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Seen and noted

Guest Judge: Arjun Mukherjee, VP/senior ECD, Wunderman Thompson

 GUEST JUDGE /BEST AD OF THE WEEK   WORLDWIDE    October 16, 2023 11:03 (Edited: October 16, 2023 22:03)
Winner: Movember 'The Mo is Calling'. The adrenalin went on an overdrive straight from the opening shot, in fact the very moment when the soundtrack by the Mongolian folk metal band 'The Hu' sweeps in. 'Men's Health Matters' and this one-minute, asphalt burning, moustache growing, heart thumping call to action film, makes you feel like dropping everything and go on this ride. The very fact that a serious issue has been dealt in a fun, non-conformist, cultist, radical way, is what makes it a winner for me. At the end of it all, when the 'shimmering silver MO, hovers in the sky, I wanted to grow a moustache over my moustache, join the brotherhood, help other men and go MO! MO! MO! MO!

Runner-up: Julie 'Two Dudes'. Picking this one was tough. It was a three-way shoot-out with Nationwide Nationwide and Sunday Insurance. In the end I had to pick Julie purely because of the hilarity of the writing, the very fact that it breaks the stereotype of advertising for a 'morning-after pill' having to induce anxiety, and most importantly it also kind of pushes men to be responsible and do their bit. 'My wallet is a Ziplock bag', 'I have a crypto tattoo on my upper thigh', the writing is fun and it talks about emergency contraceptives in a fresh way.

Winner: UNFPA/UNICEF 'Life, Interrupted'. The line in small print on the left-hand side of this ad is what caught my attention. In the part of the world where I come from, child marriage is a heart-wrenching problem driven by poverty and illiteracy. This is written as it happens, and the crashing typography draws you in. The art direction does its work nicely, and the copy tells the story like a little girl would. Yes, dreams get shattered because of child marriage and it's great that there are organizations working to prevent it. More power to girls like Indira and schools like Advika.

Runner-up: ASMP 'The American Society of Media Photographers'. Who remembers Covid? Most of us don't. Wars have started. Deforestation continues. Empathy and work-life balance doesn't matter anymore. Well, this print campaign just jogged my memory back to those dark days. All those lives lost should have made way to something better. Campaigns like this may come across as just another ad to honor those who passed away or may just make us stop and re-think our own priorities. For me it was the latter.

Winner: Distance 'Rob It To Get It'. This was the runaway winner. When running shoes are purely for running your lungs out this activity brought it alive in an awesome way. It's easy, just grab the gear you want and make a run for it. But wait, there's a catch literally! One of the fastest French sprinters will give a chase to catch you. I bet all runners will want to do it. Even I would. Maybe I would get caught in a flash but what the hell, it's fun!

Runner-up: Cancer Chicks 'We're Behind You'. Beautiful, inspiring, and brave. From the confident body language to the stares and the messaging, this spells strength and empowerment. Also, somewhere it tells society in general to change the way it looks at cancer struck young women. Kudos to Sea Level for doing this and I really, really hope other brands would jump in and go the distance.

Winner: Lansforsakringar 'Laika 13'. This is like the unconfirmed grisly human experiments that used to conducted years back. For sure it's one of the most innovative uses of AI that I have come across recently. It's claustrophobic, depressing and scary to experience. Yet it's happening and this phone-cam Blair Witch project kind of view is as close to reality that it can get. I like the fact that there's no holding back when it comes to showing the grave dangers of being constantly exposed to social media. No wonder it's not available to the general public and hope this AI teenager helps fight the mental health problems in youngsters.

Runner-up: Johnnie Walker 'In Her Boots'. For someone deeply involved in sports this bought a little lump to the throat. Handcrafting football boots with the boots worn by past icons, to be given away to the new stars, is a cool idea. But the broader significance of each pair is so much powerful here. They serve as testimony to the courage and superhuman efforts put in by giants of the game to progress women's football. From the training session with circus music to the teams lifting the trophy, the shift has been sensational and inspirational. Keep walking bet! BestAds.jpg
This week's guest judge is Arjun Mukherjee, VP and senior executive creative director at Wunderman Thompson South Asia.

If Arjun wasn't in advertising, he would be running with a pack of dogs and enjoying the best life ever on Baia do Sancho. But since that didn't happen, he became a curator of experiences and totally believes in re-telling beautiful anecdotes that emanate from life. He loves everything about animation films and animals, two things that keep him going and reflect in his work.

Arjun has won at Adfest, Spikes, D&AD, One Show, Asia Pacific Advertising Awards, Kyoorius, Goafest and at Olive Crown. His work has also featured numerous times in the Luerzer's Archive. He has also served as a jury at One Show, MadStars and Goafest.

Beyond advertising, his animation projects have won top awards at the Annecy Festival and received winning laurels in top film festivals across USA, Europe and Asia.

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