Staff Reporters
Aug 21, 2017

Private View: So much purpose, but to what purpose?

Two creatives, five campaigns, 10 unvarnished opinions on ads from Malaysia, India, China, New Zealand and Philippines.

Private View: So much purpose, but to what purpose?

In Private View, we ask two creative leaders to comment on recent work from around the region.

This month's participants:

  • Anupama Ramaswamy, executive creative director, Dentsu Impact India (left)
  • Toby Talbot, chief creative officer, Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand (right)

Opening remarks:

Ramaswamy: Advertising is no longer advertising, it seems. Few well told stories, and definitely not much craft. We have become so many other things. Are we the government? An NGO? A political party that makes a promise and then disappears? Where is the purpose? Is anyone asking these questions at all?

Talbot: If this sounds a little snarky it’s because I’ve had to write it twice — I stupidly left my first attempt on my desktop unsaved. So I have now had the dubious pleasure of rewatching this work. On the upside, I have had time to reflect and tone back my response a little.

1. Finding Home
Client: UNHCR
Agency: Grey Malaysia

Ramaswamy: Don’t have a home? Let’s find a home. It tells the same story, but this was fresh and interesting, both in medium and execution. To explain a refugee story in a way that keeps you hooked is not easy.

Talbot: I really like the intent behind this, but for one major flaw. It’s asking too much for people to actually do this. Phones are personal. We don’t want a stranger’s life on them, however noble the cause.

2. Dare to Change
Client: Acuvue
Agency: McCann Worldgroup

Ramaswamy: Lack confidence? Throw the glasses away, put on contacts, and get confidence free. It’s way too stereotypical — but hey, it must be working somewhere otherwise it would not have been made.

Talbot: Remember that great Dove campaign, ‘Beauty sketches’? Clearly the agency behind this ad did when they created a sanitised version involving two models who look good with or without glasses.

Campaign's take: Acuvue 'experiment' dares young Chinese to change

3. Magic of Moms
Client: Lotto New Zealand
Agency: DDB

Ramaswamy: Mums do not have time for lottery. Let’s push kids into buying Lotto tickets. I cannot connect the dots, no matter how hard I try. Am I missing something? The ad is quite nice, but the last slide feels like it was written for something else altogether.

Talbot: I live in New Zealand and worked at this agency on this piece of Lotto business for five happy years, but that’s not why I like this spot. They’ve taken a simple, universal truth and executed it beautifully.

Campaign coverage: Lotto New Zealand illustrates the magic of mums

4. The Amphibious Delivery by KFC
Client: KFC Philippines
Agency: Ogilvy

Ramaswamy: Flooded Philippines does not eat fast food. Let’s feed them. OK, so we fill some stomachs — then what? Do we disappear like those politicians who made false promises? Or is this CSR? What point are we making, other than the vehicle is very cute?

Talbot: My initial feeling was revulsion upon seeing a pimped-out jet ski delivering not sanitation or medicine, but buckets of KFC to the desperately poor residents of a permanently flooded Philippine town. But a week on my anger, unlike the water level of said town, has subsided a little. Now I see great accidental comedy instead.

Campaign's take: Poor residents of a flooded Philippines village need...KFC?

5. #JustLikeMaa
Client: Nivea
Agency: DigitasLBi, Mumbai

Ramaswamy: No one gives the ‘didis’ their due in India. Let’s make them feel special, lest we become like the West where there is no cheap labour. However, this story is progressive; it’s about adoption and all the people who go unnoticed in the country.

Talbot: Having judged Spikes a few times, you see a lot of work like this from India. Acknowledging mother figures is an interesting way in for Nivea but it’s let down by rather vapid and sentimental execution.

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