The Most Creative Ads Of The First 6 Months Of 2019 That You (Maybe) Haven’t Seen
The Cannes Lions Festival Of Creativity used to be about “creativity”. About 20? years ago, that started changing. This year’s Grand Prix winners weren’t the most creative; they were the most “woke” (Nike —Colin Kaepernick), the most “important” (New York Times — The Truth Is Hard? So is ditchdigging. Just do your job.).
Since Cannes yet again failed to celebrate creativity, allow me to pick up their slack.
- Halo Top: “Ice Cream For Adults”
I would work for Halo Top for free — a brand that actually wants to do brave ads, not just talk about doing them. Remember the amazingly Dystopian 2017 spot “Eat The Ice Cream”, where a menacing robot force-feeds a terrified elderly woman Halo Top? (“Everyone you love is gone. There is only ice cream.”)
The LA-based creamery released its first national TV campaign in March — darkly-comic commercials featuring a Halo Top truck manned by a wiseass asshole who makes fun of and destroys the wills of the poor innocent children who approach him (and gives them no ice cream).
All four spots are worth a view, but “Mortgage” (above) is my favorite because it packs the most Adult Bleakness in its 30 seconds. It ends with our hero’s unhappy birthday message for a precious six-year-old: “…one year closer to the inevitable. Every day, we die a little bit more. That’s the lesson today. Now get out of here.”
This campaign is much braver than Nike’s Kaepernick ad. Agency: 72andSunny, New York.
2. Les Producteurs de lait du Québec: “Painting”
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.
3. Tears Dry Gin: “Tears In Heaven”
This spot is from last year, when it won four Gold CLIOs. But it didn’t start circulating online until Ads Of The World posted it in January. Though it is technically a “spec” ad, the product is real (buy it here).
You need to watch the two-minute spot to get the full effect, but here’s the gist: Gin makers run out of tears, build rocket with giant onion as capsule, launch it deep into space, some crazy sci-fi, 2001-inspired imagery, onion hits God smack in the eye (sort of), heavens rain tears, gin production resumes. Magnificently demented. German production company: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Directed by Bernd Faass.
4. Kitekat: “Yes, It’s Cat Energy”
Lastly, it’s the latest zaniness from Mars brand cat food Kitekat (pronounced “Kitty Cat”), featuring the legendary (in Russia) “Boris”.
Loose translation: “What’s the secret of energy of Boris the cat? Kitekat. One: it gives him forces. Two: more energy. Yes, it’s cat energy. The source of energy of Boris is Kitekat. Made of meat ingredients. Cat energy. I’ve found KiteKat. Perfect. I’ve found Kitekat. Energetic.”
That’s some pulsating copywriting. In case you missed it, the message of the spot is: Kitekat=ENERGY. Agency: DDB Moscow.
Addendum: Here’s a Kitekat billboard from about 10 years ago very purposely placed near a Jesus banner. Loose translation: “Boris’s love is boundless (like Jesus’s) if there is excellent food” (probably not the same Boris).
NOTE: a version of this post first appeared in a June issue of Resumé Magazine.