By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

March 3, 2023 | 5 min read

Gordon Young reviews some of the best ad campaigns from The Drum’s World Creative Rankings and The Drum Awards.

The World Creative Rankings identify the best agencies, brands, and people globally based on how they performed across 19 major award schemes, including The Drum Awards.

So The Drum’s founder and editor-in-chief Gordon Young pored over the final rankings and selected some of his favorite campaigns that excelled in both the Rankings and our awards shows in 2022. The full list of the top 100 campaigns can be found here.

Unesco and Virtue Worldwide: Backup Ukraine

Ukraine’s cultural heritage has been under threat of destruction since Russia invaded last year. To ensure its safety, Unesco and Virtue urged the population to make a digital backup in the cloud, where no bombs could reach. Every citizen was given the power to create high-definition 3D models of iconic cultural sites — and all they needed was their phones. Using a smartphone’s built-in camera and GPS data lets everyone in Ukraine capture any place or monument in a matter of minutes. With 6,800 downloads and a 44% growth in heritage scanned each week, Ukrainian volunteers have backed up more sculptures than the museum of Modern Art has collected since 1993.

World Ranking: 8

FCB New York and Spotify: A Song for Every CMO

In this B2B campaign, Spotify wanted to harness a more significant spot in the digital audio ad market. FCB came up with the idea to target CMOs for brands like CVS, Frito-Lay, Indeed, Kimberly-Clark and Intuit with personalized compositions using Spotify’s data and insight. The months following the release saw huge spikes in engagement including new business conversations with 10,000 marketing leaders and 185,000 new visitors to the Spotify Advertising website in Q4 2021.

World Ranking: 22

Zulu Alpha Kilo and Phaff Harley Davidson: ‘Tough Turban’

In 2018, Ontario, Canada passed legislation allowing Sikh men to ride motorcycles without helmets, to allow them to wear their turbans. However, it came with the choice to either ride without head protection or ride with new freedom. While Harley-Davidson has a diverse ridership, it is often perceived as the choice of older, white men. To change this perception to illustrate the brand’s growing focus on inclusiveness, a turban was created, made of impact-resistant materials that also fully respect the requirements of the Sikh faith. To anchor the campaign, a website was launched with a video profiling several Sikh riders discussing the need for the Tough Turban addressed, as well as highlighting how the turban was actually engineered. The campaign saw coverage by 171 US media outlets, 54 in Canada, 18 in the UK and 11 in India, totaling 238.8m earned impressions with an advertising value of $2.19m.

World Ranking: 42

Nomint and WWF: Can’t Negotiate the Melting Point of Ice

The emotional video follows the story of a polar bear cub trying to survive the melting Arctic environment. Released to coincide with Cop26, it provided a visual metaphor to remind world leaders that “once arctic ice melts, we can’t get it back”. To produce the short, a combination of 3D printing, mold-making and ice-sculpting was used to create 500 polar bears. Over the course of 12 months, the film used more than 1,000 liters of ice. It was directed by Nomint co-founder Yannis Konstantindis in collaboration with motion designers Marcos Savignano and Jua Braga.

World Ranking: 79

Rethink and Over the Bridge: The Lost Tapes of the 27 Club

To draw attention to the music industry’s mental health crisis, Rethink and Over The Bridge used artificial intelligence to create new songs by members of the 27 Club — a group of legendary artists who died at just 27 years old after battling mental health issues. Rethink used AI to create new songs by the members of the 27 Club using Magenta, a platform developed by Google. It trained a computer to analyze the audio data from four artists – Hendrix, Winehouse, Morrison and Cobain – and identify specific patterns in their riffs, rhythms, lyrics and melodies. The Lost Tapes were launched on Spotify, YouTube Music and a campaign microsite, where listeners could learn more about music’s mental health crisis as well as discover support resources from Over The Bridge. Soon after launch, Rolling Stone covered the campaign, helping generate over 2m album streams from over 160 countries in just one week. Over The Bridge saw an 830% increase in musicians and their families reaching out to it for support, ensuring that their music lives on.

World Ranking: 84

Explore the best-performing campaigns, agencies and brands in this year’s World Creative Rankings.

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