The most talked about ad campaigns of 2021

The year 2021 saw brands make a comeback with some remarkable ad campaigns after a muted 2020 that was marred by the global pandemic. While most campaigns released in 2020 were centered around spreading awareness about how to keep oneself safe from COVID infection, being empathetic towards the overall sentiments of the general population, applauding the frontline warriors that kept the healthcare, retail, administration and media ecosystem operational even as the country was put under long months of lockdowns; the narrative in 2021 switched to recovery and staying resilient.

Adgully turns the spotlight on the ad campaigns of 2021 that captured everyone’s attention and were talked about a lot on social media platforms.

Swiggy’s #SantaOpenToWork : Conceptualized by Web chutney


 Swiggy’s #SantaOpenToWork campaign conceptualized by Webchutney is a quirky and timely way of depicting how gift-givers can outsource all their delivery tasks to Swiggy Genie this Christmas, just the way Santa is. As part of the campaign, Swiggy dropped in Santa’s flyers and business cards with a special QR Code with their Genie and Instamart orders. Scanning the QR code leads to a delightful video of Santa sharing his video resume on YouTube.

Cadbury Chocobakes celebrates ‘Cookie-Clipse’ on World Cookie Day

After the much-talked-about ‘Kahan Gayi Cadbury’ campaign, Cadbury Chocobakes Choc-Filled Cookies is back with its latest marketing marvel, which saves Indians from missing a rare celestial spectacle. Just when Solar Eclipse decided to give India a miss on December 4, 2021, which also happens to be a day where the world celebrates their love for cookies (World Cookie Day), Cadbury Chocobakes Choc-Filled Cookies is back to seize the moment with Cookie-clipse. Through a unique AR Filter on Snapchat that gets activated only against the eclipse sky and eclipses the sun with a Cadbury Chocobakes Choc-Filled Cookie, the brand wants its audiences to reach for the skies and enjoy the sweet astronomical phenomenon with the rest of the world.

‘Not just a Cadbury Ad’: Ogilvy

At a time when sections of netizens take offense at ads over 'hurt' religious sentiments and other frivolous things, Cadbury has, however, won several hearts with its new campaign featuring Shah Rukh Khan.

The ad, titled ‘Not just a Cadbury Ad, starts with a voice-over and bytes of local businessmen telling the viewers how badly they were affected due to the pandemic. 'This Diwali, we helped hundreds of small businesses by making India’s biggest brand ambassador, their brand ambassador,' the video continued.

The ad crafted by Ogilvy went viral across social media platforms and received more than 1.37 million views on YouTube.

Tata Tea Premium’s series of Hyperlocal Campaigns for India

Tata Tea Premium’s two fresh films celebrate India’s rich cultural diversity and invoke regional pride.

Through the Maharashtra commercial the brand pays homage to the Sarv Guni aspect (multi-faceted) of Marathi women. The film showcases a traditional homemaker who is family-oriented, taking care of her kids, elders, and her home.

The Mumbai film goes on to celebrate the ‘Kadak’ (strong) spirit of Mumbai whose residents are perceived to be thorough professionals and at times detached or indifferent but are known to be equally kind and humane, showcasing a true ‘Mumbaikar Spirit’. Like most cities of India, Mumbai is associated with a certain stereotype, which is typically an outsider’s perspective.

The film unveils an ‘insider’s perspective’ by showcasing the real, raw truth behind this stereotype. It is perceived that Mumbai is remarkably different from other cities, with extremely fast-paced, no-nonsense, busy lives led by its citizens, but it also harbours within itself a passionate spirit of humanity that manifests in times of need - be it rains, floods or any other crisis. Just like ‘Kadak’ chai of Tata Tea Premium, made for Mumbai.

Facebook’s Pooja Didi ad crafted by Taproot Dentsu

"Pooja Didi" For Facebook's More Together campaign touched hearts of many when a simple story of a girl changing the fate of many pandemic-hit households, made a deep impact with the audience. The ad film was also produced by Amit's production house Chrome Pictures and written by creatives at Taproot Dentsu.

“The purpose of this ad film was to give hope and bring happiness to people's hearts and I think it did that. The virtue of service and unconditional love with no expectation in return is as old as human existence”, said filmmaker Amit Sharma.

CRED’s #indiranagarkagunda campaign

A never seen before avatar of Rahul Dravid has been in a mix of emotions for a lot of fans and people on social media. In the Cred's ad campaign #indiranagarkagunda, A well known cricketer Rahul Dravid has shown his different side of anger. Despite the pandemic situation, Rahul has not failed to bring smiles on people's face through this campaign.  The ad film featured actor and CRED-favourite Jim Sarbh along with legendary Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid in a never-seen-before avatar.

By earning CRED coins for paying credit bills on the app, CRED members will have an opportunity to win an array of rewards and cashback offers. While Jim welcomes viewers into the world of CRED and the unbelievable benefits they can claim, audiences will also witness their beloved celebrities being caught in an unlikely act. Apart from ‘The Wall’ himself, this intriguing premise promises to create memorable moments but with a touch of unpredictability.

