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Creative Creative Works Ads of the Week

Best Ads of the Week: PNC backs ‘boring’ banking & Adidas supports student-athletes


By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

March 20, 2024 | 15 min read

There’s also an empowering Down syndrome awareness campaign and a moving photo gallery from Breast Cancer Now.

pnc bank campaign

Chris Diamantopoulos raves about how boring PNC Bank is / Credit: PNC Bank

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

This week, Regina Hall vocalizes her love for Lean Cuisine, FuboTV takes its lawsuit against Disney+ and Warner Bros to the streets and Amazon champions grit in its first Europe-wide advertising effort.

Breast Cancer Now: Gallery of Hope by BMB

Research charity Breast Cancer Now has unveiled its latest campaign, which hopes to highlight the true value of time for people living with incurable secondary cancer. Titled ‘Gallery of Hope,’ the project included an emotive exhibition of memories that are ‘yet to be made’ at the Saatchi Gallery in London, with the photographs now being rolled out across social media and highlighted in a short film.

For the exhibition, each participant’s portrait was shot by the renowned photographer Jillian Edelstein, who has photographed the likes of Nelson Mandela, Catherine, Princess of Wales and Kate Moss. To create the photos of the future, AI models were trained on these portraits to generate unique images that retain the photographer’s style, as well as poses, facial expressions and likenesses.

Lean Cuisine: You Have Good Taste by VML New York

Lean Cuisine, the Nestlé-owned TV dinner brand, has brought some star power to its latest ad campaign, ‘You Have Good Taste.’ But here’s the twist: while you won’t see her, you’ll undoubtedly recognize her voice. The one and only Regina Hall, the actor and producer known for The Best Man and Scary Movie franchises, has lent her unmistakable voice to the brand’s first new ad campaign in four years.

In what seem like scenes from a comedy sketch, shoppers at the grocery store discover they are not alone. In each ad, women browsing meals in the freezer aisle get surprised by a boost of encouragement from “inside the freezer” when they reach for a Lean Cuisine. That boost is Hall’s voice, which appears out of nowhere to back their decision.

FuboTV: #SaveMySports

fubo ooh campaign

Sports streaming platform FuboTV unveiled a new out-of-home ad campaign in Washington, DC, aimed at garnering support among lawmakers and government officials for its antitrust lawsuit against media heavyweights The Walt Disney Company, Fox Corp and Warner Bros Discovery.

The new ad campaign, dubbed #SaveMySports, takes aim at The Walt Disney Company in particular, parodying a Disney+ ad campaign that debuted at Super Bowl LVIII that spotlighted iconic movie quotes in pared-down, simple typeface. Splashed across billboards in high-traffic locations in Washington, DC – including outside the Capital One Arena, the Nationals Park baseball stadium and inside Union Station – Fubo has repurposed quotes from well-known movies to underscore how Disney’s joint sports streaming venture with Fox and Warner Bros could harm consumers.

CoorDown: Assume That I Can by Small New York

Stereotypes, biases and low expectations strongly affect every aspect of the lives of people with the genetic disorder. To mark the upcoming World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, CoorDown, the National Coordination of Associations of People with Down Syndrome, has launched an international awareness campaign.

Titled ‘Assume That I Can,’ the spot calls on everyone to end prejudice and instead see the potential in each person with the disorder. The ad features Canadian actor Madison Tevlin, who narrates various situations in which she has been prejudged due to having Down syndrome. One example is when people around her don’t believe she can drink a cocktail, another is living alone or even important life goals.

Adidas: You Got This

Timed to basketball’s biggest event, the NCAA’s March Madness tournament, Adidas has released its newest commercial starring 22-year-old Hailey Van Lith of the LSU Tigers. ‘You Got This,’ as the campaign is called, aims to rid college athletes of pressures and return to the love and joy of sport. Set to Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie, the latest spot starring Van Lith encourages both elite and young athletes to relax, remember that “it’s only a game,” and embrace the lightheartedness and playful essence of sports. The commercial is slated to air during both the men’s and women’s tournaments across broadcast networks and social channels.

