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A Look at Global Ad Campaigns

Serious and silly. Drawing out laughs and pulling on heartstrings. Geared to younger demographics and meant to re-inspire older consumers. From Europe to the United States, today’s global marketing campaigns are making an impression. We took a look at a few top ads that are generating awareness worldwide.

All About Apparel
UK-based fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos recently unveiled a multimillion-dollar campaign targeting Gen Z consumers in Britain, France and the United States. Set to a song by up-and-coming British musician Sasha Keable, the 60-second hero spot shows a diverse array of 20-something year-olds shopping, socializing, playing basketball, hitting the town and living hip lives in various cities, speaking to the fact that fashion is universal. Influencers including activist Gabrielle Richardson, aka Frida Cash Flow, and philanthropist Eva Apio further contributed self-filmed footage to be featured on social platforms. “The creative embodies Asos’s belief that inspiration comes from everywhere, no matter who or where you are, while positioning the brand as a creator, curator and champion of style,” said John Mooney, creative director.

In Paris, marketers made headlines via a guerilla ad campaign that required less funding and planning, but was equally effective at delivering its message. Following an 18 mile/hour citywide speed limit imposed at the end of August to help boost traffic safety while combatting pollution and noise, a running store called Distance challenged athletes to break the law—on foot. Runners like Lena Kandissounon and Quentin Malriq, 800-meter and 1,500-meter champions, respectively, were tasked to race faster than the speed limit, while “hijacked” speed cameras captured the stunt and turned it into an out-of-home campaign, including a spot produced by Soldat Films. “We believe in running that is urban, doesn’t obey old traditions and uses modern codes,” said Distance co-founder Guillaume Pontier.

Bites and Sips
From fast sprints to fast food, McDonald’s recently delivered laughs with six short spots made by Leo Burnett London. Each calls on a specific movie genre trope—from horror to Westerns to dramas—to promote McDonald’s McDelivery. In “The Dip,” for example, lightning flashes, candles flicker and a woman watches in terror as her boyfriend dips his French fry into a strawberry milkshake. In “Standoff,” two mates face off over a Chicken McNugget. And in “Sacrifice,” a pair of weeping girlfriends beg each other to take the last chicken tender. “In this set of idents, each of those relatable truths is brought to life in the form of mini movies from a variety of film genres,” said creative director Andrew Long. “The result is a whistle-stop tour of cinema that hopefully reminds everyone watching at home that there’s nothing quite like a McDelivery with a movie.”

Coca-Cola is likewise hoping that its first global campaign since 2016 will return the beverage giant to pre-pandemic spending while introducing a brand refresh that includes a newly designed logo. The “Real Magic” initiative is heavily Gen-Z focused, including a gaming-inspired two-minute debut spot featuring an epic e-sports battle. After one of the contestants opens a bottle of Coke, the Orc-ish monster in the game throws down his axe and extends a peaceful paw to his opponent, while around the world spectators watch in awe. A tagline declares that “We are one Coke away from each other,” signaling the brand’s goal to promote unity in our currently divided world. Famous gamers DJ Alan Walker, Aerial Powers and Liquid Jonas star in the spot, which complements social, digital and out-of-home activations.

Like the rest of the travel sector, Celebrity Cruises suffered as a result of worldwide Covid-related shutdowns. But after halting operations in March 2020 and remaining landlocked for nearly 16 months, it became the first cruise operator to set sail again on a journey through the Caribbean. Now the company is hoping to renew wanderlust and get more jet-setters back on the water with its multimillion-dollar global campaign boasting the tagline “Journey Safe, Journey Wonderful.” After launching stateside in early September, Celebrity Cruises aired its premiere spot in the UK on October 1, following an episode of the international hit TV series The Great British Bake Off. “Our new advertising campaign poses a question, ‘Isn’t it time?’” said president Lisa Lutoff-Perlo. “And with the time and care we have put into our new health and safety measures, we think it is…time to see the world and each other, again, on one of the safest vacations possible.”

Meanwhile, Tourism Ireland embarked on a four million Euro “Green Button” campaign last month, intent on luring American travelers back to the Emerald Isle. Targeting 11 bustling cities from San Francisco to New York and scheduled to run until January 2022, the multichannel TV, digital and social media initiative is teaming with both travel brands (airlines) and non-travel partners (college football teams) to reinvigorate a struggling tourism sector still reeling from the effects of global lockdowns. Ireland recently made headlines by skyrocketing to the top of the European Union’s vaccination chart, with over 90 percent of its adult population (16 or older) fully inoculated against Covid-19. “Now that our economy and society has reopened, it is opportune to show Americans what they have been missing,” said tourism minister Catherine Martin.

Around the world, brands are calling on current trends and making use of top news stories to deliver timely, engaging campaigns. We’ll be on the lookout for what happens next in the global market.