MercerBell creative group head, Liz Kain, probably didn’t mean to underline the power of emotion in advertising with her three ads that wowed, but she has. She has also chosen one TVC, one piece of branded content and a print (plus social & OOH) campaign. Nice to see print get a look in. That print campaign does wow – violent images that tell real life stories instantly. Clemenger BBDO Wellington knows how to get inside the heads of young men. Westpac’s Ari struck me too. I thought it was because I’m divorced. The financial part of divorcing is a nightmare from which few emerge unscathed. Most people know this, divorced or not. The brilliance of the campaign comes first for me in seizing the opportunity that no one else had thought of. The second is finding a credible reason to present a big four bank as friendly at a time when “friendly” and “bank” repel each other.
Here are the three ads that wowed Liz Kain this month:
- Ari: Westpac & DDB Sydney
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a TVC in Australia that really pulls at the heartstrings. But Westpac’s Ari, about financial help for families going through a separation, is an emotional stand-out. So many elements have been expertly handled to make this an insight-led hit, rather than an overly sentimental miss. Minimalist snippets of dialogue capture the tension between mum and dad. Understated acting nails the confusion of the child, the love of the parents and everyone’s feelings of uncertainty. And the track has been expertly chosen/crafted to create stillness in the midst of TV noise. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s only a subtle reference in the story to the product, which does everybody justice – especially the audience.
2. Bertha Benz: The Journey That Changed Everything: Mercedez-Benz & Antoni Garage
In 1888, Karl Benz had built the first car, but he didn’t believe it was ready for the road. His wife, Bertha, disagreed, so she took the car without telling him and drove to her parents’ place, 106km away. The journey took her 12 hours and a mechanical breakdown to complete.
I had actually heard this story before, but I’d never seen it told this way.
So for me, this was an incredible example of the power of storytelling.
(And also a big budget.)
3. Belted Survivors, Print: New Zealand Transport Agency & Clemenger BBDO Wellington
As someone who cut her creative teeth on road safety advertising in New Zealand, I’m always interested in safe driving campaigns. The psychology of behaviour change is always complex, but especially with road safety. (Hands up anyone who considers themselves a dangerous driver?) It’s also tough to achieve graphic cut-through, without people disassociating from the message. So I was impressed at the insight-led creative for this campaign from Clems BBDO Wellington, using real survivors.
30% of people in New Zealand who die in car accidents could have survived had they been wearing a seatbelt. Young rural males make up the majority of these fatalities, because they see seatbelts as an unnecessary accessory. As the creative team says, “This campaign flips a sign of weakness into a symbol of survival, turning the marks left behind by seatbelts in a crash, into a badge of honour. One that’s proudly worn by the real people who survived because of it.”