Amazon: The Grit by Adam&EveDDB

Launching its European-wide brand campaign, Amazon is spotlighting the passion and tenacity of real football players with ‘The Grit,’ the first commercial work from Bafta-nominated director Molly Manning Walker. The multi-channel campaign is rooted in the insight that playing women’s football unleashes confidence and self-assurance, on and off the pitch. In the spot, viewers see a cinematic series of sharp, energetic cuts, from free kicks to tackles and exasperation to celebration. From the pitch to the halls to the locker room, the players take center stage. Cleverly, the short is juxtaposed against the 1950s track Sweet Old Fashioned Girl by Teresa Brewer. The ad is the e-commerce giant’s debut above-the-line brand campaign supporting its first major pan-European sports sponsorship, Uefa’s Women’s Football.

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PNC Bank: Brilliantly Boring Since 1865 by Arnold

PNC Bank, one of the largest financial services providers in the US, has unveiled a new “brilliantly boring” brand platform and national ad campaign. Dubbed ‘Brilliantly Boring Since 1865,’ the multi-million-dollar, multi-channel effort is the first major marketing effort from PNC since the company appointed Arnold as its creative agency-of-record last June. It comes right ahead of PNC’s 160th anniversary. Central to the campaign is a 60-second ad titled ‘Boring is Essential,’ which underscores the fact that PNC keeps banking boring. That’s a good thing, as financial instability becomes ever-present in consumers’ lives. The consistency and stability of so-called boring banking can allow people to enjoy the more interesting parts of life, be it vacation or early retirement. The star is Chris Diamantopoulos, an actor best known for his roles in Silicon Valley, The Three Stooges and being the voice of Mickey Mouse.

Pepsi: AI Can Do That? by CLS, Direct Focus

As college basketball fans lace up their sneakers for March Madness, Pepsi Zero Sugar and DraftKings have launched their latest campaign urging fans to forget artificial intelligence and embrace the original AI – the one and only Allen Iverson. Yes, you read that right. The brands’ latest venture, the ‘AI Can Do That?’ campaign, sees the basketball legend stepping on to the court to help fans with something he knows a thing or two about – making zero right picks in college basketball’s biggest tournament: the March Tourney Mayhem. The ‘Zero Right Bracket Challenge’ promises fans the chance to win $100,000 on DraftKings for making absolutely zero right picks. And who better to guide them through this journey of wrongness than “The Answer” himself, as Iverson is nicknamed?

Heinz: Gravy is the New Ketchup by Wieden+Kennedy New York

@heinz_us What if gravy could be the new ketchup? ♬ original sound - heinz

Whether you’re pouring gravy goodness over your morning biscuits or drizzling it on your evening poutine, Heinz says it’s time to declare that ‘Gravy is the New Ketchup.’ In a new video series called ‘Gravy Hot Takes,’ the brand urges consumers to hop on the gravy train year-round – not just during the holiday season – by showing off unlikely gravy pairings, from chicken nuggets to hot dogs. The videos are live across TikTok, Instagram and Pinterest.

The campaign, created by the ad agency Wieden+Kennedy New York, arrives as Heinz launches three new vegetarian gravies: new Roasted Garlic & Rosemary, Caramelized Onion & Thyme and Herbs De Provence, which will hit store shelves nationwide in May.

Gap x Palace

The London-based skate brand Palace has teamed up with classic American clothing retailer Gap for a new collection aimed at kids and adults. To promote the apparel line, the two fashion brands have released a retro-themed spot that, inspired by 90s skate culture, features music icon Mel C (aka Sporty Spice) as a skate mom.

The spot follows three kids as they debate if they want to tackle a near-vertical San Francisco hill before they instead opt to go get a coffee. They later meet up with skaters Kanin Garner, Heitor Da Silva and Karl Roberts at a pier for a carefree skate session. Since the hiring of designer Zac Posen at Gap, the brand has been on a mission to regain its cultural relevance and 90s heyday. A recent ad campaign has featured the likes of South African singer Tyla reprising its famous dancing ads.

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