Angela Freeth is marketing campaign manager for on-demand laundry company, Laundrapp. She began her career at AXA PPP Healthcare before moving into the hospitality sector to specialise in marketing and communications at Hand Picked Hotels group. After five years in the industry she moved to Laundrapp.
Desert Island Ads
IKEA – Silence the Critics
It’s not often that I see my friends sharing adverts on social media, but this one was doing the rounds because of how cleverly it tapped in to the UK’s (formerly niche and underground) grime music scene. It’s unexpected from IKEA, who usually take a soft, warm and homely approach with their ads. The ad uses music from D double E and has incredibly funny and cutting lyrics about home décor, “It’s like somebody hit it with a bulldozer. If your house was a car it would get pulled over”, plus hilarious adlibs from a porcelain panda bear.
Nike – Dream Crazier
This ad is incredibly powerful and gave me goosebumps when I first saw it. It tackles the gender bias faced by women in sport and Nike couldn’t have picked a better narrator for this message than Serena Williams. The close ups of the female athletes’ moments of joy, sadness, anger, and frustration, coupled with footage of their achievements is inspiring. And the ad is all tied up neatly with Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline.
KFC – FCK
In February 2018, KFC, ran out of chicken, and had to temporarily close as many as 700 of their 900 stores across the UK. Their response to the resultant PR mess was to take out a full page ad in The Sun and The Metro, showing an empty chicken bucket and the letters ‘FCK’ replacing the usual logo. I thought this was genius and love the simplicity of this idea. The ad shows the human side of KFC, and their self-deprecating humour was well received by the British public who love a cheeky play on words.
“A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It’s not ideal. Huge apologies to our customers, especially those who travelled out of their way to find we were closed. And endless thanks to our KFC team members and our franchise partners for working tirelessly to improve the situation. It’s been a hell of a week, but we’re making progress, and every day more and more fresh chicken is being delivered to our restaurants. Thank you for bearing with us.”
Melbourne Metro – Dumb Ways To Die
This is not your usual public safety warning. This Australian rail company’s video uses a catchy song and dark humour to encourage people to be safe around trains (or rather, discourage them to be reckless). The video has been watched over 194 million times on YouTube and resulted in the song being released as a single and turned into a popular game app. The animation shows a number of cute cartoon characters unceremoniously meeting their end in a series of horrific accidents. I thought this was such an out of the box way for a train company to address a serious safety issue and effectively capture people’s attention (and imagination).
Mitre 10 – DIY, it’s in our DNA
It might seem like a cheat to use cute children in ads but Mitre 10 (a New Zealand home hardware chain) is absolutely spot on with the dialogue here, showing a conversation between children who are talking about building a retaining wall at the weekend. It also pokes fun at the historical Aussie / Kiwi rivalry. This went viral in New Zealand, and even as recently as February 2020, the child actors in the advert were reunited to re-enact the ad to the delight of various news outlets.
Tip Top – Simplifying Summer
This is another ad from New Zealand, this time from ice cream brand Tip Top. This asks the age-old question – how far from the beach can you get in your Speedos before it becomes weird? I think we’ve all seen people in their bathers too far from the beach and asked the same question. The visuals are entertaining, with the humorous narration impeccably timed. Good, simple advertising at its best.