The Battle of Brands, magicpin vs Cred

magicpin's latest ad, featuring Vijay Raaz, goes head to head with Cred's high-octane celebrity campaign. We've all watched Rahul Dravid, a distinguished, well-loved celebrity, lose his mind on TV. We love it too. But do we know how this much-touted rewards program even works, or what the reward "coins" are even worth? One insight we encountered was that most Cred users have lakhs of points, but don't seem to know how or where to use them. The campaign received more than 6 million views on YouTube.

‘India Ka Apna Mantra’: Star Sports campaign for Vivo IPL 2021

2021 saw India dig deep into its reserves of enterprise and "can do" spirit to bounce back, VIVO IPL stands as a reflection of India's "can do" spirit, of resilience, enterprise and innovation, as a brand itself and in the stories it has thrown up over the years. Inspired by this thought, Star Sports, India’s leading sports broadcaster had kick-started the VIVO IPL 2021 with their new campaign – ‘India Ka Apna Mantra’. Through the aperture of VIVO IPL, the campaign saw the attitude of a generation that is redefining conventional rules of the game to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.

From Rohit Sharma's hunger for continued success to Virat Kohli channeling his aggression to be called 'King', VIVO IPL has spawned many such mantras.

Amazon Pay’s #AbHarDinHuaAasan

Amazon Pay #AbHarDinHuaAasan – a digital-led campaign that highlights the convenience and safety of digital payments on the platform and its positive impact on millions of customers across India. The campaign has unfolded with a digital film that celebrates the evolution of money and various business activities, from cash to digital, across generations. It further showcases how Amazon Pay can be used to pay anyone, anywhere, effortlessly, and instantly.

The campaign film captured an array of use cases, i.e., shopping in a marketplace or online, recharges and utility bills, payment to delivery personnel, and more to showcase the convenience of payments through Amazon Pay. It also narrates how Amazon Pay has enabled small business owners such as street vendors to seamlessly start accepting digital payments. Lastly, it touches the softer chords by depicting the happiness associated with hassle-free and reliable payments.

CRED brings Chacha Chaudhary and Suppandi together

In the film, Chacha Chaudhary and Suppandi are seen engaging in a fun banter about how times have changed as they discuss a myriad of topics like information overload, resort to social networking sites and poorly acknowledged unfortunate ecological changes like global warming, dying wildlife, drowning cities and more. Further, the ad film focuses on supporting CRED’s goal of promoting financial independence and literacy.  The ad-film concludes by drawing attention to the exclusive rewards CRED offers to its members to follow healthy financial practices.  

This film is created by Bakarmax, an Indian webcomic studio. 

Vicks #TouchOfCare 3.0

In the past year, we have all experienced a new meaning of care reflected in the selflessness of our doctors and healthcare workers during the pandemic and always. Some are still fighting while we lost a few incredible lives who have left behind incomplete dreams of care. Popular celebrities across the country came forward to acknowledge their touch of care that we can draw inspiration from during these tough times!

The third edition of #TouchOfCare, a tribute to the Doctors’ community across the nation, underscores the powerful impact of care through the real-life extraordinary story of the late Dr. Dnyaneshwar Bhosale.

Transforming Parents to Partners - BYJU’S

BYJU’S films show that with guidance from parents and help from technology,  children can transform into active learners who love learning on their own. The films also focus on BYJU’S learning content that enables children to engage better, gain conceptual understanding, and even learn according to their own pace and style.

Conceptualised and created by Spring, the ad campaign brought out the importance of conceptual understanding and how it helps children gain confidence while learning. Both the films show children comfortably explaining concepts to their friends too.

#StopTheBeautyTest says Dove’s new campaign by Ogilvy

Dove believes that beauty is not one dimensional and the brand has been on a mission to make beauty a positive experience that is accessible to every woman.  In keeping with its belief, it challenges toxic beauty practices to raise the self-esteem of women across the world. Through this campaign, Dove addresses a momentous stage in the life of every young Indian woman subjected to a 'test of beauty' that makes her feel un-beautiful and crushes her self-esteem.

Dove’s #StopTheBeautyTest, a film born out of conversations with real women from across the country, captures some raw situations where women are judged by prospective in-laws for not being slim/tall/fair/straight-haired enough. It goes on to emphasize the unspoken impact of this judgement on their self-esteem and confidence.  Through real stories enacted by real women, Dove sends out a powerful message – ‘there cannot be one definition of beauty. Beauty comes in all shapes, colours and sizes.

Sebamed #Sirf Science ki Suno

Sebamed’s “#Sirf Science ki Suno campaign”, focused around its anti-hair  loss  shampoo. In consonance with its bar campaign, the brand once again imparted a new knowledge to consumers about hair loss and encourages them to choose a solution that is backed by strong scientific research. In addition to Anti Hair loss shampoo, Sebamed started offering solutions for dandruff and everyday maintenance needs through its Anti dandruff and every day shampoo range.

