AirPods Pro, FIFA World Cup and more: creative ads of the week

Getting an ad noticed by consumers is not an easy task. Most of advertising is just ignored – a fate worse than being noticed and disliked. Ads which are seen, recalled and spoken about positively are rare. My weekly compilation of clutter-breaking ads is a small tribute to such efforts – I know how difficult it is to create such, given the fuzzy nature of briefs and the chaotic, whimsical approval process. Here are a few ads which caught my eye this past week or so:

AirPods Pro: Share the joy

Memorable ad campaigns have a knack of leaving behind residual imagery or some distinctive asset in our minds (that’s why they are memorable, you say?). It could be an audio mnemonic, a quirky dialogue or a visual element. A new ad for AirPods Pro anchored on its sharing feature has visual appeal in abundance, as in the earlier ads. It is set in the streets of Buenos Aires – an unlikely setting for a ‘white Christmas’ film. The viewer interest is held in the special effects which dramatise the familiar element of the season.

Agency: TBWA

Upside Foods: chicken-speak

A full-page ad in WSJ with strange words meant to mimic ‘chicken speak’? Scanning the QR code leads to a landing page which has the text in English. The idea? Convey that Upside Foods has received a ‘No Questions Letter’ from the FDA to make ‘cultivated meat’, which is meat grown directly from animal cells. It is presented as an upside for chickens as ‘a lot fewer animals are going to have to suffer’. Interesting use of print and choice of publication as its readers are likely to be financial backers for such a venture too.

Agency: Rethink

The National Lottery: a Christmas love story

What’s a Christmas season without a Love Actually type feel-good ad? Here is one for UK’s National Lottery. It ticks all the boxes for a heart-warming Christmas ad, keeping in line with the common, broad theme of ‘magic of hope and possibility’.

Agency: adam&eveDDB

McDonald’s: FIFA World Cup theme film

I guess such a film works best for a ubiquitous, famous market leader like McDonald’s. It’s a simple (all too familiar) montage of people from diverse backgrounds asking ‘Wanna go to McDonald’s?’ and its local variations. Memorability is enhanced with the presence of Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis and his witticism.

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

Macallan: The Spirit of 1926

An 8-minute film? Very often we tend to get put off by the duration of films we see online or shared with us on social media. I have no specific theory around why we decide to watch some long format films and get put off by some others. Maybe it’s a combination of factors – the theme, opening sequences and such like. A new film for Macallan Distillery tells the story of Nettie Harbinson who chose to run the distillery after her husband’s death, at a time when it was considered that only men can do such tasks.

In 1926 Nettie Harbinson crafted what would become the most valuable bottle of wine or spirit ever sold at auction. 


Nike: footballverse

I am no football fan but this seems like fun with Nike bringing in a bevy of football stars – past, present, and future under the pretence of ‘technology enabling it’.

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy

Pepsi Max: Nutmeg Royale

Frankly, there’s a sea of sameness when it comes to FIFA World Cup inspired ad. The big brands all have their stars, expensive production values and more. Not many have an idea or a story to tell. In such a context, a simple premise of Messi being outsmarted by luring him to have a Pepsi and the action that follows makes for interesting viewing.

Agency: BBDO Argentina

WWF UK: outdoor

Celebrated graphic artist Noma Bar’s distinctive style bring the idea of ‘running out of time’ pretty well. Sure to be a show stopper at the London Underground where this was seen.

Agency: Uncommon, London

iTVX: auditions

Celebrated actors being called in to give ‘auditions’ is a fun premise in itself. But the context – ‘iTVX is UK’s freshest streaming service’ and ‘lot of free content’ humorously weaved into the plot, makes it doubly interesting.

Agency: Uncommon, London

KFC Delivery: idents for FIFA World Cup

These set of smart idents weave in the love for football and the utility value of a home delivery service brilliantly. Loved the series.

Agency: Mother

The campaign also featured a clever, contextual outdoor idea, which used space well.

Redbreast Irish Whiskey: we’re branching out

A charming, well-written ad for Redbreast Irish Whiskey features a chat with a spokesbird, Robin. Aside from banter on groups of birds it aims to announce what the brand plans to to on Robin Redbreast Day:

Nearly half of all global bird species are in decline, and the time to change their fortune is now. That’s why we created Robin Redbreast Day to help support our joint mission with BirdLife International to keep the common bird common.


Agency: The Public House

CISCO: secure freeze

B2B tech advertising is largely staid, even boring. CISCO breaks the mould with a fun ad to dramatise the effect of a cyber attack where ‘everything can grind to a halt’.

Agency: BETC

Inspired by Iceland: a Mars alternative

When metaverse was bandied about as the next revolutionary trend, Iceland Tourism saw an opportunity to create a spoof of sorts promoting tourism into the country. The team is at it again (though not really a rip-roaring laugh) positioning the country as an alternative to Mars Mission – an ‘out of the world’ experience that’s lot closer, doesn’t cost as much and has oxygen’. I guess such initiatives rely on the vitality of the film and helps in making the destination more desirable.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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