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The year 2018 has put our focus right back on long-format story-telling in the ad universe. Throughout the year, we came across numerous long-form ads that held our attention in an otherwise cluttered space. As expected, more and more brands are increasing ad spends on Digital, and thereby putting more focus on the kind of stories they want to tell. It’s no longer simply about telling engaging stories, but also about making sure that the consumers don’t skip ads within the first five seconds.

The festive season this year saw a lot of e-commerce brands investing big bucks on advertising. Be it apparel platforms like Myntra or online marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart, or even furniture brands like Pepperfry, we saw e-commerce players come up with some heart-warming campaigns to woo consumers.

As always, a lot of brands took up relevant social issues and talked about them. One campaign that broke our hearts and made us smile at the same time this year was Vicks’ #TouchofCare campaign that spoke about Nisha, a young girl with Ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition. The transformation of Nisha due to the love and care provided by her adoptive parents Aloma and David Lobo, forms the crux of this digital video. This is the second edition of Vicks’ campaign, and was as liked as the first video that told the story of Gauri, a transgender mother and her adopted daughter, Gayatri.
Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy India (West)

The Story of Kaveri by Early Man Films has been one of the finest instances of film-making that Indian advertising has seen. Even though the story is narrated in a lateral fashion, the visual drama, the haunting voice and the music hold you to the screen. The Swiggy ‘No Minimum Order’ campaign was really smart. Every ad was insightful and the stories made you smile. I like understated humour. These ads do the job and make the agency proud – the best combination. From the work that we have created, the one I’m most proud of is the water conservation film that my partner Harshad and I just completed for Hindustan Unilever. The client’s commitment to the cause allowed us to create a piece that truly demonstrates the value of water from the point of view of those who rarely even get to see water, let alone take a shower.

Chairman and Managing Director, Grey Group India

I loved the Raymond All Black Collection campaign conceptualised by us this year. Other than that, Vicks’ #TouchofCare was a campaign that stayed in my mind for a long time, although I wasn’t too sure about the connect with the brand.

National Creative Director, DDB Mudra Group

The Swiggy IPL campaign, especially the Gulab Jamun ad, was probably the only campaign that used IPL as a communication opportunity and not merely a media event. It was a great example of how good casting, great performances and music can turn the simplest of scripts into a memorable one. Then there is the Fru2Go ‘Mr Perfect’ ad. ‘Mothers want their kids to eat healthy’ is the stepping stone to many cliché pieces of work. But the insightful and modernday portrayal of kids made this one stand out.

Chairman and CCO, Havas Group India

I loved Samsonite’s #KeralaisOpen campaign. I also really liked Zee’s #DibbaLautaao campaign for Kerala too. Maggi’s campaigns, specially the father and son ad also were really well done.

President, RK Swamy Media Group

Swiggy – It’s been a great year for them even on the advertising front. Almost every Swiggy ad in the campaign has a simple idea and execution. Seagram’s Imperial Blue’s ‘Men will be men’ campaign is now almost a decade old, or maybe even older. The TVCs over the year have only become better and funnier. The team behind this deserve kudos for being able to sustain over such a long period of time. R Madhavan is a very clever choice for the Polycab LED campaign. Every TVC delivers a social message and does it while communicating about the Polycab LED lights.

The year 2018 saw both Digital and Television ads that tugged at our heartstrings, drove a strong message, made us think, cry and laugh. Here is IMPACT’s list of the 10 campaigns that were a cut above the rest:

While this year did not see too many fiascos in the ad world, we did come across a few campaigns that created a furore in the country for a while and had to be withdrawn

Jewellery brand Kalyan Jewellers had to withdraw an ad featuring Amitabh Bachchan and his daughter, Shweta Bachchan Nanda, after the India Bank Officers’ Confederation, an organisation that has a membership of around 3,20,000 bank officers, threatened to sue the brand. The organization claimed that the ad hurt their sentiments and was aimed at creating ‘distrust’ in the banking system.

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