British advertising’s got a lot of heart right now, writes Alex Reeves - in association with the APA
Whether it's trying to make you laugh, cry or just think a little bit more about your place in society, British advertising knows exactly how to tap into the truth of human experience. The latest crop of excellent work from the UK shows that off with style - drawing on life up and down the country, finding truths that we can all relate to and turning them into powerful messages for a range of clients.
Audi - 'A Pleasure to Follow'
The new Audi R8 may be a shapely subject of desire to petrol-heads the world over, but crafting a global car ad isn’t always the most straightforward of tasks. But despite having to cater to tastes around the world, the team at BBH London have once again proven that they can strike the fine balance needed to make an ad that stands out, even captivates, in a category saturated with cliches. Awash with casting, costumes and visual gags that intrigue and beguile, director Sam Brown brings a style to the chaotic spot that makes it a worthy sequel to the brilliance of Ringan Ledwidge’s 2017 Clowns spot.
Carling - 'Black Country Fusion FC'
For me, this is what a lager brand should feel like in 2019. Following up on it’s new ‘Made Local’ positioning launched last month, with its focus on supporting people who are making things happen in their hometown, the second wave of the Havas-created campaign shines a light on a non-league, LGBTQ+ inclusive football team in the Midlands. Both the trailer and the longer documentary, shot by Stella Scott, are full of heart and humanity. But they don’t just appeal to the bleeding-heart liberal softie in me - they also appeal to the patriot in me. At a time when the UK is riven with division between affluent metropolitan bubbles and the vast swaths of country that feel left behind, to see such positive, community-minded people sharing pride in their hometowns is fantastic.
Comic Relief - 'Wise Words'
Production: Pulse Films / Wonderhood Studios
Divided Brexit Britain is more than just an undercurrent in this nuanced triumph for Comic Relief. Directed by Pulse Films director 32, it’s an understated film that aims to highlight the power of human nature and to bring out the best in the British character while the nation goes through its current turbulence. The first creative work put out by the newly-formed Wonderhood Studios is a bold statement of intent for the company. If they can maintain this calibre they’ll be a creative force to make a deep impact on the British industry.
GambleAware - 'Bet Regret'
Agency: M&C Saatchi
What intrigues me most about this trio of GambleAware ads is the tone. The subject is serious - young men who gamble often feel there are too many opportunities to bet nowadays, dragging them into a cycle of bad, impulsive decisions. But through some smart writing from M&C Saatchi and the deft filmmaking talents of Chris Palmer, the ads manage to make a joke of it without trivialising the real threat that gambling addiction poses. The flair of everyone involved in making them totally shines through.
LNER - 'Journey Home'
Production: Biscuit Filmworks
Andreas Nilsson can find the cinematic in anything and amp it up to a level of sheer joy. That’s exactly what the Biscuit Filmworks director done here, taking Anomaly’s script full of the best things about train journeys (not a common topic of conversation in a country where ‘the wrong type of sunshine’ can lead to crippling delay), and pushing it just over the line into a world that’s enchanting and fantastical, while keeping it rooted in relatable insights.