Feel-good Christmas & Diwali ads – and other top creative of the week

Every business looks forward to the festive season. Globally, the Oct-Dec quarter is considered the best of such seasons. Apple times the launch of its flagship iPhone to coincide with this period. Many brands create ads to capture the festive mood among consumers encouraging them to spend. Christmas themed ads in the west and Diwali-themed ads in India are common during this period. Over the past weeks, I have come across a few festival themed ads (among others) which caught my eye.

Suchard: Life is…

While most of the ads anchored around Christmas are feel-good ads (such as this one), Diwali is seen by some brands (and celebrities) to get all preachy or not be authentic to the spirit of the festival, thus landing in controversies (there are exceptions such as these). In that context, here’s a lovely ad for Swiss chocolate brand, Suchard. The message: ‘Life is what happens between Christmas & Christmas. Don’t ever stop celebrating it‘. Simple technique of a calendar to cue travelling back in time and an animation style which takes care of casting and makeup issues.

Agency: Ogilvy, Spain

Uber: Trains, now on Uber

The brief: ‘Now you can book trains on Uber’. In a delightfully creative interpretation, the creative idea twists the associations around Uber – things we normally have with hailing a cab, such as splitting rides and notifications on arrival. I liked the outdoor executions more than the TVCs.

Agency: Mother, London

HP India: #ChaloRohsniKiOar

Christmas Movie‘ is a genre by itself in Hollywood. Even in other forms of popular culture such as TV serials, web series and ads – Christmas as a theme creates a feel-good factor around the festival. ‘Believing in the magic of Christmas’ often translates into stories that convey a positive outcome. In India, Diwali is a festival that lends itself well to such a theme – but we hardly see a feel-good movie based on that theme. The ad industry has told stories around the do-good and feel-good aspects of our festivals – and HP has been consistent with that theme. This year’s ad tells the story of a small business owner whose business is saved by a good deed of the protagonist – using HP products of course. One can predict the plot line but the execution keeps you riveted and the ending brings a smile.

Agency: Simple Creative

Amaze: Mirchi Lights

One can argue that the product plays a peripheral role in this well-made short film but it has enough tension in it to keep the viewer interested. While there maybe several films with such a them, very often what makes the difference is the quality of writing and the acting – both of which are top class here.

Agency: Bodh Entertainment 

Piramal: the first time

The ad is not for a consumer brand which one can buy during Diwali but aimed at small businesses seeking loans. While that itself sets it apart I liked the creative strategy behind the ad: the premise being that every year the Diwali ritual, every story feels new even though we practice them every year. And the connect is then made to the small business or families for whom it is a first Diwali after getting a loan to set up a business or buying a home.

Agency: The Womb

Western Union and EbixCash: Khule Dil Wali Diwali

Over the years, screen addiction has been acknowledged by us all as a barrier to real life social interaction and human connect. We all see the sight of people immersed in their personal devices at public places and wince. This film for a money transfer brand (which is smartly weaved into the plot) enables the protagonist to stage a get together which helps in people getting to know each other in person.

Agency: Boch & Fernsh

iPhone 15 Pro: on with the show

Apple’s iPhone line up got a lot of flak initially when several variants were introduced. Many said that just the one iPhone model was the right way to go rather than adding suffixes such as SE or version numbers. Apple ignored such comments and went to create Pro and Pro Max series in versions launched in the last few years. The Pro versions which have better cameras seem to have a specific target audience in mind: professional movie makers. In a way it is a reiteration of focus: conveying clearly who it is NOT for while conveying who it is ideally for.

iPhone 15 Pro is built for show business. Whether shooting cinematic stunts in ProRes 4K at 60 fps directly to an external drive, or capturing a dramatic 5x optical zoom on iPhone 15 Pro Max. New Log encoding makes ProRes even more powerful, enabling more range and flexibility for visual effects and color grading in post production. iPhone 15 Pro is fully equipped to shoot your next post-apocalyptic alien car chase action adventure blockbuster.

LinkedIn B2B: no one knows what you do

As someone in B2B tech services marketing myself, this message of ‘no one knows what you do‘ resonated with me. Even in ad agencies, I am sure many roles – especially Account Management, would be unclear to those outside of that world. ‘What do you do exactly?’ is a question often asked about such roles. And with newer disciplines coming into play in media & marketing, the struggle is real. All of this is smartly captured in a campaign for LinkedIn – promoting it as a platform as The Place to B2B. Between the two ads, loved the ‘acronym daughter’ one more.

Agency: Maximum Effort

Zlade: manscaping

How did this film not go viral or get talked about in media? Why do I say – find out for yourself. A pretty bold film not just for the genre but for the country too.

Bolas: heritage gifting series

It is interesting to see a local brand anchor its communication on a cultural identity – stories from Ramayana, which would resonate well in the region. The combination of casting, acting and the power of nostalgia (stories from our puranas, as told by our grand mothers) have a memorable impact.

John Lewis: snapper

Among the big retail brands from UK, the Christmas ad from John Lewis is the one which is perhaps most eagerly awaited. Usually, the campaign idea and how it is

Cigarette Butts Are Rubbish

Smoking is an irrational habit. Smokers know that it’s bad for health. An angle about that habit hitherto not spoken about is littering – smokers tend to stub the cigarette butts on the floor, when smoking outdoor. A new initiative in UK attempts to change the habit by asking them to take a specific action – bin the butt. It also acknowledges that smokers maybe inadvertently contributing to litter by force of habit.

Agency: VCCP

KFC: Christmas 2023

It’s fun when brands choose to defy what their fans want them to do – and be cheeky about it in an inoffensive manner. Apparently some folks suggested that KFC offer turkey on the menu for Christmas and the brand boldly said no, but in a cheeky way.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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