A penny for your thoughts makes it very hard to get by in this economy.
With the year 2019 turned out to be, I don’t think many minded when Christmas arrived at the earliest possible moment - November 1st the ads and supermarket packaging appeared - as a welcome distraction while the world burns around us. So let’s huddle round and roast marshmallows on the cindering remains with these, my favourite corporate manufactured emotion manipulators of the year.
A good year for Apple this Christmas on the ad front. This short film tells the story of a family going to spend Christmas with their widowed grandfather and all the bickering, laughs and tears it entails. The attention to detail is brilliant, the characters’ thoughts alluded to but unsaid, everything tying together to become important in the end and including the product as naturally and unobtrusively as possible - even the lazy parenting is understandable. And only those with black holes for hearts won’t be moved by that score from Up. I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Polar opposite from the wider brand ad, but if the brief was to show how amazing the camera on the iPhone 11 Pro is then consider me sold (metaphorically). Exciting, energetic, epic, it covers ground rarely seen in Christmas ad space by making an action sequence and putting you in the heart of it.
While the ad itself is nothing really to write home about, the means by which it was distributed, by marketing maestro Ryan Reynolds, makes it one of the year’s most memorable. Within a week of Peloton’s contentiously received offering, they sourced the actress and quickly fired out a response, which must have gained as much traction from Twitter as the original did in its whole paid for campaign (not that Peloton will be losing sleep over it, the amount of earned media over this debacle will be enormous).
For my money the funniest ad of the year. Simple premise, expertly directed to ratchet up the tension with two spot on performances. The kid, unlike so many others this year, stays the right side of precocious without becoming punchable, and ties in to the brand line of “For those who never compromise.” I still laugh every time I watch it (“Timmy… Timmy! Wh-What are we doing?”).
While the other supermarkets tried, and in my opinion failed, to out dazzle each other with big ideas and bigger budgets, Morrison’s did something completely different. They started with a well executed, if forgettable food porn ad, but then went one further when two colleagues came to them suggesting they make a film about something they do year round, giving food to a local food bank. The colleagues shot and appear in the ad, and the genuine generosity and authenticity will do more to endear them to whoever sees it (admittedly, I suspect, not many) than a CG dragon ever could.