Some nice things I've seen

Episode #5

Re-naming these posts because, in all fairness, they’re better than just being ‘not shit’. And I’m probably slamming up against people’s internet filters if they’re using their work e-mails.

Great advertising is truth well told. And the brilliant simplicity of the positioning that Bear Meets Eagle On Fire and NRMA have built with this ongoing campaign is one to envy.

Over the years, insurance companies have tried to manufacture all kinds of strange reasons for being. I remember sitting there staring at my monitor in disbelief when Allianz moved agencies and dropped their enduring ‘Ahhhh-llianz’ line for ‘Don’t be insured. Be inspired.’ (At least I think that’s what it was?) Insurance is something you don’t want to use or think about until you have to. Sometimes shit happens, that’s why you have insurance. I’ve never bought insurance to ‘be inspired’ in all my life. But when a pipe bursts, I want to know I’m with someone good.

BMEOF x NRMA have beautifully captured the truth of the product in this campaign. Until x stops happening, you need us. That’s it. That’s why insurance exists. There’s no need to overcomplicated insurance beyond that. Just execute the truth in an entertaining way. Even the digital/social is lovely, yeah it’s ‘matching luggage’, but it’s a rare occasion where matching luggage is what I want to see. I would much rather have my doomscrolling interrupted with what is basically a lovely print ad, than what I generally get.

Continuing the theme of not overcomplicating things, this very weird spot from Orchard and Ocean Spray made me laugh for multiple reasons. Firstly, it’s just ridiculous. But perhaps more so, whenever I see an ad like this I just can’t help but go into a brief state of involuntary hysteria as all the 50-page strategy decks and multiple rounds of market research and behavioural psychology studies whizz past my eyelids like a near death experience. Is it all necessary? Maybe, sometimes. But is it always? Absolutely not.

It’s just fun. It’s silly. It’s entertaining. It’s cranberry juice. I couldn’t tell you the name of another brand that sells cranberry juice. All I remember is Ocean Spray. Because I remember their ads.

Here’s a turkey-sized meatball from IKEA. I don’t even know much else about it or whether there’s more of a campaign attached. I just know I saw it and laughed. Apparently they are actually going to sell these things for the holiday season. It’s great. I know there are some really buttoned-down people out there that will say ‘what’s the point? what is it selling? what’s the ROI?’, but the point is it just makes me like IKEA. And I’m someone who doesn’t. The products, I mean. I try to avoid buying flimsy, throwaway furniture. It’s not my thing. But I’m typing this right next to a set of IKEA drawers in my office because somehow I still end up there on occasion, like I’ve been sucked into some kind of hypnotic Swedish vortex. Sounds like good ROI to me. Just a consistently likeable brand.

And here they are again. This campaign came out earlier in the year, but I stumbled across it again and thought I’d share it. I love the honest, vulnerable, almost self-deprecating nature of these ads. Funnily enough, these are the kind of attributes that people find endearing about other people. Yet brands rarely position themselves in this way. It’s not uncommon for brands to project some kind of big, brash, self-important version of themselves, but if you think about a time you’ve come across those sort of attributes in another person and ask yourself ‘would I invite this person into my home?’, the answer would probably be ‘no’.

Ikea is in the background. It’s just there. It’s not that important. Everything else is. And, really, these are retail spots. Yet they still have an insight, there’s still an idea, they still strengthen the brand, and they still sell. Further proof that retail can still do all of this, so any time it doesn’t is a bit lazy.

Lastly, I enjoyed all the little truths in this spot. Similarly to Ikea, this Macca’s spot just holds a mirror up to us, rather than attempt to conjure some kind of made up world that only exists in advertising land. I do all of this. I steal chips before they get to the kids. I open my mouth in hope of being regally fed. I stick my hand in the back of the car, hoping for a stray chippie or nugget. I believe that ‘whoever drives picks the tunes’. There’s just so many relatable little moments in here, and the best bit is, they don’t feel forced. DDB Aotearoa does some of my favourite McDonald’s work anywhere in the world.


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