By The Drum Team, Editorial

September 1, 2021 | 5 min read

After a busy month in creative, The Drum rounds up the best ads that arrived in August.

While August is historically adland’s quietest month, this didn’t reflect on the creative news that surfaced, from a mysterious Hollywood-style sign in Wrexham to epic movie trailers starring Zac Efron and Jessica Alba to promote Dubai.

After years of relative obscurity, the Welsh town of Wrexham just can’t stay out of the news. First, A-list actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought its football club, then a mysterious Hollywood-style sign turned up overnight on the hill above the town. Obviously, the culprits were Wrexham AFC’s new owners... surely?

Low and behold, it turns out the stunt didn’t have the actors’ names on it. Rather, it was a clever tactic played by the Vanarama National League to capitalize on the moment of global attention. Created by Dark Horses, one day before the first game of the English football league a banner appeared above the sign promoting it.


Switching up careers, Serena Williams has turned her hand to vigilantism as Wonder Woman in an ad for DirecTV. Traveling back to the 80s, Williams is seen taking on out-of-control tennis bots while wielding a souped-up tennis racket. They stand no chance of survival.

We also see former tennis pro John McEnroe in a less-than-glamorous role after his tennis whites are soiled by ketchup from an exploding tennis ball machine. Devised by TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, this mash-up is just the start to future genre collisions, with Williams contracted to appear as other film favorites.

Serena WW84

With the Olympics over for another Games, the Paralympics is now under way. As the UK Paralympics broadcaster, Channel 4 got busy drumming up attention with a smart outdoor and print campaign. Plastered in bright colors, one of the posters was a twist on the social etiquette children learn from a young age – that it’s rude to stare – as the copy tells them to do the opposite.

Every four years (or even five) the Paralympics offers an opportunity to talk about disability. Following on from Channel 4’s progressive work in this area, the International Paralympic Committee and the World Health Organization worked with Adam & Eve DDB on #Wethe15, a campaign referencing the 15% of the global population who are disabled.

OOH ad

Launched this month, #Wethe15 is a decade-long drive to improve the lives of 1.2 billion disabled people. Billed as the world’s biggest inclusivity movement for people with disabilities, the genesis of the campaign came from a recognition that while strides have been made in representation, disabled people are still marginalized.

After 18 months (and counting) where movement has been restricted, how do you encourage tourists to choose your city for their next break – especially as the Covid-19 pandemic still rages on? Well, you enlist the help of actors Zac Efron and Jessica Alba, as well as director Craig Gillespie – most recently lauded for Disney’s Cruella remake.

The campaign includes six films, of which two have been released by Dubai Tourism so far. Created by Mother, the first is filmed in the style of a classic spy action thriller, featuring dramatic espionage-style sequences. The next installment borrows from the school of Wes Anderson. Building on the popular appeal of romcoms, Anderson fans recognize the trailer’s familiar color palette, retro aesthetics and soundtrack.

Dubai Presents

Most football fans have a random song attributed to their team, such as the English national team and Sweet Caroline, or Liverpool FC’s You’ll Never Walk Alone. For AFC Ajax, its association with Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds hails back to a pre-season friendly in Cardiff when the song came on the sound system as they waited to leave, with the moment prompting away fans to embrace the pure and true melody as their anthem.

This is why the iconic song is the inspiration behind Ajax’s third kit. To commemorate the black kit, which features red, yellow and green details and three birds below the collar, the team and its shirt sponsor Adidas have released a campaign called ’Don’t Worry About a Thing’.

AFC Ajax

For more creative news, please visit The Drum’s new creativity hub on the website or drop in at The Drum’s Creative Works – the home of creative from all around the globe. You can also subscribe to The Drum’s creative newsletter or browse our round-up here.

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