Our favourite creative campaigns (that we didn’t work on) of the past year.
You may have been expecting a 2021 predictions piece but in all honesty, we couldn’t bring ourselves to even attempt to hypothesize the year ahead, as change has been the only constant in our lives for the past year. So instead we’ve decided to reflect, gather our thoughts, soak up some of the positivity and creativity we saw amongst the hardships of 2020 by taking a look at Fanclub’s favourite creative campaigns (that we didn’t work on) of the past year.
Patagonia was one of a number of brands taking an anti-Black Friday stance in the fight against over consumerism. As with previous years, the B-Corp certified company didn’t go on sale during Black Friday but instead released a series of stories that stressed the impact of mass consumption on the plant. Yet, what caught my eye was the series of print adverts in The Times featuring a reversible poem which, when read backwards, gives an account of why we must act now against climate change. I think in recent years we’ve come to under appreciate the value of well-crafted copy, so it’s brilliant to see Patagonia demonstrating just how impactful good copywriting can be.
I think it has to be Cadbury’s work with Age UK for the Donate Your Words campaign for me. Not only was it an extremely well executed partnership, but it also tackled such an important and sensitive topic in a clever and emotive way. Involving Captain Tom Moore for ‘The Originals’ podcast, making him the oldest podcast host ever? Well that is bound to capture the heart of the nation. This campaign was a perfect example of how we can use PR for good, and maybe even change the world.
This viral internet challenge kept me and a lot of twitter entertained for days during lockdown 1.0. While museums and galleries shut their doors, the Getty kept imaginations open by challenging people to recreate famous paintings at home - with some incredible responses. My personal highlights were dog baby Jesus and hoover harp.
In the wake of the very popular and very moving A Life on Our Planet film on Netflix, WWF had the genius idea to pair their Living Planet report with a film (Our Planet, Too Big to Fail). The film showed how the impact of investing-as-usual on the planet, plus a series of thought-provoking interviews to show the role the finance sector can play in the transition to a sustainable future. It’s a campaign that connects a typically B2B topic (investment) with real-world issues applicable to everybody, and I love work that does that!
I particularly loved the prospective billboard campaign developed by two students at Miami Ad School in Hamburg, Germany, which showed spoilers for trending Netflix shows with a view to encourage people to stay inside as COVID-19 took hold.
The students reclaimed the power from COVID rule-breakers to spoil things for everyone else, by spoiling shows like Stranger Things, Narcos and Love is Blind, for them. Whilst Netflix didn’t endorse the campaign, the billboards went viral quickly- a smart, agile creative, which jumped quickly on wider sentiment.
This is one of the weirder campaigns I’ve seen that makes total sense from the off. With 2020 seeing a huge reduction in tourism, most tourism boards will have accepted their fate and reduced comms to the rest of the world.
Rather than sitting back and letting 2020 run its course, the nation’s tourist board decided to use the pent up frustration many felt throughout the year to highlight the nation’s beauty. How exactly? By letting people around the world literally scream into the wilderness.
This campaign was a fun take on a bad situation, allowing people to ‘experience’ – for want of a better word – Iceland’s beautiful isolated plains whilst venting their COVID frustrations.
I loved the vision behind Burger King’s shirt sponsorship of Stevenage Town FC. A club that draws a mere 2,700 fans to it’s stadium, in the days fans could watch live football, BK turned the partnership into gaming gold drawing an audience of millions
Tapping into FIFA 2020, the fast-food giant offered free Whoppers and chips in return for gamers completing in-game challenges, while playing as the ‘The Boro.’
Challenges included 'A Nutmeg for Nuggets' and 'Impossible for Impossible Whopper', as the gamers (wearing official BK emblazoned Stevenage jerseys) happily shared their clips online in return for food and free delivery.
Fast forward to now, and real-life Stevenage have sold out all their club shirts, are the most played FIFA 20 team on live streaming platform Twitch, and are known around the world.
This isn’t so much a campaign, but an historic piece of leadership comms which was both masterful and effective. Atlanta was burning. Literally. People took to the streets, angry about the brutal killing of George Floyd by police. The mayor of this city and the police force were overwhelmed. Killer Mike, a rapper from Run The Jewels delivers a moving speech, rooted in community and authenticity, in which he asks people to end the violence and bring their pain to the polls, “I love and respect you all. I hope we find a way out of it, ’cause I don’t have the answers, but I do know we must plot, we must plan, we must strategize, organize, and mobilize”.
He admits his flaws and gives clear, empathetic guidance. Perhaps the best leadership we’ve seen all year.