As we shake the dust of 2015 off our feet, The Drum has been reflecting on the brands and agencies that have made the greatest impact on the industry over the past twelve months.
Today we take a look at the best creative work from the year, including campaigns from Sport England, Sure and Unicef.
The Drum's New Year Honours will be teased out each day over the Christmas period, with the list published in full in our first issue of 2016, published on 13 January.
Best TV ad: Sport England ‘This Girl Can’
Set to the beat of Missy Elliott’s ‘Get Your Freak On’, Sport England championed women and paid homage to the sweaty reality of everyday workout routines in its nationwide New Year campaign.
The spot was created by FCB Inferno and came as a response to a study which found that fear of judgement was holding women back at the gym.
To help viewers overcome this barrier, the campaign showed real women boxing, swimming and rowing behind a series of cleverly placed slogans such as ‘I jiggle therefore I am’ and ‘I kick balls – deal with it’. The film went viral and has amassed over 325,000 thousand shares on Facebook to date.
Best online videos: Skoda ‘Fight For Attention’
Skoda’s ‘Fight for Attention’ ad for its third generation Fabia Car was created by 18 Feet & Rising. Using eye-tracking technology, the online experience followed users’ eyes as they watched a split screen of two Fabia cars racing. At the end of the race the tech showed users what they missed and then created a personalised infographic of their eye movement.
The campaign site was developed and built in partnership with B-Reel using technology from Visage Technologies.
Best online video: Geico ‘Unskippable’
Very few brands tailor their online ads for pre-roll, so Geico’s ‘Unskippable’ was a breath of fresh air, created to help the insurance company tackle the problem of viewers skipping.
The narrative of the clips, by The Martin Agency, ended in five seconds, but the lingering real-life pause between the characters added a degree of unexpected humour as their surrounds continued to move. A voiceover for each of the four videos said “you can’t skip this Geico ad because it’s already over”.
Best out of home: Tomb Raider 'Survival Billboard'
To mark the release of video game Rise of the Tomb Raider as an Xbox One exclusive, m:united and McCann London challenged eight members of the public to survive extreme weather elements – propped upon its ‘Survival Billboard’ right in the heart of London.
Incorporating live-streaming on Twitch, viewers could vote in 15 minute increments which elements competitors were bombarded with. Pushing the theme of survival, the smart OOH drive was further linked to the game with a holiday inspired by in-game locales serving as the prize for its ultimate survivor.
Best reactive ad: Sure 'Beat the Tube Strike'
Commuting in London during the summer’s Tube strikes was far from pleasant. Whether you walked, cycled or braved the bus, very few Londoners arrived in the office feeling their best. As the sweat poured, Unilever-owned brand Sure saw an opportunity for a cheeky tactical campaign addressing the struggle head on.
Working with DLKW Lowe, three print ads sprung up over the city depicting alternate forms of transport, in the style of London Underground maps, proclaiming ‘However you beat the Tube strike, Sure keeps you fresh with every move’.
Simple but brilliant: Depaul 'There's another side to the story'
Publicis London had a very challenging brief from homelessness charity Depaul; to shift the perception that to really help homeless young people battling with drug and alcohol issues, you have to be a social worker or go through some sort of training – you don’t.
To communicate that, it created a very simple, but clever, out of home campaign. The six-sheet posters, fly-posted around the corners of buildings in London, have text on each side.
On the left, the copy is about the negative ideas people have about giving up a spare room to a homeless youth, but as the full ad comes into view, the copy explains why you should consider volunteering. It was uncomplicated and brilliant, yet went relatively unnoticed.
Best charity ad: Unicef ‘World Upside Down’
Unicef’s hard-hitting ‘World Upside Down’ spot landed on screens in November and called for urgent action to help children affected by war, emergencies and natural disasters.
Created by Don’t Panic, the spot was designed to reflect the experiences faced by children in Syria and other conflict zones.
The ad depicted a British family enjoying what seems to be an ordinary day out at the park. However, each time the children spun upside down by dangling from a climbing frame or doing a headstand, the camera flipped 180-degrees to mirror the dangerous scenarios faced by children seeking refuge.
Best viral campaign: Beats ‘Straight Outta Somewhere’
Ahead of the release of NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, Beats called on fans to “rep their city” with a customised album cover generator.
The meme picture generator allowed users to edit the band’s iconic album cover by adding their own photo and replacing the famed California suburb with their own hometown.
The campaign, which was the brainchild of Beats by Dre and Universal, quickly became a viral sensation with celebrities such as Serena Williams and NFL star Richard Sherman creating their own covers.
Funniest campaign: Hello Flo 'Postpartum: The Musical'
“I expelled that placenta but the fun starts now, cause hon my hoo-ha’s who knows how,” that’s the opening line to the song Vaginal Fallout in Hello Flo’s hilarious short mockumentary ‘Postpartum: The Musical’.
The advert by the tampon subscription service’s New Mom Kit features a mother who is more than a little traumatised by the after-effects of giving birth that she decides to create a musical to warn other mothers.
However, once handed the box of supplies she realises it has made her musical ‘completely irrelevant’. In a category that has long been in need of a breath of fresh air this campaign from Hello Flo is smart and funny and, OK, may just contain a little TMI.