Pepsico India’s ‘Energy Bole Toh Sting’ campaign

Electrifying the youth with the energetic campaign, the brand launched a new TVC which was an extension of Sting’s ‘Electrifying energy, ultimate taste” campaign of last year.

The film showcases a girl in a fix as she looks at an elevator, which has stopped working again.  A boy approaches her and cheekily offers to give her a lift to her floor.  A sip of Sting was all it took for the electrified boy to race up the stairs with the girl being carried on his back. Impressed by the boy’s energy, the girl ends up giving him her number as the film reiterates the new ‘Energy Bole Toh Sting’ messaging.

PepsiCo India’s Jitna Bada Zig, Utna Bada Zag

Celebrating the power of optimistic thinking, Lay’s Maxx, the premium chips brand from PepsiCo India launched a new campaign ‘Jitna Bada Zig, Utna Bada Zag’. The campaign drawed a parallel between Lay’s Maxx distinctive Zig-Zag ridges and series of ‘lows and ‘highs’ faced by people to reaffirm a positive mindset in life. This campaign was a reaffirmation of the great flavour, deep ridges, and distinct taste of Lay's Maxx. The film brought together brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor and actress Bipasha Basu, where the duo can be seen engaging in a fun and witty banter.

Delhi International Airport’s rethink strategy

In an effort to encourage people to avoid non-essential travel, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) launched a social media campaign with a series of #TravelTomorrow quotes that drive home the message with a twist. The campaign has been conceptualized by 22feet Tribal Worldwide, part of the DDB Mudra Group and gained a lot of traction by the viewers.

BGMI’s Responsible Gaming by DDB Mudra

BGMI wanted to appeal to a gaming audience that loves to play round the clock. The Game Responsibly campaign not only speaks to gamers but also brings their friends and parents into the conversation. By educating all three audiences, the campaign shows that there are simple solutions for an obsession that may otherwise have serious long-term effects.

MensXP’s #DontManUp campaign featuring Bhuvan Bam

MensXP’s #DontManUp campaign challenges several outdated expectations, and encourages the modern man to embrace their vulnerability with an open heart and utmost sincerity. The exclusively digital campaign promises thought-provoking content and conversations, with many notable influencers partaking in the exercise.

McDonald’s ##25ActsOfHappy

McDonald’s India is adding some extra cheer to the holiday season, as it celebrates 25 years in the country! To make this milestone special for its customers, the brand had announced the #25ActsOfHappy campaign with 25 big and small activations to bring a smile on its customers’ faces. The campaign is conceptualized by the DDB Mudra Group.

Dentsu Imapct’s film for vivo celebrates the ‘Joy of Homecoming’

With an aim to bring true joy to people this Diwali, Dentsu Impact, a dentsuMB company and vivo, the innovative global smartphone brand, have launched their new campaign, ‘Joy of Homecoming’ across mainline and digital platforms.

Star Sports Network’s #YehIndiaKaFootballHai

The premier football league in the country has also established the inherent growth of Indian football stars and made them household names. As the new season of the Hero ISL 2021-22 dawns over the horizon, Star Sports network, the official broadcaster of the tournament, celebrated the true passion of fans coming together to support their teams, cities, and favorite stars in the league through its campaign- ‘Yeh India Ka Football Hai’.

Tanishq’s ‘Pudhumai Penn’ exclusively for Tamil Nadu

The women of Tamil Nadu today play dual contrasting roles: of being the culture-custodian and the change-maker of Tamil culture and values. With this campaign, Tanishq taps into this very insight and celebrates every Tamil woman and her balanced-duality, that is the springboard of her undying, limitless and spirited personality.

Family & friends take center stage in Amazon Prime Video's festive campaign

Amazon Prime Video’s festive campaign urges its customers to reconnect with their loved ones. In a year that saw Prime Video becoming an integral part of customers’ lives as their preferred entertainment destination, the campaign urges users to press pause on the amazing world of Prime Video, and instead celebrate with their family and friends, following all necessary health and safety precautions.

Led by two of Prime Video’s most beloved and iconic characters, Kaleen Bhaiyya (Mirzapur) and Siddhi (Four More Shots Please!) The campaign features two films conceptualized in-house and created by Big Momma Productions.

Mohey’s #DulhanWaliFeeling

“The moment in which a girl becomes a bride is perhaps one of the most remarkable moments of her life. She goes through a seesaw of emotions as she takes each step into this new life. Through this film, we wanted to tap into this mixed bag of roller coaster feelings that a girl goes through. With this fantastic association with Alia Bhatt, we wanted the film to be a reflection of her energy and youthful exuberance. Creating a beautiful marriage between the modern and the traditional”, said Shreyansh Baid, Founder & CEO, Shreyansh Innovations.


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