Sydney Opera House Play It Safe

Tim Minchin sticks his neck out in Sydney Opera House Play It Safe video

Play It Safe, the visual celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Sydney Opera House, has won one of the two Grand Prix Film awards at the 2024 Cannes Lions Festival. Launched in 2023, the 4-minute music video has Tim Minchin and a host of performers delivering a tongue-in-cheek ode to playing it safe. While Minchin’s lyrics present the case for conservatism and avoiding sticking one’s neck out, the visual montage of performances speaks of audacity and courageous creativity. The opening shot, an orange peel with shadow, hints at the iconic nature of the Sydney Opera House architecture and design. “For five decades the Opera House has stood in defiance of that nervous little voice inside us that tells us to play it safe and keep it simple. This special film celebrates our 50th anniversary, encouraging us all to live on the edge of possible, because when we do, extraordinary things can happen.”

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Unplastic India – still using plastic bottles?

Times of India launched “Unplastic India” on World Environment Day, June 5, 2023, with the goal of reducing single-use plastic. Working with advertising agencies VML Mumbai and Wunderman Thompson, Mumbai, and Illusion CGI Studio, the news company launched a series of posters and videos featuring sea creatures being squeezed like plastic bottles. Over 5 million people signed a pledge to eliminate single use plastic. It’s the sight of a baby seal, a baby turtle and a baby penguin, that makes you think twice about what will happen to the plastic bottle you’re drinking. Will it be recycled? Will it go into landfill? Or will it end up joining the plastic polluting our oceans? The campaign won the Grand Prix award for Print and Publishing at the Spike Awards in March.

Times of India Unplastic India - Seal
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Fuzzy Feelings for Apple Holidays

Apple Fuzzy Feelings ad - animation studio

Apple’s 2023 holiday season advertising campaign, “Fuzzy Feelings”, Set in London, UK, the 3.55 minute commercial features a woman whose feelings of resentment at her treatment in the office are creatively played out in her home animation studio. We are introduced to her boss walking down Devonshire Rd in Chiswick, London. His stingy actions are followed by a series of unfortunate incidents, set to George Harrison’s 1970 track “Isn’t it a pity”. The camera pans out to reveal the woman using an iPhone 15 Pro Max to capture her stop motion film project, using a 15-inch MacBook Air with an M2 to edit it. Time and time again, her disappointment at her treatment in the office is played out in cruel pay-back animation. Finally, however, the boss turns up in real life with a thoughtful Christmas gift, and is revealed to be human after all. The ad finishes with the tagline, “You make the holidays”. Apple’s notes on the YouTube video invites viewers to see one another with generosity. “Creativity has the power to change the way we see each other, and the world. Sometimes, seeing things through a new lens can make all the difference.”

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Snapper the Perfect Tree – a John Lewis Christmas ad

John Lewis & Partners, the UK department store chain, has traditionally produced one of the UK’s most memorable and creative Christmas TV adverts each year. And this year is no exception. This year’s campaign, with the tagline, “Let Your Traditions Grow”, features a light-hearted throwback to the Little Shop of Horrors films (1960 and 1986) and stage play (1982). A young boy discovers a grow-your-own fast-growing “Perfect Christmas Tree” pack in a market. He plants the acorn-like seed, only to discover that it’s a life-size Venus flytrap with a playful personality, keen to join in the Christmas festivities. Unfortunately Snapper’s continued growth leads to banishment to the back yard. The ending suggests that while Snapper feeds on care and Christmas festivity, the plant has a spirit of giving.

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Sandy Hook Promise Back to School Essentials

Boy with pencils in Sandy Hook Promise Back to School PSA

Sandy Hook Promise’s Back to School Essentials PSA has won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Commercial. The public service advertisement, launched across the USA in September 2019, starts off as a familiar back-to-school sales promotion but slowly unfolds to highlight students using everyday back-to-school items to survive an outbreak of gun violence. Sneakers, skateboards, scissors, staplers and phones are presented as the essentials for surviving a school shooting. The Back to School ad shines a light on anxiety young people and their parents experience as they face the risk of ongoing classroom and campus shootings. Shocking? Yes. Deliberately so.

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IKEA Stay Home in Spain

IKEA Spain has released “Yo Me Quedo En Casa” (I Stay Home), a commercial designed as an ode to the home as refuge during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advertising campaign encourages viewers to celebrate their home, a place where in a simple and improvised way they can enjoy leisure and work in a new way, approaching their time of isolation with imagination, love, patience and a sense of humour. The #YoMeQuedoEnCasa campaign includes by a series of digital elements with which the brand invites all of us to see our house from a different perspective and to make it a place where during this time, we can enjoy new experiences and sensations together.

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