It’s October and, before we begin to speculate about this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad, we felt now would be the perfect time to take stock of 2018’s best work.
Make no mistake about it: the sheer creative quality we’ve seen over the first nine months of the year, made picking our top-five a tough task. But somebody’s got to do it and, 72 hours of deliberation*, 72 cups of coffee** and 72 minutes’ collective sleep later***, our judging panel finally managed to come to a unanimous decision on the best ads of 2018 (so far). Drum roll, please…
#5 – Great Tastes of America, McDonald’s
We can’t think of a brand that consistently nails creative quite like McDonald’s, and their latest Great Taste of America ads prove why. Opting for humour instead of clichéd food porn shots, that mix of over the top Americana and wry, British humour is a truly mouth-watering combination.
#4 – Highlight the Remarkable, Stabilo Boss
If a pen company can come up with something this beautiful, so can you. pic.twitter.com/YdCPBQOR0H
— Michelle Broderick (@MichelleBee) July 5, 2018
Imagine getting the brief for this one: you can almost hear the creative team’s collective sighs as they read the part that says “we want to make highlighter pens a truly inspirational product”. But, by using an ordinary product to highlight extraordinary stories, they managed to do just that.
#3 – FCK, KFC
— James Herring (@itsjamesherring) February 23, 2018
If ever there was a case for the power of print, KFC’s apology ad in February was it. Using beautifully simple words and simply beautiful art direction, it was a masterclass in seamlessly combining creativity and format with crisis management, as a way of gaining earned media.
#2 – Dream Crazy, Nike
What can be said about Nike’s latest ad that hasn’t already been said? A bona fide classic, ‘Dream Crazy’ is the industry’s much-needed reminder that brands can make a real impact on society using purpose-led advertising. But only when they have truly powerhouse, non-contrived creative to match that purpose.
#1 – Hot & Spicy, KFC
— John Vingoe (@ElevenBlackUK) April 17, 2018
Sometimes, an ad so clever and beautiful comes along, both ‘creative’ and ‘non-creative’ types around the world sit up and pay immediate attention to it. An ad so good, it manages to grab the collective retinas of the globe, never letting go in its attempt to travel through the eyes and permanently onto the brain. It’s a rare occurrence, so to have three come along at once fully justifies our decision to put KFC’s Hot & Spicy ads at the top of this year’s pile.
In order to keep HR happy, we legally have to clarify that:
* This didn’t happen.
** Neither did this.
*** Or this, for that matter. Sorry, we were just trying to create dramatic effect.