Creatives and consumers will benefit from more simple fun

It's 2021 - time for adland to lighten up, writes 72andSunny APAC CEO, Chris Kay.

Not to start on a slightly depressing reminder, but we all know it’s the anniversary of when lockdowns started to happen around the world and our lives changed forever.

It’s also the maybe lesser known anniversary of when our industry truly doubled down on sincerity, on ‘in these unprecedented times’ statements, and on creating deeply meaningful communication pieces to say that as brands we were with you.

At that time we needed these statements, these actions of support, brands showing true purpose in what they believed and how they could help. But maybe as we start to open our eyes a year in it’s okay now to stop saying we are here for you in 200 different ways, or trying to land an ‘unprecedented times’ tearjerker out in the world.

Maybe it’s okay to start to show our optimistic sides, to bring some positivity in the world, and to move from complex purpose-led pieces to having a bit more simple fun please.

Our brains have been pretty stretched in the last year coping with the stresses and changes in all our lives, and maybe just landing simple strategic thoughts with a wink and a smile is exactly the sort of relief that is needed. And these pieces might just be the way to cut through and punch out from COVID-inspired wallpaper we have potentially over-experienced.

We started to see a bit of a move in this positive direction in the Super Bowl 2021 work although we still had deeply meaningful pieces like Jeep using Bruce Springsteen to land a potentially over-stretching politicised message to try to repair the nation. Really?

But, beyond being told what to do by The Boss, it was super encouraging to see the green shoots of simple strategic fun in Klarna’s Four Quarter Sized Cowboys, the audacity and clarity in Reddit’s five-second buy, and the clear proposition brought to life by Dolly Parton in Squarespace’s 5-9 ad.

What all these ads had in common was a very simple and not overly taxing sense of clarity for their proposition delivered in a way that brought a smile as a moment of relief from where most comms had previously been. These clear product messages wrapped up in dumb bits of fun, not only punched out but hopefully start to land a shift of how we can all have a bit more fun in what we do. Which I dare say we would all welcome.

It’s also super encouraging to see this type of work starting to break out on our home shores as well. The recent FlyBuys work from CHE Proximity that burst out with a super clear message with a ton of swagger, the dumb fun in the Suzuki ‘Motorbike of Cars’ ad from Deloitte Digital, the well received clarity of our Toohey’s Extra Dry ‘Perfectly Ordinary’ campaign, and the fun we had in creating a bizarre music video to show Crazy Customer Love which we launched a month or so ago for Amaysim.

All these campaigns show that it’s okay to stretch the range of emotional creative thinking and bring a smile back to consumers whilst bringing a bit of levity and positivity for our teams in the making.

So maybe take note from some small cowboys or a dumb motorcyclist riding a car and have a go at creating a simplest proposition and play with it, as I guarantee not only will it shout beyond the current noise it will be fun for all involved.

And it’s fair to say we could all do with a bit more of that.

Chris Kay is the APAC CEO of 72andSunny.


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