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High Five: Heart-Centred Ads That Hit the Sweet Spot


Executive producer at By Association, Katherine Croft, keeps our feet on the ground with five powerful campaigns

High Five: Heart-Centred Ads That Hit the Sweet Spot

This is a selection of heart-centred ads that vary from the recognisable big brand to the international public service ad. These favourite pieces from the last couple of years demonstrate that by being clever and unexpected, we can start to see the 'why' of a brand or company...

Samsung - 'The Spider and the Window'

Agency: Leo Burnett Frankfurt
Production: Zauberberg x The Mill Berlin
Director: Dorian&Daniel
Post: The Mill Berlin

This sweet spot pulls us through a universal emotional journey that effectively conveys the beauty of the Samsung phone through the lens of an enamoured spider. The VFX is as well done as any Pixar short could be, and it feels like a complete story that we get to follow along with. We hope for the spider, we feel sad for the spider, we rejoice when the spider gets what they want with the new phone 'sleeping' nearby. It’s very human, with a great song choice to accompany it.

Airbnb - 'Strangers'

Director: Kim Gehrig

I love the extended cut of this piece. It disrupts our normal ad experience by starting like a traditional horror: the monsters approach, the familiar sound elements, the dragging nail - but then quickly turns into a sweet family vacation. With no words and non-human characters, we are able to understand the universal feeling of being nervous when you enter a new unfamiliar home, and the magic that soon happens once you settle in. It is engaging and cute, and one of my favourites for showing humanity in a non-human form.

Global Women NZ - 'Career Limiting'

Production: Passion Pictures
Director: Anna Malin Mantzaris
Sound: Liquid Studios

This is a public service ad done for New Zealand to call attention to women’s career limitations in the work space. Being stop-motion animated means that we are immediately disarmed and curious about the ridiculous things that this character is doing. She’s mischievous and disruptive - yet nothing of consequence happens - unless she were to have a baby. It is fun to watch, for a serious issue.

Oatly - 'Normalise It'

Agency: The Oatly Department of Mind Control
Production: Papaya Films x B-Reel Films
Director: Torbjorn Martin

Part-ad, part-public service announcement, the director pokes fun at how silly it is that plant-based milk is taboo in EU schools at the time of publishing these ads. Everything is always more fun when it’s a little risky - and that works well here for Oatly. It's fun to watch a teenager and her sidekick think they are doing something so dangerous with their secret Oatly-ring. It engages teens to go against the 'norm' of traditional milk options, while still being fun with a great cast, engaging setting and tracking these characters in a way that makes sense as we laugh at how ridiculous it is to be hiding something so mundane as a milk choice.

McDonald's - 'Knowing Their Order'

I am charmed by the way this Super Bowl ad for McDonald’s was approached. The filmic feeling and the framing makes much of it feel like it could be a home-video interview, with a little Cardi B thrown in. The subtlety of her addition in the second half of the spot creates space for McDonald’s to be seen as a place for everybody, not just celebrities and not just everyday people. All of the subjects speak to their partners, not themselves, which makes the human connection even more front-and-centre.

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By Association, Wed, 15 Feb 2023 12:30:03 GMT