An Advert A Day

What you’re about to see is perhaps Nescafe’s best ad, ever made

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We’re in a phase in advertising where the medium is not only influential, but also highly inspirational. People want to be moved by what they see. They want brands to tell stories and not just convey jargon filled, superficially packaged product features with mindless portrayal of the same. Some examples of inspirational ads with a great story-build, would be the bournvita ad, KBC’s ‘loudspeaker‘ commercial, PepsiCo’s ‘Back to school’ ad and Under Armour’s amazing Misty Copeland commercial, among others.

Such ads, naturally, get talked about more and shared more.

Jumping on the bandwagon, is Nescafe, whose strategy so far was focused on highlighting moments that seamlessly relate to coffee. With this commercial, they’ve put in a lot of thought to create magic around their brand and enhance the connect with audiences.

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This moving commercial features an odd story of a stand-up comedian who stammers. It begins with him performing in front of a crowd while telling the story of how his stammer had earlier affected his choice of career. He tells it with subtle humour weaved in, with prominent self-criticism. This is what hooks you onto the story. At no point does he indulge in self-pity even though there are slight glimpses of it. The treatment of this story is where the real appeal lies.

The story proceeds to show how he decided to turn things around and use the stammering as a strength instead of being pulled down by it. Perfectly timed, the product is first shown at just about this exact moment. Association to victory – simply perfect. As the story proceeds with a subtle background score of a piano, you can’t help but place yourself in his shoes and fall in love with his beautiful story.

With a generous amount of adorably funny moments, he goes on to thank coffee (doesn’t name the brand) for giving him the strength to go on. This is quickly followed by humour to dampen any forced product placement. Quoting him, ‘Thank God for coffee. It kept me going and kept you awake’. Perfect again, isn’t it?

After this, the video charges forward to a victorious tone where he enthusiastically breaks into ‘Let’s get started’. With this, Nescafe flawlessly leads us to their tagline ‘It all starts with a Nescafe’.

All I want to do is meet the script-writer and give him a pat on his back for this beautiful piece of monologue. I don’t think I’ve seen such a seamless brand tie-in before, where the brand takes the limelight without compromising the story.

All in all, one might easily be moved to tears with this.

Watch the video here:

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Cats steal the show yet again with this hilarious commercial

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Temptations Treats introduced Temptation Tumblers, a cat treat that you can toss, roll and treat. The Mars Petcare brand’s new Temptations Tumblers—treats are apparently more perfectly spherical that regular old Temptations treats. This commercial focuses on the ‘play’ aspect while feeding your cat.

This new one-minute commercial is a hilariously dramatic representation of play time with cats using the product. The entire video, with its breath-taking slow-mo shots and intense dub-step music makes for a perfectly delightful watch.

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The video begins with three people – one a soccer player, another, a football star and third, a tennis player –  preparing for a seemingly intense game. You soon realise that the ball for each of their moves is replaced by a perfectly spherical Temptations treat before the real starts of the ad enter.

Cats.

Fluffy, adorable and stunning cats.

The ad moves on to show some amazing moves by cats that are chasing, or rather, playing ball with the treats. The entire visual depiction of play time comes together beautifully and goes on, to show that play-time is a serious sport. Keeping all of that aside there are so many cats in one video! Has to go viral, right?

And manh! THOSE CATS ARE SO ADORABLE!

This pop-up book based video tells the shocking story of human trafficking

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McCann, Sydney partners with The MTV Exit foundation, an organisation which strives for the end of exploitation and human trafficking, to make this amazing awareness ad with new approach.

This video ‘Broken Dreamers’, features an original song by Paris-based electro pop artist Birkii, and tells the story of three characters caught in nightmarish modern-day slavery scenarios. The stories unfold in the form of a pop-up storybook, with excellent transitions that are beautifully wound with contextual colour-play and music.

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The pop-up approach to portray the story is also a parallel representation of the innocence in these victims and the naiveté involved in these scenarios. Each story begins with the classic ‘Once upon a time’ phrase and progresses to tell a series of unfortunate events, highlighting the dangers of the racket.

It’s a beautifully crafted video that delivers the message quite straight-forward.

Kamasutra condoms boldly displays the art of making love

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Considering how sensuous deodorant ads have become of recent, it is only natural that condom ads surpass it to a certain degree to distinguish the product. Most of these ads display the physical aspect of sex in a similar manner. Much to the point where it all looks the same.

Bringing in a breath of fresh air was Durex’s claim to viral fame, ‘Do The Rex’ that featured Ranveer Singh in a refreshing and fun avatar, singing and dancing jovially to represent his love for sex. I absolutely loved that video and it’s taboo breaking efforts in a humorous manner.

