Ad of the Day: Scrabble Tells a Delightful Love Story Entirely in Anagrams

Lola Madrid spot gets a high score

When it comes to telling a brand story through anagrams, Lola Madrid's new Scrabble spot tops them all.

Luckily, the wordplay in this charming 80-second film is more clever and compelling than my little joke above. (Though spot tops is a palindrome as well as an anagram!) Anyway, the ad presents the stories of Agostina and Santiago. Though they've never met, anagrams link almost every aspect of their lives. She's a "cab driver," he's a "crab diver." She frets about being "forever alone," while his life seems as dull as "a veneer floor." Even their names, in case you hadn't noticed, are anagrams.

"The idea of using anagrams was a way to salute the intelligence of avid Scrabble players, but by using a love story, the spot became universal," Lola executive creative director Pancho Cassis tells Adweek. "This communication was aimed at opening up to a broader audience, specifically younger players and non-players who spend a lot of time online but are seeking out offline experiences."

The spot launched in English for the international community, he says, and will run in Europe this summer in French, Spanish, Italian and German.

At times, the anagrams seem like a bit of a stretch ("nasty old train" and "tiny slant road," for example), but they work in context and actually heighten the spot's quirky appeal. Though the story hinges on words, Rodrigo Saavedra's moody and whimsical direction also scores. (Note the impressive shots of Santiago sitting alone in the mist, burning ants with a magnifying glass as he mulls his unhappy existence.)

Millennial word nerds will surely enjoy the ride and share the ad with friends. That would be fitting, as the primary goal, according to Cassis, "is to convey that words are magical and powerful, and that they connect us with people."

Though maybe Agostina could do better than some guy who mopes around and fries ants. Plus, he's got crabs!


Client: Scrabble

Agency: Lola Madrid

Director: Rodrigo Saavedra

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