The month’s best UK advertising is an undeniable wave of positivity and Alex Reeves is riding that with glee
Refreshment, empathy, victory, optimism, satisfaction. These are the feelings that the best advertising in the UK is hitting us with this month. We’ve all been there, we all want to get there again, and the teams who made these campaigns are reminding us of how we might do that. This month’s High Five UK picks are relentlessly positive, so if that’s what you need right now, strap in.
Coors Light - Fresh Climb
I’m sure Don Draper made a rousing speech in some Mad Men episode once along the lines of “we’re not selling a product; we’re selling a feeling”. I bet it’s also been trotted out in pitches since the earliest days of advertising. But sometimes things are cliches because they’re true. Coors Light’s UK advertising has been selling the undiluted feeling of ice cold refreshment consistently for years, assisted (to varying degrees of success) by Jean Claude van Damme in his own unique idiom. Having taken over the account recently, Havas London chose to keep the best bits of this approach - the ice-capped Coors mountain, the zany tone - without the help of Belgium’s biggest action star. The result looks like a feeling I’d be happy to pay for.
Department for Transport - It’s Everyone’s Journey
As a cynical Brit, and a grumpy Londoner at that, I feel like VMLY&R has done something nigh-on impossible here. Because this campaign has convinced me that the usual London public transport mode of silent urban solitude isn’t always the best way to behave. Based on research that indicates one in four disabled Britains say negative attitudes from other passengers prevent them from using public transport, this adorable and exquisitely crafted films, courtesy of Nexus’ Smith & Foulkes, shows how we can all play a part in making a more inclusive transport system for everyone. Consider my London grumpiness cured.
NatWest - This Is How We Do It
Forgive me for getting autobiographical again here, but this ad speaks to me on a personal level. As a teenager, my weekends were largely dominated by manning the checkouts at a hardware shop in my hometown. Monotonous. The best moments of respite came in the form of elderly customers who needed help carrying their heavy garden furniture or Christmas trees to their cars. I’d turn on my charm, make sure my chat was at its best and if I left them a satisfied customer I’d be rewarded with the shiny pound coin from the trolley. Granted, I never had the swagger of this girl, as brought to life by The&Partnership London and The Bobbsey Twins From Homicide, but I identify with the joy of an unexpected coin this little girl is experiencing. And I think that’s the brilliance of this campaign - we probably all do.
Three - Real 5G
Three’s brand, thanks to the excellent work Wieden+Kennedy’s been doing with the mobile network for almost a decade, has been full of joy for quite some time. But in a Britain that’s currently a little apprehensive about what the future holds, the unbridled positivity of its future vision for the country is particularly reassuring. Layer on top of that all the many kinds of craft that went into the overwhelming three-minute epic, with the undeniable skills of director Ian Pons Jewell tying it all together. It’s something special. Is this the exciting direction the UK is heading in? I want to believe it is.
wagamama - bowl to soul
Want to know something else that speaks to me? Noodles. In some situations, you’ve just got to hunch over a steaming bowl, up sticks and welcome the nourishment it brings. And oftentimes, pan-Asian restaurant chain wagamama is right there for you in that regard. This sumptuous campaign from MullenLowe London and Passion Animation director Mads Broni harnesses the power of anime to utterly capture that feeling. The spot is called ‘bowl to soul’. Nailed it.