This Week’s Creative Highlights: August 13th
It might be the 13th but nothing can beat that Friday feeling on a hot afternoon in mid-August. I watched The Perseid meteor shower peak last night and today I am injected with an extra shot of motivation and positivity. And here I am, summarising the past few days’ creative highlights before I indulge in my weekend activities.
Droga5 Strikes Again
As I was scrolling down my LinkedIn feed, I encountered a video posted by Droga5. While the impact of the ad is strengthened by dramatic and suspenseful background music, the plot voiced over with lines from Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant, follows the daily routine of a young working man. He wakes up, works out, goes to work, and then works out again in the gym. Sounds like most people’s day-to-day, right?
The focus here is shifted on the painful repetitiveness and dullness of the character’s daily routine, while he is continuously drowning ever deeper in the corporate world. He is emotionless and melancholic. There are no other people around him which creates a strong feeling of loneliness and hopelessness. The colours are dark and cold which suggests that the character might be struggling with his mental health.
I was intrigued to see that the plot twist was caused by a hummingbird, which was locked up in the room and was frantically trying to escape through the window. In fact, I think that the hummingbird is a reflection of the character. When the man finds the exhausted bird lying on the floor, he finally finds himself, he finds hope and this is the climax of the narrative. From then on colour, joy and hope are brought back to his world.
The character’s transformation is specifically portrayed in the way he changes his workout routine by replacing the dark space of the gym with yoga practice in the great outdoors. Through this act, he manages to reach a state of inner well-being.
It was hard to guess what that advertisement was about until I saw lululemon’s logo. Feel — the name of the athletic apparel brand’s largest global advertising campaign designed by Droga5. The central message of the campaign is not just “we sell workout clothes”. It is the significance of feeling well and being well.
Having in mind the language lululemon uses to communicate its products, the name of the campaign only makes more sense:
When you feel your best, you perform your best. — lululemon
Apart from a strategy to raise awareness and reach a wider audience, I see this ad as something more. I see it as a powerful message to the people who are stuck in a never-ending and mentally draining loop. It’s a metaphor for how a single decision can change your life and state of mind, and show you a new perspective.
Long story short, it’s a great and unpredictable choice of narrative that also brings a taste of surprise. A video that makes it hard to guess the brand at first but catches your attention from the beginning until the end, and delivers a powerful message to the audience: feeling well is a journey, and transformation starts with feeling.
Look, Mum, I’m On Top Of The World
Competitiveness is in the essence of advertising. A commercial that literally placed a woman on top of the world to put the spotlight on Emirates Airlines proved it in a beautiful way.
Emirates Airlines’ ad went viral with nearly 3 million views on YouTube, and caused some serious conversations and questions about the authenticity of the video. Seeing a flight attendant staying on top of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, smiling and holding up message boards can indeed raise some eyebrows. That’s why Emirates released a behind-the-scenes video that shows starring Nicole Smith-Ludvik’s preparation and proving that there are no special effects in the stunt.
The ad celebrates the now quarantine-free travel between the UK and UAE. I personally am a huge fan of the risky marketing stunt that is central to Emirates’ creative strategy. Going beyond the traditional marketing strategies, it has successfully generated the desired word of mouth typically associated with marketing stunts.
Looking at Emirates’ LinkedIn profile, I can conclude that they have definitely produced a worthy and shareable content with a remarkably high engagement rate. The Google Search results also prove this with news coverages going as far back as the 14th page of the search results (yes, I went that far).
Overall, Emirates pulled off this ad and it would be rude for Brits not visit Dubai this year. I wish them safe travels and we are all waiting to see what comes next. For all we know, the largest UAE airline’s next stunt could be in space.
Halsey’s Back At It
When I went to her concert in London at the beginning of March 2020, part of her Manic World Tour, Halsey announced that she will be taking a long break from performing. Little did we know about her upcoming pregnancy and the actual long break that was indeed awaiting all of us.
Last night I saw a sponsored Instagram ad about her upcoming Worldwide Digital Performance, after announcing an IMAX “film experience”. The new album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, is set to be released on August 27th as the follow-up of Halsey’s 2020 Manic album. With Manic being the artist’s autobiographical portrait, I suppose that the new album will be no different. The only difference this time is the upgraded, multifaceted large-scale marketing strategy comprising a variety of media. Halsey won’t just be promoting her album during the trailers before the film… she will be the film.
Probably one of the most emotional artists of our time, the Bad At Love singer’s art is heart-felt, touching and powerful, filled with her personal past pain, struggles, and love. You can’t not coexperience it with her…
As an appreciation for her and her upcoming album, I reminisce of the day she put on (an epic) show in London on March 8th 2020. Thanks, Halsey, and I look forward to your next world tour.
The second week of August is yet another eventful one. It’s summer holiday season but artists are taking no break because art and creative ideas can’t wait. These were just few of the events that shaped this week and I am eager to see what surprises are awaiting us in the upcoming week. Until then, enjoy the sun!