Sandy Hook Promise, G-SHOCK and more: top creative ads of the week

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Most ads go unnoticed. That’s a fate worse than being disliked. In that context, ads which break clutter and get noticed need to be commended. My compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads (and the occasional commentary on the business of advertising) is a small tribute to brand teams. Here are a few ads which caught my this past week or so:

Sandy Hook Promise: Just Joking

Sandy Hook Promise is a non-profit organisation founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Since then, there have been several campaigns (of diverse tone of voice) to highlighted the need for gun control. In the past Sandy Hook Promise has launched campaigns seeking to raise awareness about various aspects of gun control including an attempt to prevent it before such behaviour starts. A chilling new ad features standup comedians delivering the lines which evoke laughter until the viewer realises that every line is a real threat made by a school shooter.

Agency: BBDO

Alzheimer’s Research UK: change the ending

Over the last few years, several animation films – especially those made by Pixar & Disney have shown that it’s not just real actors who strike a chord in the audience. Personally speaking, several sequences of Toy Story and Up have filled my with joy and made me choke up tearfully too. A new ad from Alzheimer’s Research UK, aimsraise awareness about dementia and its effects:

Despite almost one million people in the UK living with dementia today, and it being the UK’s leading cause of death, there is still a widespread lack of awareness around the impact it has on people affected by the condition.


The film uses the familiar phrase ‘and they lived happily after‘ in the context of life partners as a starting point to cleverly segue into the proposition that dementia is devastating reality and a way to ‘change the ending’ is through research.

Agency: Above+Beyond

GQ Apparel: smell sick

Oh man, these ads from Thailand. They keep surprising and entertaining us with creative renditions that are refreshingly new for even ‘heard-before’ product features. Odour-preventing socks aren’t a first to the market and neither is the ‘problem-solution’ approach. But this compilation of various situations where it can ‘save the day’ is hilarious.

Agency: Rabbit’s Tale

Toyota Hilux: unbreakable connection

Australian’s seem to love Toyota Hilux. Over the years I have seen several ads (including this one from New Zealand) which showcase how popular it is in the region. A new ad shows what happens when a divorce-seeking couple get shared custody of the Toyota Hilux. One can guess the way the story unfolds but it’s a fun watch nevertheless.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

G-Shock India: Rise above the shocks

Celebrity endorsements run the risk of becoming boring, predictable, ‘templatised’ ads – for various reasons. Brand owners believe that’s the easiest way to get consumers to notice the ad (some truth in that). But very often there is no connect between the celebrity and the brand (leading to lack of credibility). Some ads, which cast the celebrity as a character in an interesting plot have managed to break this ‘formula’. Agencies could also be constrained by the contract terms with the celebrity – they are usually available for half a day or a day at a location specified by them. Hence they script has to be woven around such practical issues – leading to the celebrity being shot inside a studio in most cases.

A new set of films for Casio’s G-Shock range feature cricketer Shubhman Gill. I liked ‘rise above the shocks’ as an idea which goes well with the brand and the smart writing (linking white ball cricket to critics going red in the face). The styling and art direction too is commendable as it could have easily been a boring ‘talking head’ film or at best with the usual cricketing action shots.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, India

Esselunga super market: the peach

Can a super market chain tell a charming, ‘human’ story. Apparently it can: ‘Esselunga knows…there is no expense that is not important. And this is why he is committed to always offering the best to his customers.’ See how the creative mind links a humble peach to larger emotional connect. Loved it.

Agency: Small, New York

Trainline: time saved

Dramatising the benefit of a feature (and knowing the difference between the two) can lead to interesting work. This print ad for Trainline exaggerates the benefit of time saved by using their mobile app.

Agency: Mother

Celebrity Apex: not a flight

Every mode of travel – train, air or road pits itself against the other and tries to create dissonance. We saw that recently with P&O Cruises. A new ad for Celebrity Apex pits itself against the cramped feeling of air travel and brings alive the difference.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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