Creating clutter breaking advertising is difficult. Not surprisingly, a majority of the ads are not just mediocre but are totally ignored by consumers. During my stint in ad agencies, I too have had my share of such run-of-the-mill ads. As a token of appreciation for those crafting good ads, I attempt to share a compilation of creative ads every week (and some occasional commentary on the business of advertising). In this week’s list:
B&Q: later means never
As someone who puts the pro in procrastination, this ad from B&Q, a DIY and home improvement brand appealed to me a lot, both in terms of premise and execution . ‘Build a life‘ has been the brand’s communication theme. The larger promise was:
At B&Q, we believe everyone has the power to change their life when they improve their home. When we fix a shelf, or plant a flowerbed, or redecorate a bathroom, we don’t just build a home, we build a life. What a day it was, the day you found out You Can Do It.
A new spot urges people to get moving and not postpone that small step which could herald a big change. Loved the copywriting and the stop-motion animation.
Agency: Uncommon, London
Royal National Institute of Blind People: WhatsIn Store
A few years ago, brands used to execute activations and other ‘stunts’ primarily involving a surprise for the central character. I was reminded of such when I saw this initiative to highlight the difficulties faced by the visually impaired when it comes to packaging which is not inclusive.
Everyone should have the right to know what they’re buying. We want brands to #DesignForEveryone and help us make an inclusive world for blind and partially sighted people.
Agency: The& Partnership
British Airways: New York
Tactical ads from airlines meant to announce new routes usually represent a landmark of the destination through a visual pun. Here’s a nice twist: ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’ – the iconic image from 1932 is recreated smartly to convey that British Airways is flying to New York again.
Agency: Team Horizon (WPP)
Swiggy Instamart: salt
Is it an inside joke meant for ad agency folks, as it spoofs the oft-seen Colgate ad? Maybe so but it’s sure to get the laughs from everyone.
Netflix–TVF: Kota Factory
I haven’t watched ‘Kota Factory’ the Netflix series anchored on the craze for IIT entrance exam preparations and the big ‘industry’ fuelling it. The many coaching institutions across India have a standard template to advertise their effectiveness – showcasing the many toppers. A print ad announcing a new season of the show cleverly pays a ‘tribute’ to such.
Google: voice search
I was imagining myself in the shoes of someone who did not know how to use voice search in Hindi – the only language they are likely to be comfortable in. More importantly, someone who is likely to be not just unfamiliar but intimidated by English. I think it would effectively demonstrate the ease and possibilities of Google search – full marks on that score.
Toyota Tundra: Born from invincible
Toyota has a great heritage. An important element of its brand aura is the participation in rallies across diverse driving conditions and climate. ‘Born from Invincible’ is a lovely summation to announce the launch of Toyota Tundra. The idea is brought alive superbly through a montage of adrenaline-pumping visuals with some great editing.
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Baby Alive: Ageless Care
Toy brands have been facing criticism on various fronts for years. In popular media, Barbie has borne the brunt of many attacks with detractors arguing that it has a negative impact on girls and their body image. Barbie elevated the brand promise by saying that it allows girls to ‘explore limitless potential‘. Hasbro has released a new campaign with an interesting perspective: “When a child learns to care, it lasts forever”.
Agency: Ogilvy Brazil
Bouygues Telecom: fallin‘
‘Sell the sizzle, not the steak’ is an expression associated with advertising – highlighting the importance of making the consumer buy into a larger benefit than just the mundane features. Sustainable Smartphone Solutions is a plan from Bouygues Telecom with an intent to urge consumers to repair rather than replace their mobile phones. Fallin’ by Alicia Keys serves as a great soundtrack to a montage of visuals dramatising the fall of a mobile phone during the various stages of a couple’s relationship.
Convergence Station: get out and see the world
I must admit that I was left confused as to what’s going after watching this ad for Convergence Station – an immersive exhibit in Denver. Check out the context in this article and then watch the film.
UpGrad: the boss
One could guess likely denouement based on the trajectory of the film but its fun nevertheless.
Heinz: Beanz Meanz More
‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’ is an iconic tagline. It is a great example of distinctive brand assets. The line has now been changed to ‘Bean Meanz More’ in an apparent push for ‘brand purpose’.
When I first saw the ad, I wasn’t particularly moved but the intent feels right:
“When you think of famous advertising slogans you would think of Heinz,” he explained on Monday. “From a brand perspective, this is us looking back and paying homage but it’s also looking forward as well. We took it and evolved it, all great strategies over time evolve.”
Dunzo: Starter Pack
Of late when I see work from the internal team at Dunzo I feel they are conducting a master class on how to create locally relevant content to old-school ad agencies who are mostly steeped in ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. They’ve also earned fans for their social media content which are usually full of word play. More than the puns, it is efforts such as this ‘starter pack’ as a an ad that makes it endearing to consumers in Bangalore.
‘We live in a global world’ is not really a huge reveal but that proposition and execution makes sense for HSBC. In 2019, they released a variation: ‘We Are Not An Island‘. I loved the metaphor and visual device used in the latest ad to cue ‘borders’ and how we draw them in our personal lives with the prevalence of polarising political affiliations.
Agency: Wunderman Thompson
Channel 4: Great British Bake Off
Imagine being familiar with ‘The Great British Bake Off’ show and coming across this installation in the UK. Truly a show stopper .
Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.