Kroger, Boots and other Christmas ads: top creative ads of the week

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Every week I attempt to curate a list of clutter-breaking ads (or the occasional commentary on the business of advertising). This week, select Christmas ads from Kroger, Boots, TK Maxx and more. Speaking of Christmas ads, a much talked about ad is from M&S (‘Thismas, not Thatmas’) which seems to be an attempt to breakaway from the feel-good ads commonly seen this season. The central message seems to be that there is no one way to celebrate Christmas and if you feel the traditions are a chore, you are free to do away with the. It had other controversies too and was pulled off the air. But most others, stuck to the delivering a high feel-good factor. In my view, a majority of consumers seek positive reinforcements during traditional festivals and evoking a sense of joy & positivity helps a brand. In India we see controversies over festive ads every year anchored on similar sentiments – reflecting a mood which is different from how regular consumers see festive celebrations or being preachy.

Kroger: exchange students

Last year, Kroger created a visual look and a story line that struck a chord. They have carried forward the same identity and approach to this year’s Christmas ad. I think it plays well into human emotions (without being overly sappy or exploitative) of empathising with acts of selfless kindness. Also, festivals everywhere are about togetherness and joy – and when we see some in an unfortunate situation of being deprived of these, our hearts feel for them. The filmfollows a couple who, without children of their own, decide to host an exchange students at for the holidays. To make them feel at home, they cook traditional dishes from the student’s countries, leading to a lifetime of multicultural holiday traditions, and culminating in a moving Christmas reunion.’

Agency: adam&eveDDB

Living from Work vs working from home

Work from home? That’s passé and ‘Live from work’ is the in-thing claims this satirical video from Canadian agency Zulu Alpha Kilo. Too close for comfort for friends in ad agencies I suppose.

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo

Vim Shuddham Gel: hide & seek

There was an interesting post on the line extension of Vim over at LinkedIn. Speaking from personal experience there exists a market for cleaning copper & brass puja utensils. That cleaning process itself is seen as a ritual. The choice of brand name and the fragrance (sandalwood) seem to be thought through very well. In this demo ad, the product efficacy is brought alive cleverly in a visually engaging manner. Short, sweet film.

Colgate: skip morning goof-ups

It’s a tough brief if you are working on a toothpaste brand. The category is filled with cliches and templates. In that context, here comes an ad with an interesting, hyperbolic take on ‘freshness that wakes you up’.

Agency: Ogilvy

Over at the comment section someone pointed to out to this ad from the recent past with a similar idea. Creative coincidence, I suppose.

Colgate: visible white

I will take the promised benefit with a fistful of salt but its nice to see a category-code breaking ad to convey ‘whiter teeth’. Shifting the perspective from the protagonist to those around her is also interesting.

Agency: Ogilvy

Boots: #GiveJoy

‘We sell, or else’ was the famous slogan from David Ogilvy. Whether we like it or not, shopping has become intricately associated with Christmas. In that context, I liked this feel good ad for Boots:

This winter, Boots wants to encourage the nation to give joy and show their appreciation to others. A Mum and Daughter go on a magical adventure and ‘give back to the givers’ who have helped them on their way. With a huge range of beauty and wellness gifts, there’s the perfect present for everyone at Boots this Christmas

Agency: The Pharm | VMLY&R

TK Maxx: festive farm

With ‘big gifts, small prices’ as the tag line, TK Maxx promises affordability. By itself it’s a boring proposition. But I loved how they have weaved in that story in a farmyard for a Christmas ad.

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

Blast from the past: Apple

Imagine you are taken back in time to 1983. And as a parent of young kids, you see this headline. Aside from a show stopper of a headline, the ad brings a smile when the penny drops and goes on to explain how exactly the ‘strong language’ helps.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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