Apple’s outstanding vertical cinema, trippy ad for GoJek and more: creative ads of the week

Every week, I attempt to share clutter-breaking creative ads with some commentary or opinion of my own. Getting noticed is the No.1 job of any paid promotion – be it a traditional ad or its new avatars such as Instagram posts and tweets. If the ad goes unnoticed everything else is academic. Here are a few compelling creative ideas of the week ending Aug 7, 2020.

iPhone: Shot on iPhone by Academy Award® Winner Damien Chazelle

The ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign kicked off in 2015 as a ‘show and tell’ way of dramatising the quality of the phone camera. It was a simple yet effective strategy offered as an alternative to competition brands which were hitherto touting only technicals specifications. Just the show-stopper visuals with a simple ‘Shot on iPhone’ has become a global ‘challenge‘. The campaign then shifted gears to focus not just on images but videos as seen in ‘Snowbrawl‘ for iPhone 11. A new film with the same objective adds a new dimension by showcasing the vertical format video. Instead of simply putting together a montage of visuals, the film is held together by a story of classic film genres being framed differently. The 9-minute film is director by Academy Award-winning Damien Chazelle. You can view the making of the film here. In my view, such jaw-dropping efforts go a long way in making the halo around the Apple brand shine brighter.

Agency: TBWA Media Arts Lab

GoJek: The Flow

I think this ad is a great example of why clients need an ad agency – especially the creative team. Clients can develop brand & communication strategy, implement media planning and buying but can never actually write TV scripts or radio spots themselves. A few big brands have in-house creative teams which have delivered great work consistently – Apple, Channel4, Spotify and Swiggy come to mind. But they too turn to ad agencies for specialist creative work. It is also a skill under-marketed by agencies themselves. The ability to get the business problem or opportunity (often complex issues), simplify them and translate them into a creative idea is not a skill which is common. The ad industry does celebrate it by way of awards but that’s patting themselves on the back, often for speculative work for imaginary businesses. The real deal is to crack creative ideas that address real business problems or opportunities in big, complex categories.

A new film for GoJek, the hugely successful and talked about on demand service. The stated proposition, according to the YouTube description is: ‘we’ll always strive to make things run smoother, faster and easier. And it’s in our DNA to think there’s a hack for every difficulty, a remedy for every headache and a shortcut around the block’. The creative idea ‘life just flows’ is then brought alive with some mind bending camera and graphics.

Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors, Singapore

Starbucks: mask up

COVID-19 has emerged as a special category in advertising. Marketers have put out various sorts of messages: urging people to stay home and practice safety measures, sending out positivity in the form of motivational messages and so on. Here’s a smart one from Starbucks thanking their store customers for wearing a mask. The irony is that misspelling of customers’ names was a meme-worthy joke of their in-store experience even before COVID-19.

Agency: Iris



Thai Health Promotion Foundation: School

Among the toughest briefs in advertising: work aimed at changing people’s behaviour, especially when it involves an irrational habit like smoking. A new ad from Thailand dramatises the ill-effects of smoking by guilt-tripping adults – showing how kids are victims of passive smoking as ‘there’s no safe distance’ for it.

Agency: Alpha 245 Thailand, Leo Burnett Group

Felippo Berio: olives

‘We use only the best ingredients’ and variants thereof, is a common claim in food brands. Remember, John West? A new ad Felippo Berio olive oil takes a similar approach with word play on olives which make it.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.