The Social Distancing Teapot, Mint Mobile and more: top creative ads of the week

Every week, I attempt to share a compilation of clutter-breaking creative ads and occasionally some commentary on industry topics. Being noticed is an ad’s No.1job as far too many of our ads simply go unnoticed in the clutter of media noise. This week, my collection includes a charming ad for Yorkshire Tea among others.

Yorkshire Tea: The Social Distancing Teapot

Brands have been tripping over each other to release ads pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic – some good, most not so. Managing to add a touch of humour even when pertaining to a serious topic is a tough choice to make and even tougher to make it work. Yorkshire Tea has a history of ads laced with typical British humour and the legacy is carried forward in this charming spot. ‘You can’t do these but at least you can do this’ is a format that works when exaggeration and humour are at play. The message of follow safe practices however you do it when back at work comes through.

Agency: Lucky Generals

Mint Mobile: Ryan & Rick Moranis

Ryan Reynolds has turned out to be a master marketer as evident in the way he has crafted the communication for brands he invested in: Aviation Gin and now, Mint Mobile. The former is now part of Diageo brands and I hope their ads continue to be fun. Mint Mobile’s latest is creating a buzz as it brings back actor Rick Moranis known for ‘Honey, I shrunk the kids’ and brilliantly ties it up with the product announcement: a feature that has taken them ‘too long to be without’ – unlimited plans.

Citroën: creator of comfort

Automobile ads are perhaps the toughest category to work on and standing out in the sea of sameness is extremely tough. In that context, a series of short animation films which tell mini stories of Citroën through the ages is charming. The ads are anchored strongly on product features such as suspension system and so on.

Agency: Havas London



Ouigo: Traffic Jan

It is said that a brand’s competition is not always another brand in the same category. Ouigo, a French high-speed train service has taken on commuting by road as its competition to promote its new Paris-Lyon line the pitfalls of traffic jams are dramatised in a new TV spot. I also loved the contextual use of media – a message on the back of a truck on the very same highway or ads pushed on apps such as Waze.

Agency: Rosapark

B&Q: you can do it

I love it when a higher order benefit is conveyed by a brand in a manner which feels real and relatable to the product category and the brand. B&Q is a British DIY and home improvement company and their new ad is anchored on a compelling, inspirational thought:

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.

Agency: Uncommon

The montage of real life visuals feels just right and is a departure from beautifully crafted homes which we see ever so often on Instagram.

National Trust: everyone needs nature

As Europe’s largest conservation charity, National Trust, UK – a 125 year old brand, aims to look after nature, beauty and history. They have launched an ‘appeal to raise awareness of how connection to nature enriches lives and how vital it is to preserve and protect nature and wildlife, and to raise funds for nature conservation’. Over the past few months, many have begun to reassess their priorities and are inclined to change their lifestyle for the good. There is an urge to be more mindful and devote more ‘me time’ and lead a balanced life. In that context, this appeal – which aim is to seek donations is likely to strike a chord.

The ads are simple vignettes of the outdoors with no other distraction – no preachy voice over or stirring music. I think this stark, simple approach with a strong call to action – to visit the website is compelling.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

Aside from ads, the campaign features tips on places to visit and content such as weekly guide to ‘noticing nature’. Loved it.

Persil: Real Change

‘Dirt is good’ would easily rank among the best laddering of a brand benefit as it provides a creative, intriguing summation of the brand benefit. Unilever, its parent company has also committed that in the future, ‘every Unilever brand will be a brand with purpose‘. In that context, ‘Dirt is good’ was not seen as adding value and hence a new platform ‘Real Change’ has been announced.

It essentially moves from showing individual kids benefitting from getting dirty playing in the outdoors to showcasing how kids ‘now want a voice and contribute to the world and society in general’. It also linked to the parent company’s ‘Clean Future’ program by making the Persil bottles 100% recyclable and made with 50% recycled plastic.

Agency: MullenLowe Group, UK

Discover Northern Ireland: A small step to a Giant Adventure

When many consumers are hesitant to invest in a vacation nowadays, an ad from Discover Northern Ireland urges consumers with ‘It’s just a small step away’.

Agency: BBDO

IKEA: Bottles

A smart, visually compelling way to communicate that some of IKEA’s products are now made from recycled plastic bottles – one lonely bottle’s journey from trash to beautiful curtains.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Shanghai

Correio da Bahia: wrong place

A show stopper of a print campaign which brings into focus how wearing a mask incorrectly is a health risk in these times. Since most of those wear it incorrectly dangle it just to cover their mouth, placing the body parts incorrectly drives home the point. The ads were created by Correio da Bahia, a newspaper in Brazil.

Agency: Propeg

Clue: the tampon bus

Clue is an app which helps women track their periods. By using a bus panel for an advert, a clever connect is made to ‘know when it’s coming’ as public transport follows a fairly predictable timing in European cities – great use of the outdoor medium.

Agency: Mensch

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.