Most shocking (for good)
‘Graham’ – Australia's Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Doing something shocking seems to be the norm when it comes to accident prevention ads, however Australia’s Transport Accident Commission (TAC) decided to go one step further. With the help of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, TAC has released a number of ads to distress the importance of safe driving. One of the most memorable from 2016 has to be the ‘Meet Graham’ campaign created to force drivers to think of their own vulnerability.
The ad, which shows the only ‘human’ capable of surviving a crash, was created with the help of artist Patricia Piccini, a trauma surgeon and an accident research engineer. The mutation reminded drivers of the importance of safe driving while also making us feel a little queasy.
Best public service announcement
The Martin Agency’s ‘World’s Biggest Asshole’ – Donate Life and The Martin Agency
Rarely does a public service announcement tell a compelling and complex story that truly makes you think – mostly they either resort to fear mongering tactics or have you reaching for the tissue box.
But The Martin Agency was able to do just that in a campaign it created for organ donation nonprofit Donate Life called ‘The World’s Biggest Asshole’. In the short film, viewers get to know a despicable man named Coleman Sweeney. Played by actor Thomas Jane, Sweeney has a penchant for doing signature “asshole” things, like beeping at little old ladies who are trying to cross the street and hanging out at sleazy strip clubs.
Yet when he dies from a brain aneurysm at a local diner, a waitress opens his wallet and discovers that he’s an organ donor. After his death, his organs go on to save everyone from a father of two to a teacher. The PSA ends with the cheeky but poignant message, “even an asshole can save a life.”
Best brand announcement
Adidas and Pogba/Stormzy video
Adidas revealed football’s worst-kept secret – Paul Pogba’s long-expected return to Manchester United – in a music video with grime artist Stormzy, and the timing couldn’t have been better. It was hailed as the first transfer to play out over social media, teased for weeks to build momentum, including a clever stunt to get Stormzy to post the video on his own Twitter account and delete it minutes later, kick-starting the hyperbole all over again. The campaign launch was co-ordinated globally to reach as many of the key markets as possible in one push. The industry was sold instantly, with many believing that it pointed to a new era in advertising, and the evolution of sports sponsorship.
Best radio ad
‘See Radio Differently’ – Radiocentre and Lucky Generals
The Radiocentre had one big problem in 2016 – that despite the number of people tuning in to radio at an all-time high, commercial radio's share of revenue simply didn’t match.
Lucky Generals devised the solution and, in the agency’s true style, didn’t just go for a broad-spectrum piece of content in the hopes of reaching as many marketers as possible. Instead, it targeted adland’s top brand-side decision makers, on radio, with bespoke songs which asked them to "see radio differently".
The targets – who had no idea of the campaign – included Unilever’s Keith Weed, Airbnb chief marketer Jonathan Mildenhall, L’Oreal marketer Hugh Pile and John Lewis’ Craig Inglis.
Best use of nineties nostalgia
Project Everyone #WhatIReallyReallyWant
To put pressure on world leaders to follow the UN’s new Global Millennium Development Goals – a series of ambitious targets to end inequality, extreme poverty, hunger and climate change by 2030 – Project Everyone invoked a little bit of nineties nostalgia in the form of the Spice Girls.
The organisation’s #WhatIReallyReallyWant spot celebrated the 20th anniversary of the band’s ‘Wannabe’ video with a remake designed to raise awareness of female inequality. In the year when Crystal Pepsi returned to shelves, tank tops came back into fashion and Absolutely Fabulous became a movie, the Spice Girls remake stood out. Zig-a-zig-ah!
Best celebrity endorsement
Jonah Hill for Palace x Reebok collaboration
Given the number of celebrity endorsements in 2016, Jonah Hill’s mixture of bad dubbing, awkward green screening and cringe worthy comedy was certainly rewarding of the spot. Starring in the Reebok and Palace collaboration campaign, the ad saw Hill reading from a script and notes on his hand with his famous dry humour to create a tongue-in-cheek video to promote the new products.
Created by MPC Creative and directors Lev Tanju, Stuart Bentley and Stuart Hammond, the ad used an array of special effects to create a naff 90s feel.
Best use of a model
Ditching the traditional 16-25 size six model, Harvey Nichols decided to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Vogue with a model of the same age, Bo Gilbert. Envisioned by Adam&Eve DDB, the print ad, accompanied by a two minute biopic of Gilbert’s life and take on style, sees the centenarian model styled head to toe in luxury brands.
Photographed by Phil Poynter, who has previously worked with Kate Moss, Lacoste and Prada, the ad was exclusively printed in Vogue’s May issue. The brand, which has over the years tried to welcome a playful attitude to the department store, described Bo as an “independent lady who epitomises timeless style.”
You can see more of The Drum's New Year Honours here.