Advertising campaigns have the power to capture the imagination of audiences, cement the reputation of companies and drive calls to action for some worthy causes.
Half-way through the year and the inaugural Advertising Week APAC draws near (30 July-2 August), we asked some industry thought leaders across the advertising, marketing, broadcast and creative sectors to pick their top advertising campaigns from 2018 to date.
From camouflaged sneakers to lipstick-smeared pre-schoolers, here are seven clever ads that epitomise the power of storytelling when executed perfectly.
The panel included:
- Peter Holder, managing director at Daily Mail Australia
- Joan Warner, CEO at Commercial Radio
- Melissa Fein, CEO at Initiative Australia
- Chris Rudd, general manager of agency markets at NZME
- Chris Freel, CEO at UnLtd
- Clive Prosser, director at Advertising Week APAC.
Here are their top picks:
S is for Simple. F is for Funny. E is for Entry point. Amazon’s greatest selling point – that is, everything is now at your fingertips via its search engine – is simply and brilliantly conveyed through subtle drops of everyday humour. Those who have been around the block a few more times may see influences from yesteryear – the Yellow Pages’ “Let your fingers do the walking” campaign of the ’80s rings a distant bell – but it’s a fresh and funny way for Amazon to achieve even greater cut-through with Australian consumers.
In today’s “distraction economy” where attention spans re limited, brands must ensure maximum relevance to drive business results. Be it responding to a trend, solving a problem or providing some entertainment, the one common underlying factor is culture. That was exactly what the EQT Support 93/Berlin shoe – an unlikely collaboration between Adidas and BVG, the city’s transport company, did. The limited 500 units featuring the same camouflage pattern used on the local train seats also doubled up as annual transit passes. Far from a stunt, this is a highly scalable idea that could not have come from any other place than Berlin’s uber urban culture and Adidas streetwear flair.
When we think about outdoor advertising campaigns, marketers have had to become more creative than simply taking out some space on a billboard. Greenpeace Philippines’ ‘Dead Whale’ campaign is a prime example of creative and impactful advertising in the outdoors. From afar, the ‘dead whale’ appears to be a decomposing beached whale however, get a little closer and it is in fact a replica whale made entirely out of plastic bags. The campaign shocked audiences around the world and drew attention to the vital issue of sustainably and disposal of plastic bags. The campaign won the Gold Lion award and Grand Prix for outdoor, media and digital at the Tambuli awards.
Spotify used playlist data from the platform to create a series of 2018, tongue-in-cheek goals that commanded the attention of passersby of its billboard ads. Goals included “Eat vegan brisket with the person who made a playlist called ‘Leftist Elitist Snowflake BBQ’” and “Be as loving as the person who put 48 Ed Sheeran songs on their ‘I Love Gingers’ playlist.”
Calvin Klein has always like to provoke, often intentionally, and in some cases, making something so raunchy it gets banned. In 2015, its sexting campaign included consecutive posters with suggestive photos overlaid with sexually explicit conversations. Now Calvin has pivoted with their new series “Our family”. The campaign features a series of influential families, not necessarily blood related, such as the Kardashian’s Solange Knowles and A$AP Rocky. There is still Calvin’s trademark sex appeal, yet it feels fresh and updated for a new millennial audience.
One of the most creative campaigns that went viral was this year’s Amazon’s 90-second spot at the Super Bowl. Featuring a star-studded line-up with the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Rebel Wilson, Cardi B, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos – it is one of the most funniest stunts of the year. It quickly became the top-rated commercial in the 30th annual USA TODAY Ad Meter and has been viewed over 46 million times on YouTube. Amazon’s Super Bowl ad is amusing and effective. The simple, clever use of humour combined with the star power of the distinctive voices in this ad make it highly entertaining.
This recent asylum seeker ‘campaign’ that went viral may be a bit left field, but the results are phenomenal, it’s so simple yet effective and shows that the power of emotion is strong. One simple image of a child crying coupled with tackling an issue that is so topical and divisive has really appealed to the population, over $18 million has been raised so far, showing the benefits of using a mass scale platform like Facebook to drive impact, and highlighting the good that Facebook can provide.