But if there was one ad that stuck to the conventional way of showing love-making but with a new twist, this would be it. The ad features two gorgeous dancers, performing to a seductive number. The sensuous dance steps are translations of various sex positions that one would find in the book of love, Kamasutra, from which the brand derives its’ name.

Each shot is breathtakingly beautiful and blends dancing with sexual positions in a flawless manner. It makes it look like art, which it is. The ad adds a further aspirational value to the act of making love by making it look exhilarating and exotic without anything being said at all.

I love the ‘Art of making love’ approach above anything else. It isn’t a new communication strategy or a new approach to sex, but their execution is definitely applause worthy.

Watch the video here:

Bournvita’s inspirational new ad steals all hearts, yet again

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Cadbury Bournvita, one of India’s most trusted brands, has successfully become part of a child’s daily nutrition consumption, ensured by their mothers. This makes mothers their primary target group with the end consumer being their child. Over the years, their communication strategy has evolved in various manners but their core goal has always been to make Bournvita, a daily drink for kids.

Last year, in March, they launched one of their most successful commercials of all time, Aadatein – Tayyari Jeet ki. This commercial, with its superb story, flawless script and heart-racing visuals was goose-bump inducing. Aadatein, which literally translates into ‘habits’, is the catch in the new series. ‘Tayaari Jeet ki’ roughly translates into preparing your child for victory.

Their aim is to encourage mothers to inculcate strong habits in their kids, no matter how difficult it is. It focuses on the importance of motherhood in shaping a child’s life. A bull’s-eye, right there.

Watch the amazing commercial here:

Continuing the legacy, they took the same mother-son duo and took it a step further. From preparing your child to win, it moves towards ‘Shakti har race ke liye’, i.e. power for every race you take on, no matter how big. Here the focus lies on the ‘power’ as compared to the ‘victory’. This proposition has a wider reflection among the TG.

The commercial begins with the same mother from the previous commercial talking about how he won the last race but one needs power for every race in life. Yet again beautifully scripted, this commercial just about manages to create the same magic as last time. It definitely doesn’t surpass the previous one’s emotional invoking ability but is still quite incredible.

Watch the new commercial here:

Each time I see these ads, I’m very close to being teary-eyed. The power of motherhood has never been captured this beautifully before. It shows the strength and commitment it needs. Imagine the inspiration a mother would receive from simply watching this ad. When a brand can connect so strongly to the TG and even beyond it, it is highly creditable.

With this series, Bournvita has gone miles ahead in owning the ‘habits’ space that addresses its main aim. What more can one want for their brand? 

A hugely successful awareness campaign for Alzheimer’s Disease

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As part of Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Campaign, National Neurological Institute conducted this media led campaign that went far beyond the expected positivity in results. So below is an excerpt from their YouTube description, explaining what the campaign was all about.

You’ll understand this picture below once you watch the video.

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*YouTube excerpt*

Early warning sign of Alzheimer’s is that people remember things from the past, but can’t remember things happening in the present.
We talked to Alzheimer’s patients and asked them what are the latest news/events they can remember. Using their memories we created: THE NEWS FROM THE PAST.
Where each article was based on a memory of an actual Alzheimer’s patient.

In cooperation with the leading newspapers and TV stations, on World’s Alzheimer’s day newspapers were published with front pages featuring news from the past.
Also, the news on the TV stations were substituted with news from the past.

The main message was: “These are the latest news for the people with Alzheimer’s” and people could find more information about the disease on http://www.alz.mk.

 

This campaign, had a 360 degree approach and included all forms of media to spread awareness. This integrated approach works very well towards building mass awareness. Leaving the theoretical part aside, the main reason this campaign deserves great appreciation is because it manages to give one a glimpse into what the future might be. It takes you right to where you’d stand if you had early signs of Alzheimer’s. What’s even better is that they managed to relevantly reach a large audience with a single campaign. That, in itself, is a stellar achievement.

At the end of the day, all they did, is put one in the shoes of a potential Alzheimer’s patient. When something is THAT personalised, it’s difficult to forget the message that comes with the campaign. The results that the campaign yielded, as seen in the video, is a testimony of the grand success in itself.

Genius of a campaign, this. 

Why should anyone be made to feel like crap, just for being who they are?

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Beyondblue, a counseling organisation in Australia, has released a  national anti-discrimination campaign highlighting the impact of racism on the social and emotional wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

Their website quotes:

Research shows that subtle or ‘casual’ racism can be just as harmful as more overt forms. Imagine being judged in a job interview by the colour of your skin, rather than the strength of your CV. How would you feel if you were watched in a shop or treated differently on public transport? 

