McVities brand idents, Qatar Airways and more: creative ads of the week

The most important measure for any ad is not how well it was liked – it is noticeability. When an ad goes unnoticed it is a colossal waste of time, money and effort. Unfortunately, a majority of the ads out there suffer this fate. In that context, ads which are noticed, liked and recalled deserve credit. My weekly collection of clutter-breaking creative ads are a tribute to such collective efforts of brand teams everywhere. This week’s compilation includes the brand idents (not-so-commonly seen nowadays) for McVities and a TV spot for Qatar Airways among others.

McVities: brand idents for Britain’s Got Talent

Advertising is seen as a challenging field of creativity as one is expected to tell an engaging story in 30-seconds or less – that too with so many constraints of business objectives and brand guidelines. Brand idents – commonly seen in TV channels to announce a programme or the channel itself (the MTV ones being famous) are great examples of stories well told. A new set of idents for McVities as sponsors of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ do a great job of conveying the association. Loved them.

Agency: TBWA

Qatar Airways: purple carpet

‘How distinct is the ad?’ is a question often asked by clients when evaluating a script or the finished TV spot (never mind that the only differentiation in the marketing mix is expected to come from the advertising and not the product or service). An ‘ownable’ idea and distinct brand assets help. A new ad for Qatar Airways have a visual play on the red carpet – in distinct brand colours.

Agency: McCann

Malibu: summer all-year long

A trippy music-video like visual treat of an ad for Malibu (complete with a horse made of coconuts) says we should live the summer life all year round.

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

Cartier: luxury and mystique

The rational mind is only good at rationalising what the emotional mind has already decided – that’s the irrefutable truth about consumer behaviour. This insight is at play with luxury brands, especially in categories where genuine product differentiation is rare to come by and the preference is dictated by how the consumer feels towards a brand. A comfortable, stylish, reliable watch from a reputed brand may be ‘good enough’ for most of us. But for a select few, the attraction towards luxury brand is so strong that the seemingly exorbitant price is also ‘value for money’. The ads for such brands usually have a category code – they have a surreal, mystical air about them and high on style quotient. A new set of ads for Cartier tick all the boxes.

Direct Line: super hero

A straight forward claim such as ‘We provide quick service’ is presented interestingly as ‘we get to the scene even before super heroes do’. The idea has been consistently used no and in tandem with the slick production values and wry humour makes for great viewing.

AkzoNobel: smooth finish

‘Use the medium to its advantage’ is an age old maxim of advertising – be it radio, outdoor or print. The smooth finish of a paint variant is sought to be highlighted in this clever ad – presumably printed on glossy paper.

OLX Autos: celebrity advertising

It’s IPL season in India where we are seeing a surfeit of ads featuring celebrities. Most of them are idea-less and only have the presence of a celebrity as a ‘differentiator’ if it can be called that. Whether a celebrity is used as a character or as a celebrity itself what makes it worth the investment is the idea followed by the script & execution. A new ad for OLX Autos (an aggregator to sell used cars) uses Hindi film director Rohith Shetty and his penchant for trademark stunts involving flying cars in his films. The self deprecating humour brings a smile.

Agency: Lowe Lintas

Michelob Ultra: Under Pressure

In Mexico, Michelob is debuting a campaign raising awareness about the unreasonable pressure on sportspersons and its impact on their mental well-being.

Featuring three of the most pressured athletes in sports, Guillermo Ochoa, Arantxa Chávez & Isaac Nuñez, the spot opens with a depiction of them in different scenarios of enormous pressure until a question appears on the screen, asking: “What kind of pressure are we putting out there?” From here, a speech begins, focused on relieving the pressure that is read in different billboards, posters and advertising media. Finally, the commercial ends with the phrase, “In order to find your greatness, first you need to find your joy,” and closes with the brand’s slogan, “It’s only worth it if you enjoy it.”


Agency: GUT Mexico. See the version with English VO here. Loved the line, ‘It’s only worth it if you enjoy it.”

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *