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New Year Honours: The Drum editorial team's campaigns of 2019


By The Drum, Editorial

January 11, 2020 | 4 min read

In the newest issue of The Drum, we award our New Year Honours to the agencies, brands and people who have proved, throughout 2019, that marketing can change the world. Pick up a copy to see the entire list and read our reasoning, but in the meantime here's a glimpse of the creative campaigns we think made 2019 a year to remember.

Microsoft ‘We All Win’

After a four-year hiatus, 2019 was the year Microsoft returned to Super Bowl advertising with a spot that showed directly how technology can improve lives for the better.

Sandy Hook Promise ‘Back-to-school Essentials’

Seven years after the Sandy Hook school shooting in which 26 people were murdered, gun violence in the US persists. And so Sandy Hook Promise continues to campaign for reactive measures to prevent gun violence in schools. In ‘Back-to-school Essentials’ by BBDO New York, it highlighted the normalisation of gun violence in schools.

College Music ‘Lo-fi Beats Suicide’

In a year where many campaigns have put an emphasis on mental health awareness, one that particularly stood out was College Music’s collaboration with Vice and McCann for a drastic reworking of the YouTube phenomenon that sees thousands of students tune into livestreams every day to listen to a playlist of lo-fi and hip-hop music as they study and relax.

Gillette ‘The Best Men Can Be’

Gillette sparked controversy in early-2019 when it played with its classic slogan, changing from ‘the best a man can get’ to ‘the best men can be’, prompting a conversation about the future of masculinity.

Cadbury ‘Donate Your Words’

The UK’s favorite chocolate brand removed the wording from its Dairy Milk bar for the first time in its more-than-100-year history in support of Age UK as it looked to combat loneliness among the older generation. ‘Donate your words’ by VCCP donated 30p to the charity for every limited-edition bar sold.

Volkswagen ‘Hello Light’ and ‘Lemonade’


2019 marked a new beginning for Volkswagen as the car manufacturer announced its plans for the future and its next generation of electric vehicles. The reset followed a difficult period in the brand’s history, still recovering from the 2015 revelation that up to 11m of its vehicles worldwide had been rigged to cheat emissions tests.

Hiscox ‘The Hack’

To highlight the risk of cyber-attacks to the small businesses it services, insurer Hiscox launched ‘The Hack’, an inventive campaign that used the tactics of trolls and criminal hackers to simulate the impact of a cyber-attack on a high-street firm.

Clear Channel ‘Stockholm Underground Music Guide’

Clear Channel

To combat the dying tradition of music venues in Stockholm, Clear Channel took over the city’s metro to promote underground music.

This newest issue of The Drum is out now and looks back on the best brands, marketers, media companies, agencies and organizations – as well as the finest campaigns – of 2019. And since this is our first issue of the new decade, we review some of the finest work of the last 10 years, before we turn towards the next 10.

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