Six industry leaders highlight the work that has impressed them most this year.
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Clockwise from top left: Mark Adams (VICE), Gerhard Fourie (Aston Martin), Celestine Maddy (Pinterest), Hannah Matthews (Karmarama), Debbie Weinstein (YouTube), John L Williams (Diageo)
Adidas & Nike: Let's all be part of the challenge
Together is how we move forward. — adidas (@adidas) May 30, 2020
Together is how we make change. https://t.co/U1nmvMhxB2
My favourite of the year demonstrates the power of a clear brand purpose and is not a campaign, but a retweet of a competitor’s campaign.
Nike’s response to the death of George Floyd was eloquent and timely, with a clever play on Just Do It. Adidas could have presented their own version but chose instead to acknowledge their main competitor, something that’s almost unthinkable in standard marketing terms. I know it has been criticized (the FT said ‘flatfooted’), but to me it showed a brand in touch with its purpose and – just as important – with its customers and its time. - Gerhard Fourie, Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy, Aston Martin
Beats by Dr Dre: You Love Me
This year there were a lot of great spots; from Uncommon's work for ITV to Burberry's Singin In The Rain. But there is really only one spot in 2020: Translation's poetic, incisive film for Beats By Dre. It gives much-needed voice to the dichotomy of being black in America, the ever-flipping coin of love and loathing. It's beautiful – every frame. As a piece of advertising, it deserves the highest praise. It sees and hears one of the brand's core customers, Black Americans. It celebrates and fights for us. It empowers us by speaking truth to power. As marketers and advertisers, we talk a lot about a brand being of the moment, being courageous, moving the culture ball forward. It's incredibly hard to do. Bravo. - Celestine Maddy, Global Head of Consumer + Brand Marketing at Pinterest
Miami Ad School: The fake Netflix billboard campaign
I’m convinced that in communication, simplicity is power. So whilst there may have been "better" work this year, nothing proves the paradigm shifting power of creativity more than two students at Miami Ad School creating a fake Netflix Billboard campaign that spoils your favourite shows if you leave home during lockdown. They proved that great ideas don’t happen slowly, incrementally, and conscientiously. Rather they explode in our mental universe; demanding attention by wilfully defying the unwritten rules. Two students reminded us that creativity transcends every power structure in existence and can originate from anywhere. - Mark Adams, Senior Vice President and Head of Innovation, VICE Media
Just Eat: Did Somebody Say
Against a backdrop of many sectors facing significant headwinds and an advertising world drowned in rainbows and Zoom conference rooms, delivery and fast-food brands cut through with McDonalds, Burger King and KFC all playing their part. For me, however Just Eat turbo-charged the sector with the “Did Somebody Say” campaign thanks to some cultural rocket fuel from genius work with Snoop Dogg. It provided levity, humour and entertainment when it was needed the most, and gave the brand personality in much the same way that the Meerkats did for Comparethemarket.com. I also loved how they amplified the TV campaign through TikTok and Instagram. Definitely the advertising highlight of 2020 for me. - John L Williams, Global Scotch Director, Diageo
NRMA: Home Insurance for Koalas
With the WFA’s ‘Better Marketing’ in mind, I always admire brands truly delivering on the purpose they promise. The “Home Insurance for Koalas” campaign from Australian insurer NRMA is a brilliant example of this. It delivers on the organisation’s purpose of ‘every home is worth protecting’ with a pledge to rebuild koala habitats – planting a tree (a.k.a. a koala ‘house’) for every new insurance policy sold. The campaign offers brilliant, emotional advertising, a friendly and helpful ‘Arlo the Koala’ chatbot, plus giving people chance to help on the ground through volunteering and partnerships following the bushfire crisis. 37,000 trees planted in 2020 shows a brand making a difference. - Hannah Hattie Matthews, Managing Partner, Karmarama, part of Accenture Interactive.
L’Oréal: pivoting to e-commerce
This year has challenged all of us to be more nimble. At YouTube we’ve been working hard to help customers pivot their businesses, providing tools and insights to adapt to new consumer behaviors. One company that’s particularly impressed me is L’Oréal. When confronted with dramatic change in shopping behavior, this renowned brand marketer made a sharp pivot to e-commerce. YouTube enabled them to keep reaching consumers and generate sales. By repurposing existing video creative with timely messages and leveraging Trueview for action to optimize for online conversions, not only did L’Oréal’s campaign on YouTube outperform their expectations – with a campaign average that was four times x more efficient than other tactics – but most importantly, it also helped them make the pivot to e-commerce. Being nimble ensured continued business momentum at this challenging time. - Debbie Weinstein, Vice President, YouTube/Video solutions
For more favourite campaigns of 2020 see here.