Ad of the Day: Dirty Dishes Don’t Have to Rule Your Life in These Delightful Ads for Soap

W+K brings another mundane product heroically to life

Modern life is riddled with dirty dishes, and Finish wants to help.

A new 40-second, rapid-fire ad created by Wieden + Kennedy London for the dishwasher soap (owned by Reckitt Benckiser) runs through the various types of human activities that might make a mess of plates, bowls and glasses—and it turns out pretty much all of them do.

The deliberately grandiose concept could easily feel like an overreach for a mundane product, but the execution is brisk enough—with enough rich detail, quirky absurdity and clever insight packed in—to actually be kind of delightful, like when a shellshocked new father is beset by a gang of floating, filthy baby bottles.

It also shows W+K's knack for punching up the emotional significance of even dull brands with beautifully shot spots. "Dishes," directed by Riff Raff's Megaforce, feels a bit like a cross between W+K London's hypnotizing work for Lurpak butter and the Portland mothership's slice-of-life campaign for Target from a few years back.

It probably helps that the Finish idea is loosely based on the fundamental truth that everyone has to, you know, eat. But it should resonate particularly with anyone who's ever looked at a stacked sink after a hearty meal and thought, in a moment of extraordinary laziness, "Really? Again?"

The voiceover's kicker, "Every dish, every time," drives home the point that the product will leave you freer to focus on what matters, rather than living elbow deep in pots and pans.

A second new ad takes a similar quick-cut approach, from the narrower perspective of a single glass. It's also full of deft touches that tell smaller stories within the bigger one. (If the vessel is hosting a party on Saturday, it's helping cure heartburn on Sunday.) The payoff—keeping glasses shiny—is less ambitious, and less rewarding, but clear enough.

The odds of that glass surviving long enough for it to matter, though, are pretty slim. And it's not really worth wondering where dishes go when they die.


Client: Finish

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London

Creative Directors: Carlos Alija, Laura Sampedro

Creatives: Erin Swanson, Cal Al­-Jorani

Executive Creative Directors: Tony Davidson, Iain Tait

Agency Executive Producer: Danielle Stewart

Group Account Director: Nick Owen

Account Director: Francesca Purvis

Head of Planning: Beth Bentley

Planning Director: Paul Coleman

Planner: Tom Lloyd

TV Producer: Genevieve Sheppard

Assistant TV Producer: Chloe Roseman

Creative Producer: Monika Andexlinger

Interactive Producer: Silvan Schreuder

Production Company: Riff Raff Films

Director: Megaforce

Executive Producer: Matthew Fone

Line Producer: Jane Tredget

Director of Photography: David Ungaro

Editing Company: Final Cut

Editor: Joe Guest

Execuive Post Producer: Gemma Humphries

Visual Effects Company: The Mill

Visual Effects Supervisor: Hitesh Patel

Flame Artists: Andrew Wood, Gary Driver

Visual Effects Producer: Alex Candlish

Titles, Graphics: Jon Harris, George Adams

Music, Sound: Siren, Factory

Composer: Alex Baranowski

Producer: Sian Rogers

Mix Company: Factory

Sound Design: Jon Clarke, Neil Johnson, Anthony Moore

Producer: Rebecca Bell

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.