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 the clutter is actually a big deal. Here are this week’s picks:
NABS: This job can break you
October 10 was World Mental Health Day. NABS, a Canadian charity aimed at supporting the health and well-being of professionals in the media, marketing, and communications industries has released a fun, yet thought-provoking ad on the occasion. In the advertising industry, late night working hours and weekend-working is common. Unfortunately it is considered a must and often worn as a badge – a sign of how hard working one is. Leaving the office at 6 or 7pm, and considering weekends as personal time are frowned upon by some agency seniors, seeing such as sign of shirking.
Clients too contribute to this mess in many ways – fuzzy briefs, unreasonable deadlines, the iterations all add up. The pressure of ‘always on’ advertising (required at short notice because it is topical) in the digital world – creating social media posts and films for every occasion in the name of moment marketing (mostly driven by FOMO) has its own negative impact. The film, with some NSFW lyrics drives home the importance of mental wellbeing through a simple, charming device. I loved the fact that they did not make it frivolous with the song & dance through that poignant touch – giving the film seriousness towards the end.
Ikea: every home should be a haven
When a visual idea is unexpected yet relevant it sticks in our minds and can aid brand recall. A few cuddly toys transform themselves into bouncer-like body guards in a spot for IKEA. The idea that we must feel safe and happy in our homes comes through in an endearing fashion. The product category is smack bang in the centre of the story and brings the relevance to the brand.
Alexa: Aussies get Alexa. Because Alexa gets Aussies
Localisation is something every big brand yearns for yet rarely achieves. It is tough to cater to diverse tastes and preferences. When done well, the effort evokes affinity, a feeling of ‘my kind of brand’ to the customer. A range of spots for Alexa achieve this through ‘understanding’ the accent and quirky phrases of an Australian. I thought the fit of voice command and the many accents and turn of phrases around the world was just right.
McDonald’s: where’s everyone
‘Irresistible’ is a common theme in food advertising. It manifests in many ways: you can’t stop at one, you hate sharing it, you will go to great lengths to get it – and so on. A new spot for McDonald’s UK extends it to a price offer and conveying ‘you’ll drop everything to get it’. The visuals show amusing situations such as a customer being abandoned at a barber shop and such like.
Agency: Leo Burnett
Johnnie Walker: Keep Walking
I have mixed feeling about this. Undoubtedly, ‘Keep Walking’ is an iconic tag line and theme. It has deep and positive connotations such as perseverance, that connect with a lot of us. A new anthem spot seeks to ‘put a spring in people’s step as they head back into the world and socialise with confidence‘. The creative device is a mash-up of songs which are all about walking.
Topical or occasion led ads can be fun if the link back to the brand is strong. A print ad from Sainsbury’s is stylised to cue elements associated with Halloween and brings a smile.
Union Pearson Express: not leaving
I have seen transport brands – be it road, rail or water, pitch their mode as a better one. Convenience without the hassle associated with the mode of travel being compared with is a common theme. A train brand from Canada uses the famous John Denver song ‘Leaving on a jet plane’ well to convey that it is a better way to get to the airport than road transport.
Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.