Work of the Week: Friction

The best creative, curated

By Elliot Leavy

This week, the various works showcased on Creative Salon raise questions about how far brands should go when it comes to frictionless service – as in delivering an easy, hassle-free customer experience.

Mother’s first work for Trainline pokes fun at how dismal ordering train tickets can be: “I like complicated and expensive,” cries the protagonist of the film, while his hopeless partner attempts to coax him into going the simpler way.

Amazon’s Super Bowl campaign from Lucky Generals goes a step further by asking what life would be like if Alexa was telepathic.

The results are as expected, with Scarlett Johansson and husband Colin Jost getting into various situations where it’s best not to know what someone else is thinking.

So who is correct? Is being seamless the way to go in order to avoid complicated situations? Or, as the Alexa spot hints at, can it go too far and just end up creepy?

It seems that the dialogue around seamless experiences is changing. Some of the strategy chiefs we’ve been talking to recently say brands excel by delivering frictionless or memorable customer experiences but not both – the choice is between delivering an easy, hassle-free customer experience versus identifying areas within the customer journey where it is actively useful for the brand to be felt in some shape or form.

Of course, an element of this is advertising coming full circle, with rules of the physical – stand out, zig and zag, and the like – coming into play in the ever-evolving world of UX.

More on that in the coming weeks. For now take a look at some of this week’s latest work.

Skatergirl’, Virgin Media and adam&eveDDB

This campaign for Virgin Media is all about the powers of connectivity, telling a tale of perseverance galvanised by online community. Incidentally, the work introduces “We’re better, connected” as an endline shared with O2 to reflect the shared purpose of both brands as the recently created VMO2.

Shoe’, Trainline and Mother

How do you advertise something as dull as a railcard? That was the problem for Trainline which resulted in this ironic and irreverent spot by Mother as the antidote.

Crunchlets’, Mini Cheddars and TBWA\London

A new product needs a new origin story and that is exactly what TBWA\London conceived with this animated spot for Mini Cheddars, in which the story of cheese in peril is told in graphic style.

Change Your Cheese, Change Your Planet’, Violife and VCCP London

It’s 2022 but still there are those who don’t understand the world of vegan alternatives out there to help offset their carbon footprint. This spot by VCCP London for dairy-free brand Violife cleverly shifts the word cheese out of some of the classics. Instead of ‘cheesecake’, it’s ‘changecake’, instead of ‘nachos with cheese’ its ‘nachos with change’, and so forth. In any case, this 40-second film not only showcases the plethora of what’s on offer, but also hammers home the simplicity in changing your cheese.

Mind Reader’, Amazon and Lucky Generals

That feeling that all your digital assistants are listening to you all the time? Let’s take that feeling one step further. This spot by Lucky Generals for Amazon puts a playful human twist on a concern of the technological times we live in.

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