Heineken’s #FreshBeginnings, Longchamp Le Pliage and more: top creative ads of the week

Every week, I attempt to share a compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads and occasionally some commentary on the business of advertising. As many have noted, a majority of the ads out there go un-noticed. So managing to break through media clutter is actually a big deal. This week’s compilation includes Heineken’s smart effort to get people vaccinated, a hilarious spot from Thailand and more.

GrabPay: Dear Homo sapiens

As I have said before, ads from Thailand have a distinct flavour about them. In my view, there are three common factors: rooted in Thai culture, use of humour and great production values. Humour, bordering on the bizarre, is a common theme even for serious subjects as alcohol addiction. Even ads anchored on an emotional storyline are laced with humorous dialogues. Unlike India where an idea has to work in many languages and cultures, Thai ads have to be in just one language – and that’s an advantage as creators don’t have to worry about nuances of a turn of phrase or expression being lost in translation. One might add that the ads don’t take the business of advertising too seriously, often making light of the task at hand.

A new ad for GrabPay does all of these well, anchored on a conversation between the protagonist and his friend – a gorilla (don’t bother looking for logic). The conversation is guaranteed to bring a smile and drive home the benefit of the service.

Agency: Wolf BKK

iTV: Drama vs Reality

True to its Uncommon Creative Studio continues to create uncommon work across categories. TV channels put out promos announcing their repertoire of programmes often with the claim ‘there’s lots to choose from’ or variants thereof. Most of them follow a template. A series of spots for iTV in the UK have been highlighting the bouquet of reality and drama shows on the channel as a face off between the two genres to gain attention. A new spot takes it to another level featuring Ferne McCann, known for the reality show, ‘First Time Mum’ and actor Richie Campbell. The scale, production values and the attention to detail – are all outstanding.

Agency: Uncommon London

iPhone 12 and Apple Watch: Haystack

Another ad from Apple focusing on one single benefit in a simple, yet compelling manner. A man locates his phone in a haystack by pinging it through his Apple Watch is the boring description of a compelling ad.

iPhone 12 Pro: In the dark

Many high-end phones are sure to have the ‘good selfies in the dark’ feature and may have highlighted it in their ads. But I don’t recall any ad which does it this way: a man actively seeks out dark spots – under the bed, behind the curtain etc., to take selfies.

DHL: Keep up with the clicks

It’s been ages since I last an interesting ad for a courier company. FedEx used to produce consistently good work years ago with interesting themes focused on certainty of delivery and simplicity of use. A new ad from DHL tells the story of e-commerce: from the early days of delivery of a book to the complex web of logistics that it is today. E-commerce and online delivery have come into focus since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has accelerated the digital adoption of many enterprises and forced others to opt for online delivery. The ad highlights the role DHL can play in the growth of companies in such an environment.

Agency: 180 Amsterdam

The National Lottery: helping athletes

There’s a better way to help an athlete from UK than offering him a cup of tea while he is on a jog. That’s the simple premise behind a new for The National Lottery which has a montage of hilarious situations where people aim to help athletes. It all ties back to urging people to play the lottery – which is one of the sponsors of the national team.

You may not be as speedy as Jonnie Peacock, or as strong as Lutalo Muhammad, but when you play a little, you help our athletes a lot.

Agency: adam&eve DDB

Hinge: meant to be deleted

I just loved the premise of this dating app: it is designed to be deleted – as it helps you find a partner being the unsaid part. Apparently, the right profile picture is an important part of such apps. In this amusing ad, a profile deleted the various avatars of his own profile.

Agency: Opinionated

Erste Bank: Let George do it

‘You should be made to feel like a VIP’ is the premise of this ad from Erste Bank from Austria. Even without a voice over explaining the premise the idea comes through as series of attenders pamper a bloke who is first seen in an ordinary car as he walks towards the beach.

Agency: Jung Von Matt

Heineken: the night is young

Imagine the regular haunts of youngsters – cafes and bars being taken over the oldies. That’s the premise in this clever idea from Heineken where the older lot party away with abandon as they are vaccinated. The ‘night belongs to those vaccinated’ is a powerful way to convey the benefits of getting the jab and feels just right for the target audience and the category. Loved it.

Agency: Publicis Italy & Le Pub Amsterdam

U the giant: soup

Story telling is evident in this ad for U supermarkets in France, which aims to convey that they support local suppliers and small business by stocking their produce. It is conveyed through a giant who convinces people of a village that his height is due to drinking soup. The soup then flies off the shelves – only to be revealed later that the giant is an average bloke who happens to be a U shop merchant. I thought it was a charming way to convey that they go to great lengths to help local businesses. In a way, it reminded me of this classic spot.

Agency: TBWA

Longchamp: Le Pliage

Luxury ads have their own code. In my view, a part of their mystique and ability to evoke a ‘desire quotient’ is their obscure, dream-like advertising which are far removed from reality. They depict a world where everything is beautiful and beyond reach of ordinary folks. I feel it is a deliberate strategy to convey that the brand (and the price tag) is several notches above the ordinary. My views were reinforced as I watched this ad for Longchamp’s Le Pliage range of handbags. Lovely set of spots.

Agency: Fred & Farid

U Rent: code of ethics posters

As e-scooters gain popularity across the world, three e-scooter sharing companies from Russia – Urent, Citymobil and Whoosh, have created a set of posters aimed at promoting safe riding practices. The posters have a striking illustration style and convey the message in a visually striking manner.

Credits: Yav art group. More here.

The Sun: cover story

This is not an ad but I thought of sharing it here as it conveys the power of a distinct brand asset. As England beat Denmark in the Euro Cup, The Sun used the tagline of a a famous beer brand from Denmark to take potshots at the team.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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