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Creative Creative Works Ads of the Week

Best Ads of the Week: Michael Bublé’s Xmas ad-lib & Walmart’s Mean Girls Jingle Bell Rock

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By Audrey Kemp | LA reporter

November 8, 2023 | 11 min read

There’s also a pro-zombie PSA from Liquid Death & Call of Duty and Lidl’s love story involving a raccoon, a plushie monkey and a family dog.

mean girls cast in a walmart ad

Mean Girls' original cast stars in Walmart's latest holiday ad / Credit: Walmart

Every week, The Drum picks the top global campaigns from our Creative Works. You can submit your new work here.

This week, a woman avoids a cringe-worthy situation by booking a train on Uber, an oven mitt lip-syncs to Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now for Morrisons and the USPS creates a mini winter wonderland for the holiday season.

Liquid Death & Call of Duty: Save the Zombies by Death Machine

Liquid Death, the purveyor of canned water with a metal edge, and Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III have today unleashed a new co-branded campaign, ‘Save the Zombies,’ in a bid to protect the rights of the formerly living.

The faux PSA introduces audiences to ’Petu’ (People for the Ethical Treatment of the Undead), a tongue-in-cheek organization modeled after Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). It also promotes the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, which launches November 10. The new game comes with a new gameplay mode called ‘Modern Warfare Zombies,’ which marks the first time zombies have entered the Modern Warfare franchise. Liquid Death’s in-house production company, Death Machine, ideated and developed the campaign.

Uber: Trains, now on Uber by Mother

Did you know you can book journeys through National Rail, National Express and Megabus all from Uber? Apparently, you can, according to two new Uber spots after it learned a majority of the UK did not know that they can book trains on the app.

‘Trains, now on Uber’ is the work of creative agency Mother and the campaign leans into unique behaviors synonymous with using its app, like the embarrassing wave to the driver or the way you confirm you’re getting into the right car.

Morrisons: Christmas Ad by Leo Burnett

Hosts and their oven gloves are the unsung heroes of Christmas. Morrisons’ Christmas ad celebrates their hard work in a humble spot that tries not to ‘glamorize’ Christmas.

Created by Leo Burnett, the 60-second spot depicts a family preparing a traditional Christmas dinner but joined by a group of singing oven gloves. Starship’s 80s power ballad ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ is the song in question.

The ad shows the gloves breaking free from their drawer and conducting a choreographed dance as they protect the food and family from cooking mishaps. Tim McNaughton from The Bobbsey Twins directed the spot.

USPS: Built for the Holidays by McCann Worldgroup

Gifts and holiday cheer aren’t the only things the United States Postal Service (USPS) is delivering this holiday season. On Wednesday, the government agency launched ‘Built for the Holidays,’ its latest seasonal ad campaign that presents a dazzling diorama of USPS shipping boxes and envelopes, a mini figurine of the Postmaster General and billboards made of holiday stamps.

Many will find the work reminiscent of classic animated films from the defunct animation company Rankin Bass, including Jack Frost (1979) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). The spot also features QR codes placed over a house that link to the USPS change of address landing page and another that directs to the USPS’s  ‘Operation Santa’ website, which allows children to write letters to Santa and for others to respond to them.

ASDA: Make this Christmas Incredibublé by Havas

Asda surprised people last year with its standout Christmas spot that used footage from the movie Elf, introducing Will Ferrell’s character as an employee at a store. It was a bit of a wildcard from the brand that creatively paid off.

At the beginning of this year, barely a month after its release, the team was back brainstorming about the follow-up. There were big, Buddy-shaped boots to fill. One of Asda’s focuses this Christmas was on quality products and that was an element that it couldn’t explore too deeply last year. Buddy, of course, only eats from certain food groups and if it isn’t covered in maple syrup, then it’s probably a no-go. Many of the lines that you see in the ad were riffed off the cuff by Bublé and were not part of the original script.

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Aldi: It’s Swindle Season by Leo Burnett

Discount grocery retailer Aldi has unveiled its latest holiday campaign, ‘It’s Swindle Season,’ to playfully poke fun at the soaring grocery prices that often come with the festive period. The hero spot’s narration, delivered in a rhyme scheme reminiscent of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ gently teases the common woes faced by shoppers during this time of year. Swindle Season, developed in partnership with Leo Burnett, comprises four spots in total.

The work arrives just in time as Thanksgiving becomes the most popular food shopping holiday for 88% of consumers, per Aldi’s internal data. It also marks the latest from ‘It’s an Aldi Thing,’ a campaign introduced late last year that reinforces the notion that Aldi does things a little differently than its competitors.

Lidl: A Magical Christmas

Supermarket chain Lidl wants to remind people of the small gestures that can make a huge difference this Winter. In the new spot, viewers see a raccoon looking curiously through a window to see a family excitedly decorating a Christmas tree. In a quick turn of events, the family dog accidentally smashes the little boy’s favorite monkey decoration.

Determined to cheer her son up, the boy’s mother picks up a cuddly toy while doing the weekly shop at Lidl but accidentally drops it on the cycle home. Having spotted the toy monkey stranded in the cold snow, the black and white striped protagonist jumps into action and crosses the city by any means possible - climbing road signs, riding the tube, and sailing on a log across a river – all to reach the family home and put the toy under the Christmas tree.

Pantalones Organic Tequila: Buckle Up by Maximum Effort

Last week, Matthew and Camila McConaughey stripped away convention to announce the launch of their spirits line, Pantalones Organic Tequila. The McConaugheys also star in the brand’s new ad campaign. The first component is an ad spot entitled ‘Buckle Up’ that sees the couple bare it all on a bike ride through an arid desert landscape.

There are also billboards throughout Texas and Los Angeles that beckon consumers to call 1-833-Pantalones for voicemails from the couple featuring Matthew on the bongos. The campaign was created in partnership with Ryan Reynolds’s creative agency, Maximum Effort. Materials are currently running across out-of-home, digital, audio and in-store.

Walmart: Jingle Bell Rockin’ by Publicis Groupe

Walmart has released an epic holiday spot to promote its Black Friday deals to customers. The ad features classic scenes from the 2004 movie Mean Girls and features much of the original cast, including Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Seyfried and Lacey Chabart.

The spot has all the classic lines that fans of the movie would come to expect, including ‘Get in, loser’ and ‘Grool.’ Missy Elliott’s hit song Pass That Dutch soundtracks the ad. The rapper also features as the gym teacher in the short, teaching her students about Walmart’s deals. The campaign was created by a collective of Publicis Groupe agencies, including Fallon, Publicis NY, The Community, Contender and Digitas.

Deliveroo: The rules are, there are no rules by Pablo London

Deliveroo is celebrating weird and wonderful festive period eating habits in its ‘Anything Goes’ Christmas campaign. The campaign centers on a 30-second hero spot titled ‘The rules are, there are no rules.’ It sees gravy poured on sushi, Cantonese for Christmas Eve dinner and mince pies for breakfast.

The delivery app’s creative agency, Pablo London, is behind the campaign, which spans TV, radio, PR, social and digital. Dropping today (November 6), the campaign will run throughout the Christmas period. Creative directors at Pablo, Charlie Gee and Tian Murphy, are behind the campaign, which was inspired by data on the ordering habits of Deliveroo customers.

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