Year 2018: Ads that touched our hearts

As 2018 draws to an end, it’s time to look at all that made news during the year. Starting today, throughout December, we bring you a round-up of stories from all sectors from the year-enders’ list

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 11:57 PM

While some brands stumbled, there were no dearth of marketers pushing the envelope to create some brilliant ads either. There has been difficulty and strife but advertisers tackled challenging themes – from the effect of Kerala floods & how it’s open to visitors to making a conversation around care beyond the biological boundaries of family. These ads didn’t save the world, but each, in its own way, made it a better place. So as 2018 wraps to a close, we take a look at the most creative, innovative and funny ads of the year. 


The 20-second spot shows a middle-aged man order just one piece of gulab jamun from Swiggy and pop it in his mouth without his wife getting to know about it. The ad has no dialogue between the characters but with endearing expressions from the actors, and running commentary on TV during a cricket match send across the message that the brand cares to deliver even the smallest order to their customers.


After overcoming the adverse impacts of the calamity with courage and unity, Kerala is now open to welcome its much-awaited guests. As part of the #KeralaIsOpen campaign, the travel brand portrays the essence of Kerala through an impactful short film. This beautifully rendered video captures the essence of every individual involved in the tourist sector-- taxi drivers, lodge managers, elephant mahouts and others-- eagerly waiting to welcome their guests. The campaign’s mission is to remind travellers of the beauty of Kerala and to inspire them to come together and revive tourism in Kerala. 


‘Vicks - One in a Million’ is yet another inspiring story of Nisha, a young girl who has 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. The campaign continues to spread the idea that ‘every child deserves the touch of care’. Created by Publicis Singapore, the story is a first-person narrative by Nisha, who was abandoned by her biological parents when she was just two weeks old. Her life was transformed when she was adopted by Aloma and David Lobo, who despite having children of their own, gave Nisha a family that showered her with unconditional love and the #TouchOfCare. The film captures Nisha’s story as she sails through the challenges and complexities of life, with her mother and a family at her side.  It depicts how Nisha leads an ordinary, regular life - one of hopes, dreams and challenges - and how Aloma has brought her up in a way that is no different from anyone else. 

Birla Aerocon

The TVC is a quirky take on the problems caused by leaking pipes. It starts with a plumber, who to the annoyance of others in his family, is having to change his name almost daily, resulting in messy situations. It is later revealed that the false promises made by the plumber– ‘kuch hua na, toh naam badal denge’ was the reason behind a new name every day, as his promises were never fulfilled due to the sub-standard pipes installed at customers' homes. The commercial ends with a voiceover – ‘Pipe ho lena to naam Birla dekhke lena’, which beautifully highlights the quality, durability, and reliability of Birla Aerocon pipes. 


Hitting the right notes, pharmacy aggregator – PharmEasy- recently released ads showing customers dancing to 'Urvasi Urvasi', a track composed by A R Rahman for the 1994 Tamil movie, Kadhalan. Conceptualised by Mullen Lintas' Mumbai office, the campaign thought focuses on the core of the service promise - ease of ordering with a healthy dose of saving on every order. The film opens with a shot of a PharmEasy app user who looks visibly surprised with the ‘FLAT 20% Off’ offer on his medical bill. In the following shot, the user is shown fulfilling his long-awaited desire, something that he could spend on only by saving money on typically exorbitant medical bills. Lyrics in the song have been tweaked to include the line ‘Take it easy PharmEasy’.

Saregama Carvaan

Moving over synthetic families wearing silk garments and plastic smiles that are seen in most Diwali ads, Saregama Carvaan with its festive campaign has brought in a point of view. Resolving the conflict between ‘noise and music’, the spot shows how the ‘noisy’ side of the festival can be replaced by music. Showing how the noise can scare animals and be substituted by music instead makes the ad endearing, genuine and relatable.

Kotak Mahindra

Created by advertising agency Cartwheel Creative, the 30-second spot shot at the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai, captures real life nuances. The protagonist of the story is ‘the bench at the railway station’ and Ranveer Singh dons the role of the bard (sutradhar). The story voices similarities between Kotak’s 811 service and a bench at a railway station which provides services to everyone irrespective of where they come from. 

Axis Mutual Fund

The ad is one interesting piece of work in the finance category. Created by The Womb and directed by Chrome Pictures, Amit Sharma portrays how ‘Bijoyda’, an experienced jungle tourist guide accompanies a family entering the wild that is fraught with dangers owing to the possible presence of man-eating tigers around who have a tendency to attack from behind. Bijoyda is aware of inherent pitfalls and perils while having joyful ride in the forests, and he knows how this risk is to be managed as we see each family member donning human masks on the back of their heads (given by Bijoyda), as he knows the tigers don’t attack if the person is looking at them in the eye, and hence the possibility of tigers attacking is nullified. It portrays that an experienced fund house in Axis Mutual Fund, like Bijoyda, is fully equipped to understand the risks and manage them.

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