Two Ads I Like and One I Don’t – Gurmeet Gill

The world of mass media and intrusive advertising is not what it used to be and no more so than in the ASEAN region. Digital, and in particular social, are the new kingmakers.

In this environment, the concept of creating a corporate-driven message and shoving it down the throats of consumers when they least want to hear it is an exercise in futility.

There. I said it.


And I’ll also add that soon will come the death of traditional media as a platform for communicating with consumers. Maybe that is one of the reasons I left the advertising industry for the ‘greener pastures’ of branding.

My timing seems to have been pretty good as this long-misunderstood discipline is finally getting the recognition it deserves in Southeast Asia –  albeit a few years behind its Western peers.

And while I have said my goodbyes to the ad world, I still have a soft spot for ads and, when the time and product is right, I will recommend them.

Like most of us, I still melt like butter for an ad that tugs at the heartstrings and I’ll always have a soft spot for strong storytelling, brilliant cinematography, a powerful narrative and a stimulating soundtrack.


Two Ads I Like

Samsung India – “We’ll Take Care Of You, Wherever You Are”

I have long had high regards for creatives from India and Thailand. To me, they are the best we have to offer as an industry within the region and they always seem to get it right.

This tearjerker of a spot from a relatively unknown vertical of chaebol Samsung exposes its vulnerable human side. Everything about the ad is a class act from the visual treatment to the casting. It is just full of feeling and deserves the more than the chart-topping 200 million views that made it the world’s most-watched ad last year on YouTube.

British Airways – “Fuelled By Love”

This one from jolly old England is more of a brand film. It is storytelling at its best and is based on a true story that tugged at more heartstrings than I knew I possessed. While the whole East meets West theme has been milked to death, this is definitely one to watch and, if you are human, you might just shed a tear of joy.

One I Don’t Like

Smart Cable – “Our Cables Are A Bit Expensive”

Malaysian brands and their love for billboards knows no bounds. Billboards are literally all over the place and the worst ones tend to be along our highways, adding to the white noise that has no impact on the consumer cruising at 110kph who is unable to absorb all that information in a split second.

This “masterpiece” by a Malaysian cable manufacturer is a sexist recipe for disaster that has either been produced to cause more accidents on the road or to sell the female form instead of cables. The headline does not make sense as I am not sure what it is trying to denote by saying their cables are a bit expensive (only a bit?) and how this resonates with a sexy model as an image that supposedly represents cables. Is she a happy camper?

No wonder I keep telling my clients to steer clear of producing billboards.

Gurmeet Gill

Gurmeet Gill

Gurmeet Gill is Brand Strategies Manager at Fusionbrand, Malaysia.

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