2018 is been the year when consumer behaviour and creative data finally got married to give birth to beautiful digital campaigns that made it to the headlines. The year witnessed epic innovations, massive collaborations, brilliant integrations and mostly, honest recognition by the people of digital and beyond.
While there were thousands of campaigns that won hundreds of laurels (and are continuing to win, still), here are the top 10 campaigns that made it to my ‘Absolute Favorites’ list:-
What’s the best way to show your expertise? You remove yourself from the picture and let someone else take your place.
When Alexa, the smart assistant lost her voice, some super-famous yet highly unqualified celebrities ‘tried’ to take her place and what followed was a comedy of errors.
It turned out to be extremely persuasive, ridiculously funny, and yet so much more than just high profile celebrity cameos. This is, hands down, one of the funniest campaigns I saw this year and even though it’s all very funny, it makes a deeper case for how much we rely on A.I to guide our daily routines.
A free world may be a utopian concept to certain nations, however, when a loophole was figured out, it allowed the people to fight back.
The Uncensored Playlist used an interesting gap in the censorship laws to deliver censored news, i.e. as pop music as it is allowed to go uncensored on streaming services. By pairing journalists with local musicians in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Egypt and Uzbekistan, they created soundtracks that conveyed the stories which would otherwise be censored beyond meaning. With the identities protected in their home countries, the whole playlist was made available on free music streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. And so, the censored news found a unique way of reaching the world.
When the people didn’t understand a simple point, they tried using the strongest metaphor possible. A simple, yet hard hitting campaign, highlighting the fact that a society that robs women of their rights, fails fundamentally. Using the game of chess as a metaphor where the ‘Queen’ is the most powerful piece, the Powerless Queen Challenge showcased what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world, completely helpless and powerless. My favourite part was not only being given a voice through this campaign, but witnessing the impact it had on World Chess Champions like Viswanathan Anand, Tania Sachdev and Anna Rudolf.
We know what gamers like? Games?
Money. They like money. Lots of it!
And people at Xbox figured this out. With customized controllers made available at high price (obviously!), they got people’s time and attention, but not their money. So, Xbox asked gamers to claim ownership of their controller designs. The more people bought a design, the more it earned. It changed behavior, turning gamers into entrepreneurs. Gamers promoted their designs on social channels, and Xbox amplified them in-store, online and in media strategically. An absolutely unconventional approach that made consumers into designers and marketers.
55 years after he was killed, John F. Kennedy gives his final speech. A sensational campaign by Rothco, that brought back John F. Kennedy’s voice to deliver a poignant, powerful and strikingly relevant message, after he was gunned down in 1963 and silenced seemingly forever. It was world’s first AI audio speech made completely out of data from hundreds of archive recordings of old JFK speeches.
Is there a better way to celebrate a great man’s legacy? I think not.
Is there a better way to showcase your expertise? Definitely not. *Goosebumps*
You know what’s better than going viral on the internet?
Becoming a sensational meme on the internet!
FIFA’18 introduced a new kicking trick in the game that made it one of the peppiest campaigns of the year and an absolute delight for the gamers.
And that’s not even the best part. The campaign blurred the boundaries between real and virtual as it inspired a real-life trick shot by Ronaldo, Antoine Griezmann, Dele Alli, and James Harden. It gained massive traction from around the world with countless attempts and spin-offs making it a cultural phenomenon.
From in-the-game to on-the-pitch and across the globe, we all saw the El-Tornado.
A water buffalo sized tourism ad for Australia that might just be the most memorable piece from genre this year.
Wasn’t very happy to be fooled by it, but hey, it got me thinking about ‘Straya! Lots of buzz, lots of drama and one hell of a lot twist – a movie that wasn’t, with its own IMDB page. – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7895824/.
Jordan is a brand built on the heroic of a single man whose greatness unfortunately, didn’t translate into timelessness. However for the first time in 2018, Nike understood that it was planning sell the coveted Jordan Air to a whole generation that has never witnessed ‘His Airness’.
So how did they get people to invest in the glory of MJ, whose feats were becoming almost mythical? Take them back to MJ’s 1988 Slam Dunk Contest win, the scene of the iconic Free Throw Line Dunk and one of the most memorable moments in NBA history, and show a generation what greatness truly looks like.
They put MJ back on the court, attacking the rim in the same pose the world witnessed in ’88 and which inspired the brand’s logo. An epically orchestrated three-way tech collaboration between Snapchat as the exclusive social network, Shopify as the check-out partner, and Darkstore as the fulfillment and delivery platform made it an A/R shoppable experience.
A mighty, mighty slam-dunk!
For LGBTQ+ travellers, what’s legal in one place can be punishable by prison, or worse, in the next. Enter DestinationPride.org. Brilliantly conceptualized and beautifully executed campaign where the Pride Flag was reimagined as a dynamic data-visualization of the world’s LGBTQ laws and social sentiment. It brought together thousands of data points from around the globe to calculate six key measures of acceptance, such as marriage equality, sexual activity laws and real-time social media sentiment for any town, city, province, state or country on earth.
A real solution for the lesser understood, and unspoken issues for our brothers and sisters.
They say that if you want the ad to work, don’t worry about people seeing it.
More so, put it on a platform where people least expect it.
Even better, put it there forever!
A subliminal spot that proved to be a massive stunt for TD Ameritrade, with their first-ever branded message embedded within the bitcoin blockchain. It was an interesting innovation by all means where the unchangeable digital ledger for logging transactions was turned into a media platform. IMO, it was most crypto-cryptic message given out by TD Ameritrade: they are here to stay.
Here’s to hoping that 2019 will knock our socks off. Godspeed to us all!!
Guest Article by Surbhi Arora, Regional Head – Creative Strategy (North) WATConsult