AD WATCH: An Isobar group creative director's most/least favourite ads

AD WATCH features marketing industry figures providing their opinions on what they think is some of the most inspiring and disappointing work they've seen. As long as it's not their own!

In this edition:

nathan hau  

Nathan Hau

Group creative director

Isobar Hong Kong


HOT: Nescafé

Every so often a brand takes a risk by investing in something that hasn’t been done before. And, its courage turns out to pay off in a big way. Nescafé now counts as one of those brave brands after it launched a two-minute long anime.



The animated spot is the most beautiful piece to come out of 2020 so far. It tells the story of a girl cycling to a job interview and on the way helping out people at every turn. What’s great is not only is it perfectly executed, but it shares a compassionate message inspiring us to do better for the people around us. The Chinese tag line has layered meanings of “awakening your soul”, “freshening up your day”, and “stepping up for others”.

It’s a beautifully crafted love declaration to Hong Kong from Japan – where the coffee can was invented – that stopped me right in my tracks while scrolling through Facebook. We should celebrate such client bravery and support teams who put their heart and soul in creations like this more often. The result? High shareability, falling in love with Nescafé again, and replacing my cool UCC can with the iconic 250ml one of sweet Regular Coffee.

NOT: Volkswagen Der Neue Golf

In an age where diversity and inclusion have become key values in our society, the #BlackLivesMatter movement is finally being heard across the globe; while every brand communication is being scrutinised more than ever before. One brand that has failed in exercising empathy is Volkswagen in Germany.



An Instagram Story and Twitter video was posted showing a giant white hand pushing around and removing a black man from a yellow Golf, flicking him inside a French café called “Petit Colon” which translates into “Little Colonist”. And as the “Der Neue Golf” faded, it revealed a racial slur.

It’s tasteless, insensitive, and shocking how it even got published. VW has since said it understands the outrage over the ad, stating it was inappropriate, and that there would be an investigation and consequences.


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