Burberry, Spotify, Heinz, Gillette and more: top creatives share their favourite work from 2017

The Drum Advent Calendar picks day 13-24

If you're following us on Instagram you should already be very familiar with our Advent Calendar.

Taking over our feed from 1 December, our Advent Calendar has revealed a different creative's favourite work from 2017 every day of the month so far.

We've already shown you days 1-12, so here's what happened in the second half of the Christmas countdown from Great Western Railway's 'Five go on an adventure' to Heinz's 'Edibile Instagram' and beyond.

To see the full 24 days, head over to our Instagram feed.

Day 13 - Direct TV: Head bang

Chosen by

John Immesoete, chief creative officer, Epsilon

My favorite ad of 2017 is Direct TV’s ‘Head Bang.’ I consistently admire Direct TV’s work, always finding another hilarious premise to sell their difference.

This ad is hilarious, perfectly produced, memorable, and completely on-brand. Finally, it’s something I actually frequently see and remember, which is what advertising is really supposed to do.

Day 14 - Secret Escapes: I shouldn't even be here

Chosen by Mark Elwood, executive creative director, MullenLowe

When you lose a pitch, you want to lose to a great idea and that rarely happens.

But this is a brilliant idea, beautifully executed by Tim Godsall in all three films. We may have lost, but creativity won at the end of the day.

Happy Christmas to all at Droga5, this is the season of goodwill after all.

Day 15 - Great Western Railway: Five go on an adventure

Chosen by Carlo D’Alanno, executive creative director at Rufus Leonard

In a maddening world where distracted walking is part of everyday life (texting whilst walking), cyber bullying is hot topic at coffee mornings and the rise of the robots brings threats as well as opportunities, it was a refreshing change to be reminded of a time before the disruption of technology.

Great Western Railway (GWR) launched a new brand campaign this year that aims to re-ignite people's love of rail travel by reminding them that adventures start as soon as they step onto a GWR train. The animated campaign, created by adam&eveDDB, features Enid Blyton's Famous Five. The launch film sees The Famous Five embark on an unexpected adventure across the GWR network when the gang is accidentally separated from Timmy the dog.

It was created by Steve Wioland and Matt Woolner, and directed by animator Pete Candeland. The art direction and production are a great reminder of how our craftsmanship was, and now more than ever is, so important post technology intervention – no doubt all created digitally.

The real success for me, is how adam&eveDDB brought to life a brand idea created by Pentagram built around GWR’s history, that celebrates GWR’s past and present as a modern engineering company; seamless likeminded greatness to maximise client spend.

Storytelling at its best. Enid, you rock.

Day 16 - Gillette: Handle with care

Chosen by Michael Dorich, creative director, Schafer Condon Carter (SCC)

Gillette’s ‘Handle With Care’ is a simple, yet beautiful piece of film that shows the powerful bond between three generations of men. There’s nothing fancy here – no exotic location, film technique or actors – just a human truth. The product is artfully incorporated in the story and the scenes showing Kristian shaving his father’s face are moving, raw and captivating. I couldn’t help but think of my father and son as I wiped away a tear. Great advertising should make you want to buy the brand or product. This does.

Day 17 - Merck for Mothers: Push

Chosen by Ben James, managing director of creative innovation, J. Walter Thompson New York

If this work wasn’t so undeniably powerful, my choice for ‘favorite work this year’ might come off as biased. This was done at my fiancé’s agency Matter Unlimited, by frequent JWT collaborators Whitelist... there is work that makes you jealous, there is work that moves you. This work made me cry, for both reasons.

Day 18 - Spotify: 2018 goals

Chosen by Casey Bird, SheSays president and founder of The Freelance Circle

I know it's not the first year this has been done, but for me it feels fresh and creative every year. Their use of user data is so clever, simple, funny & quirky, a real insight into our lives when the earbuds go in at work / home. It makes me smile every time.

On top of that it's been created by the Spotify in-house team. Is 2018 the rise of in-house advertising? We shall see.

