyboy: We the lazy

I liked this effort from recliner brand which was once synonymous with the category (at least in my mind) as it proudly stands for encouraging what it does best: help people laze about. The writing is comical (‘we will recline until further notice’) and brings a smile.

Agency: RPA

Ritz: ready when you aren’t

Even before I watched the film, I was intrigued by the idea ‘Ready when you aren’t’. The film hilariously depicts a common scencario at home when expected guests arrive early – sparking efforts to tidy up the home and make it ‘presentable’. The storyline sits well with the product which will make for a great snack anytime – and hence, ‘ready when you aren’t’.

Agency: VCCP

Hornbach: space

In a brilliant production, German DIY brand Hornbach delivers a film which beautifully conveys the idea ‘Every square meter deserves to be the best in the world’. You’ll be wondering ‘How did they pull it off?’ right through the film.

Agency: HeimatTBWA

Tata Tea: celebrating handlooms of India

According to the microsite, ‘Tata Tea Premium pays homage to the rich and vibrant cultural heritage of India, through a set of limited-edition packs inspired by some of the most iconic handloom weaves of the nation‘. A beautifully crafted film brings alive this initiative through some nice graphics, lyrics and voice over.

Agency: Mullen Lintas

Aside from the film, the campaign material includes a lovely Tea Book highlighting the artist, region and the weave which inspired the pack.

The campaign also included a 3D animated outdoor installation at a mall in Gurugram.

Agency: Lakshqya Media Group

Overall, I fell it was great continuing campaign anchored on the product – which has variants to suit regional tastes, brought alive so well in earlier campaigns too.

McDonald’s: as featured in a meal

When you have an iconic brand like McDonald’s which has been part of popular culture over decades it’s easy to be complacent. The brand, its products and distinct elements like the arch have been featured in movies and TV shows for years now. A new film cleverly stitches together clips from iconic movies where there’s a reference to the brand. ‘As featured in movies’ is a common expression to indicate popularity – which has been smartly turned around as a title.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Got Milk?: everyone wants to be milk

There is a war out there between vegans and dairy brands. Earlier this year, California Milk Processing Board, who devised the famous ‘Got Milk?’ campaign to boost milk consumption poked fun at plant-based milk brands. Their latest campaign takes the idea forward by saying that while ‘everyone wants to be milk’, there is only one natural real resource.

The New York Times: train branding

I have never seen such an elaborate, detailed branded makeover or an installation especially inside a train. Super effort.

The New York Times has commandeered the whole shuttle train – inside and out – to advertise the breadth of a Times subscription, from Games and Cooking to News.



Canon: somethings are best left to Canon

DSLR brands have perhaps lost a lot of alure and market share since the rise of smart phones – especially with those with powerful cameras. Yet, DSLR cameras have reelvance especially among professionals and serious photography aficionados. A new ad from Canon aims to get the regular point & click photographer taking videos or pictures on a smartphone to consider a switch. I liked the idea of dramatising the pitfalls or irritants of a smartphone (such as interruptions of a phone call) which may distract a user from key moments.

Federal Bank: end dependence

Here’s an Independence Day ad which doesn’t get preachy but weaves in the product quite cleverly into a relvant idea for the occassion.

Agency: Ogilvy

Waitrose: topical ad

England are in the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Several brands in the UK have released campaigns associating themselves with the event. In media, the England team has been referred to as Lionnesses and set to roar. A simple, smart ad from Waitrose capitalises on this context.

Which one was your favourite ad? Do comment in.

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