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High Five: Unexpected Twists That Make You Feel


Senior creative at Ogilvy, Joyce Kremer, explores ads with unexpected endings that got her emotions into a twist

High Five: Unexpected Twists That Make You Feel

For years, great twists have been crucial in advertising. However, with social media coming into play, brands have been brainwashed into thinking their logo or product should be in frame in the first three seconds. But a great insight combined with an unexpected brand twist can make for some of the most memorable adverts in history - and no, they aren’t told in the first three seconds. They are beautifully crafted stories with penny drop moments that you don’t see coming. But when they do reveal themselves, they can make you think, laugh, cry - even question things...

Donate Life - 'The World’s Biggest Asshole'

Agency: The Martin Agency
Production: Furlined x LoveChild
Director: Speck and Gordon
Post: Cut & Run x The Mill
Sound: Lime Studios x Duotone

When you think of organ donation, you don’t instantly think “Oh signing up is a way to make up for all the bad stuff I’ve done in my life” - yet this seems to be exactly the type of thinking that works on the human brain. We’ve all done some bad stuff - hopefully not as bad as Coleman Sweeney though - so it’s nice to know we can still redeem ourselves by signing up for organ donation. It’s unexpected for Coleman to turn into a hero, which makes this twist great. And to be completely transparent, yes, I did check if I was an organ donor after seeing this.

Volkswagen - 'Dog'

Agency: DDB Amsterdam
Production: CZAR
Director: Mattias Schut
Post: Hectic Electric x Kapsalon

The storytelling is on point. It’s funny and awkward at the same time. The twist of the dog being so impressed with the car that he wants to be one is just brilliant, and the moment you realise it, it gets topped off with the pillow hitting him on the head. It’s a penny drop moment with an extra layer of fun. 

EDEKA - 'Coming Home'

Agency: Jung von Matt
Director: Alex Feil
Post: Tempomedia Filmproduktion
Sound: Supreme Music 

Is this advert moral? No. But it sure does hit home. We all are so busy with our own lives that we forget about what’s important. This ad seems to hit a sweet spot between an authentic and relatable truth and the most dramatic way to tell this story. In fact, this ad made it almost impossible to say no to seeing your family at Christmas. A powerful advert from a supermarket brand which is all about sharing food, and good times.

Centraal Beheer Achmea - 'Lion'

Agency: DDB Amsterdam

It all starts off very wholesome. A day in a drive through a safari park, but ending in a slightly gruesome reveal. Yep, that’s 100% something for an insurance company. I love the craft that went into this commercial. When you watch it again you can actually see the lion’s reflection in the window of the car before they reveal he’s on the roof. This advert gives you two twists - one when you first see the lion on the roof, and the second when the garage doors close. This, in combination with a wholesome family song, is just perfection for me. I remember seeing this advert in 2004 and it’s one of the reasons I fell in love with advertising. Re-watching it made me realise we need more of these light-hearted pieces that make you feel something.

“Even Apeldoorn bellen” is the catchphrase of a well-known Dutch insurance company, who are located in Apeldoorn. It’s loosely translated to "Just call Apeldoorn".

IKEA - 'Lamp'

Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
Production: Morton / Jankel / Zander
Director: Spike Jonze
Post: Spot Welders
Sound: MIT Out Sound

IKEA hits the nail on the head here. It really dramatised the way we feel about products when we need to get rid of them to the max, but then brought us back to reality...besides the environmental impact, of course. The way the twist comes in is just so abrupt, and truly is one of the most unexpected ones out there. It does make you want to start a spring clean and maybe get rid of some of the stuff that you don’t love anymore but are still holding onto.

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Ogilvy UK, Wed, 22 Mar 2023 12:30:05 GMT