Why should anyone be made to feel like crap, just for being who they are?   

Stop. Think. Respect. encourages everyone in Australia to check their behaviour. Stop the discrimination, think about how your comments or actions could cause real distress and harm, and respect people who are different from you.

In the ad, an alter ego called ‘The invisible discriminator’ is the protagonist. He is the personification of the ‘little voice’ that all of us have. Except, he’s racist. The ad shows various scenarios where people discriminate against the Aborigines, taking advice from ‘The invisible discriminator’. For each scenario, he says a line that changes the perspective of the person towards the other completely. It’s well scripted with the ad having a monologue by the invisible discriminator, broken down for each scenario.

The message requires no clarity whatsoever.

Watch this guilt-instilling ad here:

KBC’s amazing new launch ad is the best one yet

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An excerpt from the ad description on YouTube:

KBC is back. Promises to bring more than just the family together this season! The nations most eagerly awaited television show goes ‘inclusive’ in this years’ edition. For years, the show and its superstar celebrity host have brought together people from diverse regions, cultures, languages and aspirations for its viewers to watch and appreciate. All the while bringing families together in front of the television. KBC has challenged, inspired and helped thousands of Indians to earn knowledge, money and fame.

In the most engaging and entertaining fashion. If that’s the legacy of the show, its publicity promos break new ground every year and work their own charm with the masses. Engaging them with thought-provoking messages crafted and presented with endearing simplicity.

This new ad by KBC, successfully captures the ripple of excitement that the show creates in the entire nation due to its unmatachble popularity. The ad works towards building the same spirit in the viewer’s mind, leaving one wanting for the show’s launch.

The first ad in the series ‘Kohima’ was a complete tear jerker that tackled the issue of the social isolation of the North East from India. The others to follow worked on similar strategies where the show helped tackle everyday issues in the country by bringing people together.

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But this one, has to be my absolute favourite. It encapsulates the simple joy of speaking with Amitabh Bachchan. It also captures the classic request by most contestants, asking him to act out one of his iconic dialogues. The spirit of unity and ‘bringing together’ is very Indianised and close to real life scenarios.

Kudos, once again.

The inspiring story of an unlikely ballerina that will move you

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‘Under Armour’ which is an American sports apparel and accessories company has an annual revenue of $1 billion for its men’s products and exactly half i.e. $ 500 million for its’ women’s apparel. The company has long contended that its goal is for the women’s segment to grow as big as, if not bigger than, the men’s.

A mighty $15 million is what they have invested in this new campaign, their biggest ever, specifically targeted to women, in hopes of achieving that goal.

The first TV spot, of the series, ballerina Misty Copeland stands in the practice studio, slowly rising onto her toes. The muscles in her calves as angular as bent elbows are purposefully highlighted at this point.

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As music plays and, in a voice over, a young girl reads a rejection letter explaining why the ballet academy candidate was turned down.

“Thank you for your application to our ballet academy,” says a voice-over, “Unfortunately you have not been accepted. You lack the right feet, Achilles tendons, turnout, torso length and bust. You have the wrong body for ballet. And at 13, you are too old to be considered.”

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She is then shown flying with grand jete leaps and rapid-fire spins across a vast lighted stage as if breaking into a grand performance. Only later is it revealed that Copeland, who at this point is looking triumphantly into the camera, is a well-established professional ballet dancer.

Copeland is seen sporting off a black Under Armour tank top and the brand’s “Cheeky” underwear bottoms throughout the ad as opposed to the standard leotard and tutu.

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An end card introduces a new tagline for the campaign, “I will what I want” — an elongation of a long-running slogan for the brand, “I will” — and the name of a new website for female consumers, http://iwillwhatiwant.com/

The question here is, why is the brand that always features conventional athletes making an ad with a ballerina?

The reason is simple.

Even though she’s not a competitive athlete,  she brings a modern athleticism to a very traditional art form. She pushes the boundaries on the status quo of the word ‘athlete’. There are a lot of sports, activities, hobbies and passions that women are engaging in that are athletic and physical and should be celebrated, whether it’s dance or soccer or kickboxing or spinning. This approach makes the targeting exclusive to women.

Intelligent move on their part considering that women have a broader sense of what constitutes an athletic activity.

The others involved in the series are: Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, the tennis player Sloane Stephens and the soccer player Kelley O’Hara.

A very similar ad was the launching spot for Clean & Clear USA’s new global campaign ‘See The Real Me’ a while back where they featured a 13-year-old aspiring ballerina, Emma, who also struggled with having a body type and corkscrew curls that were not in the traditional mold. This ad bears a striking resemblance to that one.