I watch ads. I watch (or look at) almost every produced (and fake) ad every year, year after motherfucking year. It is not a rewarding experience. This year was especially unrewarding. Creativity is losing the battle against Technology, against digital marketers who don’t know their ads from a hole in the ground, against “collaboration” ads by committee.
But! Every year, I find a few sparkling gems in the massive heap of advertising dung. Let’s celebrate rare wondrous Creativity, while we still can.
Pohjola Insurance (Finland)
Reincarnation is not a new advertising trope. But to use it in life insurance ads? Brave. Here’s it’s done with perfect tone and humor. The spots feature friends “Mike” and “Jonathan” having “human” conversations in their new nonhuman bodies. Excellent copywriting. Low production costs. You don’t need a sizeable budget to be creative. Here’s the third spot: “Sea Anemones”. Agency: Hasan & Partners.
Skittles has dominated Creativity in the snack/candy category for about a decade. But this new-ish “Chew On It” Twizzlers campaign via Droga5 is a noteworthy challenger because it’s funny and *cringy buzzword alert* seamlessly features the product in the narratives. See the other two commercials in the campaign here.
Les Producteurs de Lait du Québec (Canada)
Back in April, the Milk Producers of Québec debuted a campaign titled “Cheese At Its Best”. The “Painting” spot (above) is a masterpiece. It is cheese advertising at its best.
In it, an artist finishes a portrait of a man holding a wedge of cheese. The man asks if he can eat the cheese (he can). Then the man in the painting asks the same question. He of course cannot. He starts crying, the paint starts to run, and…you get the picture. The ending visual joke (below, note the tear streams) is the kind of insanely over-the-top work every (good) copywriter/art director dreams of producing. Agency: lg2.
The concept here, burly man LOVES his saw, is not especially creative. But it’s the execution, the commitment to the bit, that makes this spot for the German home improvement retailer shine. It’s 75 seconds packed with perfectly delivered punchlines. No (good) joke was left on the notepad. Agency: Heimat. Director: Pep Bosch.
Famous Grouse (UK)
Liquor ads, even more so than other categories, should be simple as fuck. Famous Grouse blended whiskey and their shop, The Leith Agency, get it: Show a smooth grouse. Perfect. Bravo. Throw all the awards at it.
(Note: Yes, there’s almost a month left in the year, but it’s all just bad Christmas ads.)