'Nicely done, but I won’t be trying any' – Creative Hits and Misses of the Week

Splendid Communications creative lead and associate director Fran Langdon scrutinises the week’s creative offerings.

'Nicely done, but I won’t be trying any' – Creative Hits and Misses of the Week

Time to turn the page over on that Crufts wall calendar your mum bought you – it’s officially December and clearly the world of comms is winding down for Christmas. In what was a relatively quiet week for soft news, a few campaigns have shone through, perhaps even more brightly than they would have otherwise done.

HITS

Visit Sweden reclaims IKEA product names

We’re used to seeing clever campaigns and collabs from furniture giant and Swedish export IKEA, but rarely is it on the back foot. I just love this campaign from Visit Sweden, which is on a mission to spotlight its beautiful country by highlighting the fact that many of IKEA’s product names aren’t made up, as people might assume – in fact, they’re ‘borrowed’ from beautiful tourist hotspots or words for its landscape. My favourite is an ad of a loo brush called Bolmen placed alongside its namesake picture-postcard Swedish lake. Simple, funny, powerful and makes me want to visit. A great example of advertising that’s primed for cultural impact.

Heinz x Terry’s Chocolate Orange

I have to hand it to Heinz and Terry’s. They’ve followed a time-honoured formula and it has worked. Two iconic brands with serious equity pairing up in an unexpected and disruptive way to make a product that’s about as divisive (and therefore talkable) as it comes. It’s a straight-up brand partnership done well. And the amount of coverage it has delivered is testament to that… particularly given there are only 200 jars in existence and you must sign up to ‘win’ one.

Does it do food quality? No. Does it deliver talkability for Terry’s in a key seasonal sales window, and for Heinz when no one is normally talking about mayo? Yes. Nicely done, but I won’t be trying any. I guess that’s the point.

MISSES

John Lewis x Fortnite

On the theme of partnerships, John Lewis’ new one with Fortnite and ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! is a little baffling to me. For a start, the brands don’t seem to match; John Lewis snuggling up to Fortnite feels a little bit like your nan hearing grey is cool and painting the whole of her bungalow in it. My second issue is that John Lewis – which is presumably bankrolling the campaign – feels like the third wheel on a date. The I’m a Celeb Castle in Fortnite, with trials, rewards and creepy crawlies, is an excellent idea. Where I begin to get a little lost is the ‘virtual John Lewis store’, with items for players to stock up on supplies and deck out camp. Admittedly I’m not close to the John Lewis audience-targeting strategy, but I’m just not sure what it’s doing for the brand. And that’s before I start thinking about the optics of promoting consumerism to a captive audience of players that reportedly starts at 10 years old. It just goes to show that when brands get in bed together, it’s not a given that the equity transfer flows smoothly.

Ministry of Fun Santa School

I’ll admit that here I am… talking about an entertainment production agency… so it has clearly worked. But Ministry of Fun’s somewhat one-dimensional picture story this week to promote the reconvening of ‘Santa School’ just made me think: what year is it? Perhaps I’m just being a Scrooge.

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