Work of the Week: Laughter is the Best Medicine

The best creative, curated

By Elliot Leavy

On the week that started with Blue Monday — the most depressing day of the year according to some — you would have been mistaken for thinking that the creative this week would be on the more sombre side.

For several brands, however, the opposite was true. From David Schwimmer cramming himself into a salon chair, to Steps joining in on a flashmob, one word came to mind when watching work this week: fun.

This is of course, a useful tactic in advertising. At the beginning of the pandemic, Kantar found that despite the world being plunged into crisis, 75 per cent of those surveyed were open to a bit of humour in campaigns, with only the remaining 25 per cent stating that advertisers should avoid humour at the moment.

And, as next week’s Question of the Week will unveil in more detail, when times are hard, sometimes it’s best for brands to bank on humour.

The world is of course on the brink of more hard times. Society is now going to have to pay the the price of the various lockdowns, and analysts have predicted as much as 6% inflation is coming in 2022 early 2022 (with some analysts predicting this to be higher).

Of course, most of this creative was made before such announcements, but as many readers will agree, January is hardly what many would call a joyful month (a quick peruse of Google will show that this is a sentiment well shared across the Western world). Which in part explains why we are seeing a flurry of humorous spots released now.

With that in mind, cheer yourself up with our members work below now, safe in the knowledge that there is probably plenty more fun on the horizon.

"The Noughties Just Got an Upgrade", O2 and VCCP London

Forget all that Blue Monday talk, Steps are here with a revamped version of their noughties classic, "A Deeper Shade of Blue" to help O2 sell its new smartphone flip-phone.

Nostalgia has always been a great shorthand for brands who want to resonate with existing audiences. This can sometimes be played out and seem lazy, but when it hits the right notes and makes sense — this spot being about the resurgence of the noughties flip-phone classic — it always lands well.

"Savings That Sneak Up On You", TSB and McCann London

David Schwimmer returns to show TSB customers how savings can sneak up on them — quite literally.

The work is Schwimmer's second outing as brand ambassador for the bank, and leans into that goofy-awkwardness that only Ross from Friends can achieve.

"Eat, Play, Love", Ella's Kitchen and Havas London

Flipping the perennial telling of kids not to play with their food on its head, this spot for Ella's Kitchen by Havas London is a great example of taking a dated message and making it your own.

The work centres on a bunch of kids being a bit miffed by an installation of fruit and vegetables telling them not to play with their food, fortunately for them, they can't read — so it is dutifully ignored.

"Get A Lending Hand", Funding Circle and Atomic London

How do you advertise something as dull as a SME loan platform? Simple — by making it as bonkers as hell.

This spot by Atomic London uses strange little purple hands to illustrate the levity Funding Circle brings to its customer base. Weird and wonderful.

"The Marketplace", Samsung and BBH London

BBH London has a long history of illustrating the feeling that gaming brings its fans and this creative for Samsung is no different.

As the world dives headfirst into the metaverse, expect more brands advertising their technological prowess, as they vie to be the gateway of choice into these new worlds.

In the dreary month of January, an action-packed spot like this is just what you need to remind yourself that there is still some fun to be had.


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