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World Creative Rankings: advertising's most awarded campaigns revealed

Essity, Skittles and New York Times feature among top campaigns

Libresse and Bodyform's taboo-breaking music video, 'Viva La Vulva', has been crowned the top ad campaign of the year.

The uplifting body positivity campaign from AMV BBDO takes the number one spot in the newly published World Creative Rankings, which reveal which campaigns, people, brands and agencies won the most major awards in 2019.

Formerly known as The Big Won, the World Creative Rankings benchmark the most outstanding work from the previous year by aggregating and analysing the results of 21 international award shows including the Clios, D&AD and Cannes Lions.

'Viva La Vulva' is followed in the rankings by 'The Truth Is Worth It', the powerful Droga5 films for The New York Times, and 'Broadway the Rainbow', DDB Chicago's surreal Skittles musical. The top 200 most-awarded campaigns of 2019 can be found in the World Creative Rankings report. Download a free summary now.

1. Viva La Vulva

By AMV BBDO for Essity

Swedish health advertiser Essity, owner of brands such as Bodyform and Libresse, has developed a taste for tackling taboos. Working with AMV BBDO, it had already been responsible for the acclaimed 'Bloodnormal' campaign in 2017, which drew praise for its depiction of real menstrual blood. And when it wanted to expand its brands into the 'intimate care' category, it gave no consideration to changing its bold approach.

The result was 'Viva La Vulva', a three-minute music video that became one of the most talked about campaigns of the year, and now – we can reveal – the most awarded.

Set to Camille Yarbrough’s Take Yo’ Praise (sampled in Fatboy Slim’s hit Praise You), it shows hundreds of vulvas – represented by oysters, conch shells, fortune cookies and more – joyously lip-syncing along to the music.

"Everything we saw in society and culture was conspiring to make women feel bad about their genitals," said Alex Grieve, AMV BBDO's chief creative officer. "So we chose to do everything we could to make them feel good about them instead."

2. The Truth Is Worth It

Droga5 New York for The New York Times

'The Truth Is Worth It' is a series of films depicting the lengths NYT reporters have to go to in their bid to unearth major stories. They shadow journalists during their full reporting process, showing everything from the routine research phase in the office to dodging explosions on the ground in the hunt to get the story.

"We look for stories can we tell about our journalism," NYT chief marketing officer David Rubin told The Drum. "We reach out to the newsroom and talk to journalists to understand their stories better. The goal is to find a creative way to tell their stories in a simple format or 30 seconds or less, then we create the work."

3. Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical

DDB Chicago for Skittles

Skittles’ 2019 Super Bowl campaign had to be seen to be believed – primarily

because, in a rejection of reach, it was only viewable by the tiny minority of the brand’s paying public who managed to gouge tickets for this pop-up branded Broadway extravaganza. That didn't stop it being garlanded with awards, however.

Starring Dexter actor Michael C Hall, the half-hour performance was written by Pulitzer-finalist playwright Will Eno in partnership with DDB. Through song and dance (original tracks included Advertising Ruins Everything, This Might Have Been A Bad Idea, and This Definitely Was A Bad Idea) the meta musical had commercialism firmly in its sights when it was staged on Super Bowl Sunday.

As our reviewer Katie Deighton wrote: "The audience laughs at the bathos, yet at this point the joke is really on every single advertiser spending Broadway-production levels of cash on Super Bowl Sunday: the cluttered nature of the commercial game means many are unlikely to measure even 'an almost imperceptible' rise in sales off the back of their $5m 30-second spot."

You can find out how all three of the most-awarded campaigns of 2019 were made and see the full list of the top 200 campaigns in the World Creative Rankings report, available at worldcreativerankings.com. The World Creative Rankings report also reveals the industry's 200 most-awarded creatives, agencies and brands.

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