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It's all about the work and Creative Choice is where we send in the pros to critique the latest offerings from ad land.
Loud creative Kiah Barker and SapientNitro Melbourne associate CD Chris Shoolman take on the challenge for this week's Creative Choice, putting their creative eye to work from Pedigree, Headspace, Samsung, Airbnb, Reebok and the NRMA.
First up - a few words from the creatives themselves:
Long-form is a luxury not many brands can afford. Given audiences’ supposedly minuscule attention spans, ideas must be strong, execution engaging, offering genuine value and a rewarding experience.
With Cannes around the corner, I expected a little more, sadly I was left disappointed. Now I’ve got an earworm of a song about road safety drilling into my head and I’m still trying to figure out why I want my heart rate to be the same as my dog’s.
1. Hearts aligned - Pedigree by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
KB: Lovely sentiment about dogs bringing out the best in us, with Pedigree taking the high ground. This is a brand that does this well and it’s something we should applaud. In terms of the execution, it’s a wonderful content piece, but at certain points it failed to be genuine when the technology story was introduced. I also would have liked to have seen the new news be delivered earlier. Interesting strategy and an all round nice job for the category, celebrating the benefits of owning a dog as opposed to focusing on dog food and its health benefits.
CS: Hashtag – tick, sciencey stuff – tick, crying – tick, cute dogs – tick. This is going to be one hell of a case study, I can just feel it. Unfortunately, the whole campaign lacks insight. Dogs are good for you? Let’s prove it with science. It’s just not enough for me. I like not having heart attacks and dogs are great, but I felt a bit empty after watching this. I’m not sure Joe Average is going to buy it either, or buy a dog and then buy Pedigree dog food because of it.
2. Hearing what goes unsaid - Headspace by The Glue Society
KB: A great ad aimed to help open up the mental health conversation between father and son with a powerful insight that young men often use technology to communicate and be heard. This takes the daunting prospect of having a discussion face to face and puts it into real perspective. Nice camera technique shooting the young man from above to create a sense of disconnection. I’d like to see how this idea extends into other media.
CS: Hearing what goes unsaid: This was one of a few winners for me out of this week’s ads. A great insight around how dudes don’t like to talk to each other was executed really well. Beautifully shot and the story was beautifully told. The kid delivering the message through the TV was a little clunky, but I get where they’re coming from. Will it make dads talk to their sons about feelings? I don’t know, it’s a tough one.
3. Family hub: Inside the fridge - Samsung by R/GA
KB: The animated produce in the fridge technique is a welltrodden path, however, I loved this piece. And with almost four million views, I’m clearly not alone. The anthropomorphic nature brings it all to life for me, making me really think differently about my fridge. The brand and product placement didn’t get in the way of the story-telling and it kept me engaged the whole way through. It’s fresh (pardon the pun), it’s charming, it’s Fridge Tinder.
CS: This was cute and funny. All the little character developments of what food would be like if it was alive really brought the story to life. But it’s a tough sell, a really tough sell. I can’t see myself parting with $7500 for a fridge just so I can check on my phone if I’ve run out of milk. Smart everything is coming, but until it’s cheaper and does stuff that’s actually useful, these sorts of products will only appeal to a limited few.
4. Don't go there. Live there - Airbnb by TBWA\Chiat\Day
KB: This ad truly reflects a wonderful insight. Having used Airbnb multiple times overseas, the idea ‘Don’t Go There, Live There’ really resonates with me. I watched it, I critiqued it and then I went straight onto the site to book my next holiday.
CS: This is my pick of the week. A really nice insight, executed well. Experiencing a city rather than just visiting it is what separates Airbnb from hotels. It’s also why the brand is doing so well. So hats off to the creatives who didn’t over-complicate this message and deliver it in a compelling way. Double hats off for also including a giant hairy camel in the ad – something I’m still yet to achieve in my career.
5. 29915 days - Reebok by Venables Bell & Partners
KB: Beautifully shot piece of work honouring the body you’ve been given through a commitment to physicality. It is Reebok after all, so I would expect it to promote exercise. Unlike the Pedigree spot where they it the high ground, these guys tried, but it fell a bit short. They haven’t quite got there. Great track, I am a huge fan of the agency’s work, but I feel the spot relies heavily on the song. I applaud that the number three brand in this category is trying to find a point of difference; at least they’re trying to find a new way in.
CS: A nice budget for a big brand meant that this was always going to look great and it does. The continuity of the casting is outstanding, however it didn’t really make me feel much. Until I calculated how many days I had left and I realised that I only had 16,084. Then I felt something – depressed. I’m going to need to have a thorough read of the strategy deck before I can be convinced that counting down the days until I die is good motivation to go running, oh and to buy Reebok shoes.
6. Roadwave - NRMA by Infinity Squared
KB: Ah I can see the brief now … give me a road rage version of ‘Dumb Ways to Die’. However, the difference of 127,747,874 views speaks louder than words. I’d like to give the creative the benefit of the doubt that they’ve tried. Looking at the Family Guy-style of animation I’m sure they wanted to push this tonally, but it seems as though they’ve been held back.
CS: I loved the Beavis and Butt-Headstyle animation in this, but sadly, that’s where my love affair with this film ended. I’m just not sure why this was even made. Did anyone stop and ask each other why we needed a two and a half-minute song about not being a dick on the road? And now that we’ve got it, what we’re going to do with it? Because it’s certainly not going to stop me yelling profanities the next time someone cuts me off.
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