Stress and anxiety is rife but the month’s best UK advertising has just the thing for that, writes LBB’s Alex Reeves – in association with the APA
The best UK advertising this month paints a very clear picture of life in 2020. These brands have collectively noticed that we are all entering the year with our nervous systems completely fried. The stresses of contemporary urban life and the ever more undeniable symptoms of the environmental crisis have turned us into trembling balls of anxiety. These messages have an answer of course. Buy some good running shoes and take some time to reconnect with your body. Crank up the timeless classical hits of your favourite movies. Give what you can to help the organisations fighting for the planet’s well-being, and take some time to escape in the good old-fashioned British countryside.
adidas - Run to Reconnect
This is classic January stuff, really (“go out, get fit, this is the year you sort your life out”), but TBWA\London has injected it with a dose of timely on-trend-ness (“you know running is an act of mindfulness too”). It’s very clever. With young people’s mental health in crisis, mindfulness has risen as a cost-effective coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. And it’s hard to worry about your money troubles, relationship niggles or unmanageable to-do list when you’re just focusing on getting enough oxygen into your blood to stop you from passing out.
Classic FM - You May Not Know the Name, But You Will Know the Music
An elegant, copy-driven piece of advertising from Mr. President, this work for Britain’s leading classical music radio station works because it takes a relatable insight - we know loads more classical music than we think we do because we’ve all heard it in our favourite films - and drives that home clearly. The pared-back visuals help us to focus on the music itself and the copy is expertly constructed. Bravo, maestro.
Friends of the Earth - We’ve All Been There
Picking up on the theme of the mental health crisis we’re in the middle of, one factor playing into that narrative is ‘eco anxiety’. According to a national YouGov poll in January 2020, over 70% of the UK’s 18-24 year old population is anxious about climate change. Many are concerned that they and their local councils are not doing enough to help the environment. To reassure these people, the ‘Take Back Tomorrow’ campaign by Don’t Panic demonstrates how these feelings are normal and provides tangible actions that individuals can take. The film, directed by Stink’s Eoin Glaister, also delivers this message with knowing comedy stylings, which is refreshing amid the gloom around most environmental messaging.
Greenpeace - Turtle Journey
Also on the subject of the environment, although targeting the plague of plastic that’s being inflicted on our oceans rather than the more general message of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace’s animated ‘Turtle Journey’ takes a more traditional approach to motivating people into action - telling a sad story with some of the world’s best storytellers. Teaming up with legendary animation studio Aardman as well as a cast of Oscar winners and big-screen stars including Olivia Colman, Dame Helen Mirren and David Harbour. It’s the pinnacle of brilliant storytelling craft and it’s a total gut puncher as a result.
The National Trust - Just As Relevant
Finding yourself engaging with piles #WholesomeContent to alleviate the pain inflicted by late-stage capitalism? Considering a digital detox in the country, mindfully engaging with natural beauty? How very 2020 of you. “We all want quiet. We all want beauty. We all need space.” No that quote’s not from Marie Kondo or the monk guy who started Headspace. It’s The National Trust co-founder Octavia Hill speaking in 1883. Wieden+Kennedy London reminds us in this 125-year anniversary campaign for the charity that it’s been helping Brits with similar needs since day dot. And with minimalist visuals and crisp sound design thrown in it does it exceedingly well.