Over the course of this year, we witnessed some absolutely brilliant advertising work. So much so that they also (to be very, very honest) made us at Dentsu Webchutney go green with envy. So, in no specific order, here are 12 fantastic campaigns from 12 wonderful agencies, both in India and worldwide, which made us swallow our pride and go, ‘ugh, dammit, wish we’d done it!’.
PS: The campaigns on this list were nominated, compiled & voted for by very jealous representatives from across our creative, strategy & servicing teams and this process certainly wasn’t the favourite part of their year.
Dove’s Courage Is Beautiful
Agency: Ogilvy, Toronto
Courage Is Beautiful was so much more than the flagrant do-goody type of campaign we saw a lot of during the early stages of the pandemic. The way Dove’s message here still felt like a natural progression helped its already-established personality. The fact that they ran it only in markets where they were also contributing to COVID-19 relief on-ground kept up with the changing meaning of what ‘brand purpose’ should actually look like 2020-onwards.
Facebook’s More Together — Pooja Didi
Agency: Taproot Dentsu
At the end of seven minutes of pure craft and storytelling, it was like somebody cutting onions right next to us. Really makes you believe that all you need is good intention, the rest figures itself out.
Nike’s You Can’t Stop Us
Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, USA
A breathtakingly genius triumph of editing craft. This 90-seconder has got symmetry, timing, slick shots and plenty of goosebump-inducing moments that makes us fall in love with our profession all over again.
CRED’s Not Everyone Gets It
Agency: CRED’s In-house team, Early Man Films, and Partners
We’re huge fans of meta-first creativity. The CRED piece made it work and took home a further 100 points for Indian celebrities not taking themselves seriously. Something that rarely ever happens. (Our Ishtaarth Dalmia wrote about what he loved about the campaign in-depth, which Kunal Shah found compelling enough to retweet. Read it here.)
Agency: AMV BBDO
“This ad is about the womb, but certainly has the balls.” — overheard from our creative lead. Womb Stories depicts the complex but beautiful relationship a woman has with her period cycle. Each component is so well crafted, the details are only visible in the experience that you have while watching it. Womb Stories not only pushes the conversation forward, it begins completely new ones. The animation, the music, the storyline: just uff.
Oreo’s Oreo Vault
Agency: 360i & The Community
Opportunities for pure, innocent love for a brand are getting fewer. This 💯 stood out, keeping the focus on people who are extremely in love with Oreo, and what that love can lead to.
Axis Bank’s #ReverseTheKhata
Agency: Lowe Lintas India
2019–20 saw the transition of frothiness in consumer tech to #dukaantech, powered by fintech. We were touched to see the ecosystem of support for SMBs that the advertising industry activated through different brands. But Axis Bank took the cake by reversing such a local Indian insight in, ‘khaate mein likh do’ for #ReverseTheKhata.
IKEA’s Halloween Horror story — GHOST
Agency: Triad Advertising, Prague
Fantastic storytelling to highlight an otherwise invisible problem.
Burger King’s Moldy Whopper
Agency: INGO, Sweden & DAVID, Miami
Yes, we know. We know. “But would it actually make you want to buy a Whopper?”
We love it for the sheer bravado of breaking so many rules about how we show food in advertising. And for once it actually targeted a REAL weakness of their competitor. The art was a perfect line of ‘ew gross’ but ‘I wanna see more’. It was simply cool.
Mondelēz’s Not a Cadbury Ad
Agency: Ogilvy India
The idea was sooooo good, we knew someone would have done it if not them. You kinda know it’s one when you start getting it on WhatsApp. The geo-targeted and personalised bit converted things we hate about these ad properties into things that made the campaign not just emotional, but super smart and efficient. Again, with small and medium business at the heart of the story.
Agency: Google Creative Lab, In-House
Back in January 2020, which historians say was 200 years ago, Google released a powerful, tearjerker of reminder of why technology needs to work for everyone.
Mumbai Police’s Punishing Signal
Agency: FCB Ulka India
An effortlessly simple behavioural change masterclass. ‘Nuff said.
All feelings were harmed in the making of this list.