"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."
It’s probably not that often that Charles Dickens gets quoted in Adwatch.
But it felt relevant given the craziness of our world right now.
A Tale of Two Cities is a tale of contrasts and contradictions.
And Adwatch this month is pretty similar. Quite rightly at the top of the "likeability" chart is the ad for the NHS.
Originally intended as a recruitment ad, it finds itself repurposed as a rightful celebration and appreciation of the million-plus people who are tirelessly caring for the sick, while putting their own lives on the line. It is just a sad reflection on society that it takes lives being at risk, and the nation being turned upside down, for us to truly value and appreciate the work that our NHS workers do. The same goes for teachers too.
This ad not only celebrates the diversity of care and the commitment of NHS workers, it personalises and names "the people who care for the people".
Let’s hope that our love and appreciation of the NHS continues even after all this is all over – that we will keep on clapping and that this ad is not only liked, but acted on, bringing more people into the NHS.
And on the other side of the equation, "recall", People’s Postcode Lottery takes the top spot. It’s not surprising that, in times of darkness and despair, people look for escape. Which is why booze, tobacco and gambling always do well in a recession. An upbeat soundtrack, oversized cheques and artificial sunbursts promise salvation.
Sadly, People’s Postcode Lottery won’t save us. But the NHS will.
Clare Hutchinson is executive strategy director at Havas London