Day 19 - Une: Payphone banking

Chosen by Tseliso Rangaka, executive creative director, Ogilvy Cape Town

We often trawl the Internet in search of inspiration to crack our next brief. We search for the work that sets the standard, and that is usually dictated by what wins at the big international award shows and rightfully so. This year McCann New York stole the headlines with Fearless Girl for the right and then the wrong reasons. But being a South African based agency, we rarely get to speak to the markets that McCann New York does. We’re a developing country with developing needs which allows us to create interesting creative solutions for the markets we do play in – and if this is the case, surely, we should be looking at best practice examples from countries with a similar economic background to ours. This means that your inspiration doesn’t come from the big budget Nike ads, the Super Bowl car commercials and the statues built on Wall Street, New York. No.

For us, this year, it came from Columbia, a developing country just like ours, with developing needs just like we have. Payphone bank is a simple banking solution that brings banking services to an emerging market in a practical and effective way. It’s an idea that could have been easily and effectively executed in South Africa.

As advertising creatives on this side of the equator, it is more important for us to aspire to create work like Une’s Payphone Banking rather than the next big budget Super Bowl ad shot in real time.

Day 20 - Heinz: Edible Instagram

Chosen by Claire Asker, freelance associate creative director

Heinz’s edible Instagram posts are the most exciting idea I’ve seen in a while because it broadens possibilities for the platform and channel. It's true that print and outdoor have explored edibles many times in the past, but making an edible social campaign? Now that really smashes the forth wall. It's in the realm of Willy Wonka's ‘WonkaVision’ where an annoying child plucks a chocolate bar transmitted through the TV.

Standard food porn photography and appetite appeal cleverly introduce the option to deliver and eat what's on screen. It overcomes the taste barrier, taps into the need state of the audience and most importantly rides the culture wave of food porn photography on Instagram.

Day 21 - Burger King: Google Home hijack

Chosen by Mark Forgan and Jamie Standen, creative directors, Ogilvy Paris

‘Hijack’ seems to be the new buzz word around creative department water coolers these days and no one has done it better than Burger King when they really pull the pants down on Google Home.

Even when Google tried to stop it from happening, BK just kept shifting the goal post- hilarious. Brilliantly clever and it’s just a traditional 15 second TV spot. Although not that many people even have Google Home seems the whole world was talking about Burger King. Bravo.

Day 22 - LA Metro: Be Superkind

Chosen by Ariel Broggi, VP creative director, Something Massive

Mike Diva is, without question, the breakout directing talent of 2017. His Kubrick-inspired Halo Top spot was amazing, but I think his LA Metro work is at another level, based on the informational heavy lifting required. His genre-specific attention to detail is inspiring, from the editing, effects and art direction to the surprisingly catchy music composition. The casting is also spot-on, and it was super smart to choose a social media influencer for the lead role.

Day 23 - Green & Black's: Velvet edition

Chosen by Emily Hodge, freelance senior art director

In a busy landscape of new apps, social media campaigns and shouty ads, this haunting Green & Black’s ad cuts through all the noise. A simple message executed in a beautiful and compelling way. The best thing about it? I don’t feel like I’m being sold to. Which makes me want to purchase Green & Black’s even more (not that I need much encouragement in that department).

Day 24 - Burberry/Apple AR

Chosen by Michael Milligan, creative director, Berlin Cameron

Burberry partnered with Apple to create an augmented reality app to entice big spenders online. The augmented-reality feature interacts with users’ camera feeds to digitally redecorate their surroundings with Burberry-inspired drawings by the artist Danny Sangra.

It’s great to see a very traditional British brand innovate around technology to open up new opportunities in a time when two-thirds of all luxury purchases are now digitally influenced.

Technology and fashion brands will continue to redefine how we experience luxury brands and I would expect to see more innovation in 2018.

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Gillian West

Gillian West is The Drum’s social media manager and works to ensure The Drum’s content reaches followers across platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram in an engaging, relevant and timely manner. Based in Glasgow, she has been actively involved in building The Drum’s Creative Works brand for over three years now and has interviewed major creative figures including Rankin, Peter Souter, Rosie Arnold, Bob Greenberg and Vicki Maguire. During her time at The Drum she has attended events such as Cannes Lions, the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Art Director’s Club Europe, D&AD and more.

All by Gillian