In previous years it has been fairly simple to predict the ads that would take top honours at the host of advertising industry award schemes taking place from now until the end of the summer. This year, however, there are few clear front-runners. So we canvassed opinion among agencies and others involved in making ads and asked: what do you think will win?
Andrew Wood (aka Barnsley), head of 2d, The Mill
Tip 1: Audi q5 We’ve Unboxed The Box. Agency: BBH
This is the Audi spot where the car is built from cardboard, with animation on the side – it’s got to be a contender for awards. I really like this ad – it’s one of those where I wish I’d been involved in its production.
Tip 2: Compare The Meerkat
comparethemarket.com Agency: Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest
In all fairness, it’s not to my taste at all, but alongside the dirge of crappy ads for car insurance and comparison sites, Compare The Meerkat is a clear winner in what can only be described as a woeful field.
Edu Pou, creative director, Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam
Tip 1: Ikea Embrace Change 09 Agency: Deutsch
Ikea takes advantage of current events to take its concept to a higher level. Change is nowadays synonymous with the political situation the USA is facing, but it’s been the motto of the Swedish company for years. Why shouldn’t they merge both? Ikea’s well-known online tools, which allow anyone to play around with its products in a floor plan, are the device that brings the concept to life in a website that allows you to re-arrange the (Ikea) furniture in the Oval Office.
Embrace Change 09 is a very tactical integrated campaign [a mock-up of the Ikea Oval Office was also installed at Washington’s main station during the Obama inauguration plus political-style posters appeared all over the city] that shows how a strong concept can be adapted to fit into pop culture and give a deeper meaning to a brand message.
Tip 2: Whopper Sacrifice
whoppersacrifice.com Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky
In a year when almost every company has developed applications for social networks in order to get to their target audiences, Burger King seems to be one of the few that really understands the unwritten rules, motivations and expectations of these network users.
Whopper Sacrifice was a Facebook application launched with a simple but effective message: get rid of ten friends and we’ll give you a Whopper for free. That simple. That brilliant.
While sometimes promotions can damage the image of a brand, Whopper Sacrifice reinforced it. cp+b again managed to put the product in the centre of the communication and engaged users to close the circle opened by the premise, creating a truly interactive campaign.
The buzz generated by this campaign in only one week was only beaten by the buzz created after Facebook decided to remove it, showing once more the flourishing relationship between bk and the blogosphere.
Tip 3: Uniqlo meets Corteo
uniqlo.com/meets Agency: Projector
Campaign after campaign, Uniqlo brings out a new surprising and amusing interactive piece. This season, it partnered with Cirque du Soleil and, instead of just placing its logo next to the one of the imaginative Quebecois circus, it gives a backstage pass to the users, to let them see the artists rehearse while wearing Uniqlo clothes.
What is supposed to be a showroom turns into a magical website that evolves as Cirque du Soleil tours around the world. Every single detail is shown beautifully. Motion, music, and navigation work together creating a pleasant experience that feels closer to an art installation than advertising.
Flo Heiss, creative director, Dare
Tip 1: T-Mobile Life’s For Sharing Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
This spot is based on an idea that is based on an idea which is based on the New York Grand Central station freeze flash mob from 300 years ago but hey, who cares, it’s a great ad. I am sure it will do well this year. Just like the Cadbury’s dancing eyebrows. Both are, to quote [Naked planner] Faris Jacob, “Films the internet likes.”
Tip 2: Prettyloaded.com Agency: Big Spaceship
An archive of website loading screens: now why didn’t I think of that? Maybe I did. Can’t be sure anymore. Anyway, Big Spaceship made it, I didn’t. What
a totally awesome idea. And it only features other people’s work – genius.
Tip 3: cnn T-shirt maker Agency: The Barbarian Group
The Barbarians cnn T-shirt maker is so small an idea you nearly miss it on cnn.com but once you’ve found that button, boy this is one amazing idea. [Users can have a T-shirt made emblazoned with the headline of their choice from cnn’s stories that day.]
Tip 4: Whopper Virgins Agency: crispin Porter + Bogusky
Whopper Virgins [see p20] is so wrong yet so amazingly great it hit me where it hurts most: right between ‘I can’t believe they actually did that’ and blazing jealousy.
Tip 5: Baloonacy for Orange Agency: Poke
In website advertising mashupland we have Baloonacy, a project that nearly broke Poke. A genuinely new idea based on groundbreaking technology [users had to ‘race’ a balloon of their choice across as many different participating websites as they could]. One of our Dareschoolers went on the winning trip to Ibiza. Obviously not working hard enough.
Stéphane Xiberras, president and executive creative director, betc Euro RSCG
Tip 1: Carling iPint iPhone application Agency: Beattie McGuinnes Bungay
An application that isn’t the usual exploitation of a phone – not a video, nor a sound, nor a game. With this application they have reinvented the ultimate gadget. And what else can you say to the fact that at the end, the glass is empty, proving that the beer must be good.
Tip 2: HBO Wall Of Secrets Agency: bbdo, New York
This was the most impressive campaign for me. [Interactive murals were created to promote hbo’s Big Love show. They feature snapshots of people walking through a city street. Headphone jacks are built into each person’s head, so that passers-by can plug in to the mural and listen in to people’s secrets.] It’s new, relevant, a new use of the outdoor media. It’s an interactive way to use a medium that isn’t. Truly fantastic.
Nik Studzinski, creative director, Mother, London
Tip 1: Hovis Go On Lad
Agency: Miles Calcraft
This should be a contender as should….
Tip 2: Virgin is 25 Agency: RKCR y&r
Virgin seems to have got its voice back with this ad, and it’s sexy.
Tip 3: Bike Hero for Guitar Hero Agency: Droga5
I loved this because, not only is it completely nuts, but it’s also a really clever bit of thinking. [In this viral film, a cyclist follows musical notation in the style of computer game Guitar Hero which is marked on the road, in perfect time to the soundtrack.] The film takes Guitar Hero to the ‘ultimate’ level. Very cool.