In the spirit of celebrating stuff that is pretty good, here's some ads that might not make any award shows but are still tight.
This ANZ pre-roll
Everyone hates pre-rolls: those six second ads that run right before an online video starts playing. People hate making them, people hate watching them. So often they just end up being nonsensical cut downs of the TV ad. When they are good it's usually because someone has taken the time to think about how to do something clever with the medium.
The ANZ Bank has been running a bunch of pre-rolls that involve Dylan Alcott slowly being approached by a variety of apex predators. Sharks and big cats stalk towards him while he BEGS you to press the skip button. There's no stats but we can all guess that the audience's innate Schadenfreude kept most from "saving" Dylan by skipping. This is more than a cheap trick to game Google ad stats though—it also demands the viewers attention in an interesting way. The strong blue ANZ branding does the rest.
Sidenote: you might be wondering who Dylan Alcott is and why he's in a wheelchair. Well he's ANZ's current big ambassador—a Paralympian and motivational speaker. ANZ took the unusual route of not making his disability the center of the ad campaign. Instead, he's used like any other talent would be. Banks have their own issues, but it's refreshing to see marketers consciously wield their social influence.
Remedy Kombucha boxing clever
God dammit I confess. I fricking love Kombucha. Where do I hand in my punk card? We've seen a few challenger brands embrace their edgy side. And Remedy definitely fits that mould by telling sugar to "get FRUCT".
Yeaaaah maybe KFC already did the F word better with "Bucket. Why not?" but there are two different strategies at play. KFC is trying to convince people to "live a little" by eating the sort of greasy food that has really fallen out of fashion. Whereas Remedy are showing off their unique selling proposition vs sugary soft drinks in a bold way.
Remedy have slowly but surely been building a cheeky brand image that goes beyond just wellness. Last year they did a sponsored piece with youth/millennial publication Pedestrian, which poked fun at the kinds of people who typically drink the beverage.
Dolce & Gabbana partnering with Emilia Clarke isn't even terrible
Here's why this is a good execution of a pretty standard marketing approach. Haute couture makes a large chunk of its money from accessories and perfume—not from show pieces. Even a relatively poor worker can be hoodwinked into dropping a few hundred bucks on a bottle of perfume. Ninethousand dollar dresses? Not so much. And what is more appealing to poor workers than Game of Thrones right now?
Everyone and their dog recognises Khaleesi and her blonde wig! According to D&G, The Only One is their "new floral fragrance that captures the essence of sophisticated and hypnotizing femininity." Say what you will... Clarke's Daenerys 100% embodies those qualities in today's pop culture.
Then you have the issue that D&G probably couldn't make any sort of reference to Game of Thrones whatsoever. That's the big challenge here. How do we leverage Daenerys without saying anything about queens and dragons? D&G just kept it simple. They made sure that brunette Emilia went with her signature blonde hair and they wrote "The Only One" on the poster. You don't really have to say anything else.
I found the ad where Emilia Clarke sings a little more cringe.
But that's the point. It doesn't matter. It's not for me.
Sidenote: seeing as, we're talking about D&G it would be remiss to not mention their recent China racism controversy. Quoting Vox:
"The Dolce & Gabbana trouble began with a series of Instagram ad campaigns released this week in which a female Chinese model attempts to eat various Italian dishes with chopsticks. In one involving cannoli, the male narrator asks in Mandarin, “Is it too huge for you?”
Gross. At least this time they stuck to a fictional white savior...