As we welcome July with open arms (aka PROPER summer) I thought, why not take this time to reflect upon some of the great work we’ve been lucky enough to consume these past six months.
I’ve undertaken the extremely noble task of going back over my old ad round-ups and selecting my top three favourite uses of music in ads from the first half of 2022.
These are (in my humble opinion) the absolute cream of the crop, crème de la crème, most fabulous, wonderful, stunning song selects, compositions and re-records in ads from the past six months—at least the ones I’ve seen, anyway.
So, without further ado...
Old Spice – Curls are Cool
As someone who has spent an obscene amount of time (and money) trying to perfect the ‘natural beach wave’ look (I have tested nearly every salt spray on the market), I wholeheartedly approve of this ad, and am also jealous of the gawjus curls displayed throughout.
Old Spice are certainly no strangers to fun, quirky advertising that effortlessly puts a smile on your face.
And this film, which sees a diverse cast bopping around a bodega whilst their curls bounce in tandem, is no different.
The vibrant spot is sound-tracked by an equally bold track, produced by UK-based singer-songwriter H33ra. The track’s infectious beat, reminiscent of early 00s hip hop but with a contemporary flavour, is complemented by a catchy, playful, pitch-manipulated vocal, which simply repeats the word ‘Curly.’
So, even though I know curly hair shampoo does NOT transform your (somewhat) wavy hair into a full head of beautiful, bountiful curls (no matter how much you want it to) I am OK to let Old Spice pretend that it does for the sake of this fun little spot.
I will certainly not be extending the same courtesy to John Freida, however.
Creative Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Production Company: Prettybird
Released: February 2022
Tena – #LastLoneyMenopause
There’s no such thing as a non-perfect Tena ad at this point tbh.
Poignant without being overwrought and cheesy. Authentic, relatable, genuine. Real human stories told with love and care. And this latest is no different.
Winner of the Channel 4 Diversity in Advertising Award, Tena’s new film #LastLonelyMenopause tackles the taboo stereotypes and stigmas surrounding menopause by showcasing the very real experiences of one woman, currently navigating her way through its effects, closely followed by her young daughter as she concurrently goes through puberty.
The soft groove of Frazey Ford’s 2014, ‘September Fields’ helps keep the tone light and cheerful, which might have felt like a strange juxtaposition due to the subject matter but actually does a beautiful job of setting just right the tone, evoking a warmth and vulnerability that perfectly complements the images on screen, allowing audiences to feel comfortable and creating the sense that what we’re seeing (contrary to the opinions of SOME) isn’t sad or gross or embarrassing (well, maybe sometimes) but is actually, a completely normal part of a woman’s life— and should be viewed as such.
Frazey’s soulful voice with its light, earthy tone gently eases us through the sometimes awkward images on screen, reflecting the films’ authentic nature and instilling a sense of comfort.
The spot is altogether liberating, powerful and totally unapologetic in its mission to shine a light on the challenges women face during menopause and I love it. I am also now a Frazey Ford fan and will be listening to this album in its entirety ASAP.
Creative Agency: AMV BBDO
Production Company: Lief
Director: Shannon Murphy
Just Eat & Katy Perry – Did Somebody Say
Could this be Katy Perry’s most iconic food moment since J-Lo walked past and uttered a perplexed ‘hi babe’ whilst KP was putting her deranged burger costume back on in the bathroom of the 2019 Met Gala?
After all, this is a woman with many iconic food-associated moments. The whipped cream can bra. The insane promo video where she shocked audiences by appearing as a floating head on a plate of fruit and then proceeded to tell them to buy her latest single. Said single, ‘Bon Appetit’ itself. I could go on.
This new Just Eat ad is taking Katy Perry’s food associated status to new heights.
OK, so I am indeed a KatyCat. I was at the barriers during the O2 show of her Prismatic Tour. I know the deep cuts. I’ve delivered intensely powerful and emotional renditions of ‘Thinking of You’ to my mirror alone more times than I’m comfortable admitting. I firmly believe Teenage Dream is one of the best pop albums ever written. And, of course, the album that led to Katy becoming the first female artist ever to achieve five No.1 singles from a single album. The stats don’t lie, folks!
Katy Perry is a pop legend. And now she’s succeeded her California Gurls counter-part, Snoop Dogg, as the new face of Just Eat. And though, at first, I was surprised by this seemingly random partnership, the more I think about it, the more it makes total, harmonious sense.
Just Eats’ brand positioning is fun, bright, and entirely non-self-serious—all the things KP is known for. And this ad is unafraid to take advantage of that fact – playing on all the best parts of Perry’s eccentric persona, resulting in this incredibly entertaining, over-the-top film.
Just Eats’ infamous brand track ‘Did Somebody Say’ (the number one sonic identity in the UK dontcha know) gets a special KP refresh, utilising Perry’s talent in the form of lyrical food-based puns, hooky melodies and sprinklings of vocal moments that echo Perry’s original material. A match made in heaven.
Creative Agency: McCann London
Production Company: Radical Media
Director: David Myers
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