'The new float-it-down-the-Thames? Debatable' – Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Lewis Durkin, account director and consumer creative at Brands2Life, casts his eye over this week's creative offerings.

'The new float-it-down-the-Thames? Debatable' – Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

While No. 10 continues to generate the levels of cut-through coverage that would see many PR offices toasting their drinks on warm May evenings, it’s still been a stellar start to 2022 for creative campaigns.

Those late nights in December have paid off for a cohort of comms teams, a feeling that must have felt far, far away while in the depths of planning and production at the end of last year.

Muscling into any space, from The Telegraph to TikTok, hasn’t been easy this week – but these brands have set the pace early in the year.

HITS

Arsenal & Adidas, 'No More Red'

Praising any part of North London is an extremely uncomfortable feeling for me (as a Chelsea fan), but Arsenal’s ‘No More Red’ campaign will deservedly be littering award categories come the end of this year.

The campaign highlights that in 2021, knife crime contributed to the highest number of teenage murders on record. The launch of ‘No More Red’ was amplified through Arsenal’s first all-white kit – a design never seen before because of its associations with rivals Spurs.

It’s straight from the Paddy Power playbook, but harnessed in a way that delivers a message well beyond its stunty nature. Incorporating current and former Arsenal stars and partnering Idris Elba, it was interesting to see the campaign directly reference that getting kids playing football wasn’t going to solve knife crime alone – something implied by previous sporting campaigns.

The involvement of creative mentoring schemes, through partnerships with notable names and organisations, shows Arsenal wants to reach further than the five-a-side cages of Islington – offering platforms for all boys and girls in North London.

The Green Planet, BBC Creative

There’s the creeping notion among PRs on Twitter that renaming Tube stations is quickly becoming the new ‘float it down the Thames’. While that is debatable (after years of partnership rejections, can you blame brands for jumping at the opportunity now TfL requires funding?), BBC’s Green Planet takeover of Green Park Tube station certainly cannot be accused of being a lazy activation.

Coinciding with the launch on 9 January, the Attenborough-narrated series explores plants through the use of ground-breaking camera technology. There’s pressure in amplifying content that already has dazzling visuals, but it’s been nailed in this instance.

Among the creative leads was Reuben Dangoor, whose touch blossoms any campaign into a real attention-stealer. The popping visuals of ‘Welcome to the World’ and its carnivorous underwater life forms and humanoid desert cacti are enough to prick the attention of anyone on a hazy pre-9am commute.

Australian Lamb: The Lost Country of the Pacific

While the world has had a taste of Australians’ blunt assessments of Novak Djokovic this week, Australian Lamb has been hoping to serve a different flavour of Australian culture to the rest of the world.

Tapping into just how far-removed the country has felt from the rest of the world during the pandemic, it’s truly difficult to pinpoint the best part of this video promoting the quality of Australian lamb.

There are so many ‘Easter eggs’ – from the fallout between France and Australia over military submarine contracts to the jibe at the space obsession of ‘certain’ billionaires – that you feel yourself rewatching to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

It looks like New Zealand Lamb is going to have to up its game.

MISS

Ovo Energys energy-saving tips

There’s a certain guilt to including this, as the ill-fated blog post was obviously well-intentioned and aimed to offer genuine advice. Ovo set out to offer customers tips on keeping warm and saving money, but suggestions such as doing star jumps and cuddling your pet during the winter months were well wide of the mark on such a sensitive issue.

With energy prices soaring and having the biggest impact on those already struggling financially, it seems like another layer of approvals, rather than advice on another layer of clothing, wouldn’t have gone amiss here.

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