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Best Ads of the Week: Nike’s weather-proof winterwear & Tesco’s surreal seasonal spot

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By Audrey Kemp | LA reporter

November 22, 2023 | 11 min read

There’s also a pro-dairy milk PSA starring Queen Latifah and a groovy, cat-tastic Temptations ad.

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Nike's winter line gets pummeled by snowballs in the brand's latest ad / Credit: Nike

Every week, The Drum picks the top global campaigns from our Creative Works.

You can submit your new work here.

This week, Microsoft used AI to make digital masterpieces inspired by holiday traditions, the Rainforest Alliance made an optimistic short about climate justice and Ukraine used Legos to raise funds for its reconstruction.

Microsoft: Make your holiday a masterpiece by McCann New York

A new Microsoft campaign celebrates how artificial intelligence can bring to life the diverse tapestry of holiday traditions around the globe.

The hero film, aptly titled ‘Make your holiday a masterpiece,’ opens with a woman (played by renowned transmedia artist Ellie Pritts) setting up a creative space in a plaza decked out for the holidays. Instead of a canvas, she has with her a computer. Passersby from various backgrounds approach her and divulge their cherished seasonal traditions, from Japanese New Year to the Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes. The artist then reveals to each guest stunning custom works of art the AI created, inspired by their anecdotes. As the ad’s story unfolds, it also unveils its underlying message: the true power of technology lies in its ability to enhance and elevate the human story.

Rainforest Alliance: Pessimism is out. We're all in!

Ahead of Cop28, the Rainforest Alliance, an NGO, is highlighting the importance of optimism and the power of collective action in a new campaign, ‘Pessimism is Out. We’re All In!

At the same time, new research commissioned by the Rainforest Alliance and Ipsos reveals that 70% of people believe they can personally make a positive difference by taking action to tackle climate change, highlighting that climate action is contagious. ’Pessimism Is Out. We’re All In!’ leans in on the importance of this optimism and the power of collective action in the fight against climate change.

United24: #LegoWithUkraine

As the Russo-Ukraine war rages on, a new fundraising initiative wields the creative power of Lego to foster global interest in Ukrainian heritage. United24, a platform launched by Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to collect donations during the war, has launched ‘#LegoWithUkraine,’ a campaign that displays Lego versions of Kyiv’s Mother Ukraine statue, Crimea’s Swallow’s Nest castle and Mariupol’s Old Water Tower.

The models are the work of three talented Lego artists – Ukraine’s Maksym Mityakin, Poland’s Artur Samkov and America’s Yevgen Tonyev (however, the Lego company does not sponsor nor promote the campaign). The effort aims to educate consumers about Ukrainian culture and get them to raise money for the country’s war-related damages. Hundreds of the nation’s churches, museums, libraries and monuments have been bombed, burned or shelled since Russia’s invasion began in February 2022, amounting to $411bn worth of damages.

Aviation American Gin: Just Friendsgiving by Maximum Effort

In a nostalgic nod to the beloved 2005 Christmas romcom Just Friends, Ryan Reynolds and Amy Smart have reunited for Aviation American Gin's latest campaign, aptly named ’Just Friendsgiving.’

With Thanksgiving Week upon US consumers, friends everywhere are reuniting for ’friendsgiving’. For longtime friends Reynolds and Smart, the reunion is the first in 18 years – timed to the anniversary of Just Friends, a holiday romcom that follows friends from New Jersey who navigate their changing relationship over time.

In the ad, Smart catches on quickly to the true reason behind the reunion. After a few takes, she jokingly calls Reynolds out for using her for an ad for his spirit company; he hits back that “this is a self-funded sequel predicated on a loose interpretation of IP laws so… yes, it is an ad for my Aviation American Gin.”

Got Milk? Milk Shaming PSA by Gale

According to 2022 data from the USDA, consumption of dairy milk has more than tripled in the US since 1970. However, the plethora of plant-based milks on the market makes dairy consumption feel taboo.

On Monday, the iconic milk marketing effort Got Milk? released a side-splitting fake PSA, ‘Milk Shaming,’ starring Queen Latifah, who introduces audiences to OK2Milk, a fictional organization dedicated to supporting dairy drinkers who have faced backlash over their beverage choices. The ad closes with the 1-888-OK-2-Milk hotline and Latifah saying: “If you’ve been a victim of milk shaming, call the number on the screen. Together, we can pour milk shaming down the drain.”

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Nike: More Than Warmth by Wieden+Kennedy

Nike recently released a fantastical ad to tout its 2023 Winter collection. The 60-second spot titled ‘More Than Warmth’ features a dedicated team of eccentric warmth-obsessed researchers who conduct tests on the Nike Winter Collection and revel in their scientific achievements when the garments ace every test. Each scene of the film is inspired by a specific jacket attribute.

The ad is part of a multi-channel campaign in China, including cinema, out-of-home (OOH), and digital channels.

Temptations: Cats Lose their Cool by Adam&EveDDB

A retro-inspired ad for pet treat brand Temptations leans into nostalgia for cheesy holiday specials from the 1970s, replete with schmaltzy holiday songs, tacky decorations and glitzy outfits.

Created by ad agency Adam&EveDDB, the spot features singing duo The Armstrong Sisters, who have their performance ruined when a cat jumps on the piano and starts playing it horrifically. The singers struggle to continue their act as the kitty bashes away randomly on the keys. Eventually, the performers manage to tempt the cat away from the instrument with a Temptations snack.

Tesco: Become More Christmas by BBH

Supermarket chain Tesco set BBH an objective to ‘Become More Christmas’ this year. The key insight driving that was that, for many people, the festive feels go way beyond the big day itself.

To get as many people through the door as possible, the retailer needed to offer something a little special. Set to the 90s tune by OMC’s called ‘How Bizarre,’ the new ad centers around a young boy who couldn’t care less about the festivities, even though his family, neighbors and strangers are turning into trees, reindeer and gingerbread biscuits before his eyes. We watch him wallow in his teenage angst until, finally, as the big day draws closer, there is a touching moment where his father hands him a paper star from his childhood, and he begins to get into the swing of things, eventually becoming a sparkly tree himself.

Burger King & Fila: Born Out of Fire by David

Burger King has teamed up with athleisure wear brand Fila on a tasty new range of footwear. To tout the collaboration, ad agency David created a hot spot that adopts the style of a science experiment, ‘Born Out of Fire.’

At the heart of the ad, viewers see a burger in the middle of a stark white room. A person walks in in a hazmat suit, equipped with a flame gun. As they pull the trigger, fire engulfs the burger to reveal the real star of the show, the FX-33 sneaker. The shoe is available to buy online and in-store in Brazil.

Ikea: Take a Holiday from the Holidays by Rethink

Ikea Canada has taken more of an honest approach to its holiday spot this year. For many people, this time of year can feel a little busy and overwhelming, meaning that taking five minutes to recharge their social batteries is a must.

In the film, ‘Take a Holiday from the Holidays,’ viewers see a Santa Claus taking a breather in a garage, a woman who needs a break from a New Year’s Eve party, a grandmother who needs to tune out her grandchildren by putting on her headphones for a bit, among others. The ad is soundtracked by Tiffany’s cover of I Think We’re Alone Now and is the work of creative agency Rethink.

Interested in creative campaigns? Check out our Ad of the Day section and sign up for our Ads of the Week newsletter so you don’t miss a story.

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