Post-pandemic creativity: Hastings Direct, New Balance, New York Bakery and Amazon’s Alexa

A wave of new UK ads this week, maybe a sign that business, along with the rest of us, is finally re-awakening from enforced Covid hibernation.

Hastings Direct has moved on from its statue of Bill the Conqueror, winner of the famous battle, with a new line “Simplicity is the best policy,” quite adventurous for the insurance industry whose doings are usually anything but. Through new agency Wunderman Thompson.

Animation’s good, might have been more adventurous with it. Get the feeling WT should push its clients more.

MAA creative scale: 6.5.

New Balance sports shoes have teamed with Sports Direct (which doesn’t usually take to the airwaves) to try to compete with monsters Nike and Adidas. One of those ads aimed at the “attention of a gnat” generation and mainly destined for social media. Shot in lockdown on Brighton beach by agency 20ten.

New Balance | No Half Measures_30sec spot from Alex Pulford on Vimeo.

OK, another 6.5.

Same for New York Bakery from Now which is back in the Big Apple (not a lot of choice when that’s what you’re called.) But are these grizzled old Noo Yorkers interesting enough these days?

Droga5 London has benefited mightily from client Amazon. There must be quite a bunfight twixt D5 and Lucky Generals when a new brief hoves into view, D5 seems to be winning at the moment.

Here we are back in Old Pompeii for Alexa, scene of a famous volcano-induced tragedy so always a reliable setting for comedy. Of the gentle kind, which D5 is good at.

Well shot, well cast, even well written: quite old-fashioned really.

MAA creative scale: 8.5.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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