The Drum’s editors and reporters picked their favorite ads and campaigns throughout the year with a header simply called ‘Ads We Like’. As 2019 draws to a close, we’ve thumbed through the many quality choices and put them in order of how our readers liked them as well, collating them by the amount of reads they generated on our site.
Today we count from the bottom up, reviewing numbers five through one. They range from the cheeky and fun to pop culture nostalgia, from big brands and challengers alike.
5. Dollar Shave Club, ‘Manifique: A Father’s Day Gift’
Dollar Shave Club celebrated all those who sport the not-quite-chiseled physique known as dad bods – in ‘Manifique: A Father’s Day Gift,’ a showcase and celebration of dads.
To help promote its first-ever DadBod Gift Set, the company featured a dance line of men in towels, robes and underwear to sing about their marvelous shapes. What starts with a single potbellied man against a black screen turns into a choreographed dance group moving to the original song, Dadbod, which features a growling voice over the techno beat, with lyrics like “I work hard to get my dadbod…my physique, is unique…manifique.”
4. BBC, Alan Partridge email
It took 24 years, but Alan Partridge finally returned to the BBC, as only he could. Steve Coogan’s character didn’t get another series, as such. According to an email sent out allegedly from Partridge to the BBC’s 20,000 employees, they “sidled up to [him] with a short-term offer to co-present your much-loved magazine show ‘This Time’.”
The show’s writers, Neil and Rob Gibbons, created the email that went out ahead of the series premiere to the whole of BBC’s staff to urge them to tune in that night.
The email toyed with the playful nature of Partridge’s fictional, but very ‘real’ character. It is written in Partridge’s true desperately awkward tone and seeks to “clear the air of any residual stench” so he can assure his fellow workers that there are “no hard feelings,” after the BBC sacked him back in the 90s for an on-air misdemeanor involving a turkey.
3. Spotify, ‘Listen Like You Used To’ by Who Wot Why
In a bid to set tongues wagging from Gen X, Spotify's 'Listen Like You Used To' campaign conjures up nostalgia for tracks from the 80s and 90s.
Created by Who Wot Why, the campaign features a series of quirky, cultural creatives that hark back to well-loved music, targeting an audience of listeners who grew up from 1979 to 1999, reminding people that their classic songs never age, even if they do.
The ads cover a variety of genres and one creative goes back to 1979, when The Clash released their politically charged album, 'London Calling.' Fast forward 40 years where 'conference calling' is the sad reality.
2. Walkers, ‘Spice Girls’ Superfan Shock Reaction’ by AMV BBDO
The Spice Girls partnered once again with Walkers (as they did in 1997) but this time it’s a nostalgia trip with one of the group’s ‘superfans’.
As part of the campaign, Walkers was on the lookout for the #BestFanEver, who could win the chance to meet the girls on tour.
Launching the competition, the 'spoof' ad sees the Spice Girls on the way to surprise their 'biggest fan' at his house with VIP tour tickets. Ecstatic at first to find the Spice Girls at his home, things change when Emma Bunton asks the 'superfan' for one of his Walkers crisps. When he doesn’t share, the reaction is fierce.
1. Ikea, ‘Real Life Series’ by Publicis Spain
The most read Ads We Like of 2019 was also a trip down memory lane for many people, bringing US pop culture to the world in furniture form.
Ikea recreated three iconic TV living room sets in order to capture the cultural imaginations of consumers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The brand enlisted Publicis Spain to create a set of three displays, modeled after the living rooms of TV classics ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Friends’ and ‘Stranger Things’. The print ads comprise of actual furniture from the store’s inventory, which was modelled and edited using 3D software for a hyper-realistic aesthetic.
The campaign shows you can buy Monica Geller’s coffee table – or ‘Lack’ – for just $95, or a set of Joyce Byers’s candles – ‘Fenomen’ – for $29.
The project, named ‘Real Life Series,’ came to life on Ikea’s social media channels and catalogues, and even appeared in experiential form across stores in the Middle East.
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