2nd January 2019, By Shruti Acharya, Sr. Copywriter

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Campaigns, as I see, are more than hashtags which explain the idea in less words.

Thought-provoking campaigns are those which make you say ‘I wish I were a part of this beauty.’ There are two sides - one which resembles the insight and second, which connects with the audience. A campaign is no less than an experience. Agree? It’s an experience which people carry with them and remember as ‘The Best Ad Campaigns Of The Year’.

Insight. Rationale. Idea. Thought. Execution.
Ad Campaigns 2018. On point!

Let’s look at some hard-hitting and memorable campaigns which made a difference in 2018 and changed the way we look at Advertising.

1. Nike – ‘Colin Kaepernick – Just Do It’

It short:

Mind-blowingly-awesome. Who else, but Nike, can have the grit to leave behind what the world thinks and have a bold thought-process of its own that can make one’s brain explode out of the skull? This is one such campaign.

Background:

Kaepernick has become a divisive figure in the US as many people have criticised his decision to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

What’s the campaign?:

Nike endorsed Colin Kaepernick since 2011 but has not featured him in campaigns since his departure from the NFL. Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward. This campaign energises its meaning and introduces ‘Just Do It’ to a new generation of athletes.

By featuring Kaerpernick in its campaign, Nike has taken a bold step to create positive buzz and impact from an audience of younger consumers, those who are more left wing and those from the BAME community.

2. CALM - Project 84 - #StandAgainstSuicide

In short:

Creates an impact offline (video) to bring a change online (petition).

Background:

Eighty-four men a week commit suicide in the UK. It was time to raise awareness of the issue.

What’s the campaign?:

Charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) and shaving brand Harry’s launched Project 84, placing 84 male statues on top of ITV’s This Morning studio and South Bank building to represent the tragic statistic. Sculptures were modelled on real men who took their lives. Through this campaign, thousands of people have come together – raising their voices, taking a stand against suicide, and showing that it really doesn’t have to be this way. There were also 2.1 billion pieces of earned media, 36,000 Twitter mentions and enough signatures on CALM’s #StandAgainstSuicide petition to take it to Parliament. The campaign received an overwhelming amount of positive responses and an outpouring of emotion and desire for things to change.

Watch the video:

3. Billie - Project Body Hair

In short:

A celebration of female body hair “wherever it is… or isn’t”.

Background:

Until this year, most people would have been forgiven for thinking that women were born smooth and just like to shave for the hell of it.

What’s the campaign?:

For the past 100 years, women’s razor brands haven’t acknowledged female body hair. Commercials show women ‘shaving’ perfectly smooth, airbrushed legs. Strange, huh? But everyone has short stubble, long strands, or something in between. What you do with yours is up to you – grow it, get rid of it, or comb it. It’s your hair, after all.

Bored of adverts only showing razors gliding over smooth, hairless legs, this year Billie, the female-first shave and body brand, claimed to be the first women’s razor brand to show actual hair. Project Body Hair is not a campaign against shaving; it is a campaign against big brands promoting unrealistic portrayals of women. Billie’s honest and realistic approach is refreshing.

Watch the video:

4. Lloyds Bank - #GetTheInsideOut

In short:

It was time to remove the stigma, break the silence and stop suffering. Lloyds Bank did just that

Background:

One in four people suffer from mental health problems at some point in their life, it really shouldn’t be such a taboo topic.

What’s the campaign?:

The campaign features an array of famous faces including Professor Green, Jeremy Paxman, Rachel Riley and Alex Brooker, as well as members of the public and Lloyds staff, playing a guessing game with sticky notes on their foreheads. But instead of celebrities’ names, the players have to describe non-visible health conditions such as bipolar, bulimia and anxiety, to help break down barriers and get people talking. Lloyds encouraged people to get talking on social by sharing a picture of themselves wearing a sticky note with the hashtag #GetTheInsideOut, which was again picked up by a number of celebrities helping to spread the message further.

Watch the video:

5. McDonald’s - Follow the Arches

In short:

Brands don’t mess with the logo. McDonald’s doesn’t belong to that bunch and knows how to make the best use of the logo.

Background:

Created guiding arrows to direct drivers to the nearest fast-food outlet in high-traffic areas of Toronto, Canada. How? By breaking the Golden M. Amazing, right?

What’s the campaign?:

The campaign consists of four billboards - three static and one digital. And what does it have? Directions for the way-finding system. McDonald’s cropped the Golden Arches into a directional path and reduced the visuals to only what’s essential to transform an under-utilised media space into a simple unified design system. It also consisted of catchy phrases - with sections of the golden ‘M’ appearing alongside slogans such as “just missed us”, “on your right” or “on your left”.

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