We are bringing you this a touch later than previous years, It’s been a busy start to the year, but better late than never! We’re taking a spin back down memory lane to take another look at some of our favourite creative campaigns from 2018, a year when creative campaigns truly spread from sarcastic and silly to deep and wonderful. With all the talk of creative agencies being a dying a breed, you would expect to see a decline in ambitious creative campaigns. Rather we saw that when brands put their faith in provocative agencies work can be created that not only reflects their culture but also pushes it forward.

In reflection of just how great last year was for creative campaigns, we will be expanding our usual top 3 to a top 5 list, and we’ll be creating a separate list exclusively for our favourite PR stunts and guerrilla marketing activations and innovations.

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KFC Hong Kong | “Hot and Spicy”
Agency: Ogilvy Hong Kong

This selection of print and outdoor advertising images are a classic example of art direction at its finest: simple in concept, flawless in its execution and once you get it, it’s impossible to stop looking at it. Ogilvy Hong Kong created this highly noticed campaign by replacing the fire from different images with KFC’s new Hot & Spicy Chicken. Whilst Ogilvy didn’t create the idea of swapping fried chicken for fire, they certainly did a good job with the final execution.

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Getty Images | “Endless Stories”
Agency: AlmapBBDO

At last a b2b campaign worth watching! Not to mention one good enough to take home 5 Lions at Cannes. That is exactly what we got from Brazil’s BBDO and Getty Images with “Endless Stories,” an utterly cool, retro, recap of surprisingly interconnected events all happening on March 8, 1971. This refreshing creative piece takes narrative video to a new level, requiring so much more research than any other more usual historic spot and, obviously needing plenty of Getty Images to show that you can get a shockingly in-depth view of almost any day with stock art service’s extensive collection.

Tide | “It’s a Tide Ad”
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi New York

There was no escaping it! Not that you wanted to! Tide’s wonderfully meta Super Bowl creative campaign infiltrated the big game in a way no brand or creative agency had ever attempted before. An introductory spot starring David Harbour establishing the premise, only to be quickly one-upped by  hilarious parodies of well-known ads with Harbour inserted, like Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” and that wierdly seductive Mr. Clean ad. Every spot was impeccably produced, and the casting of Harbour was spot on.

KFC U.K. | “FCK”
Agency: Mother

Another chicken ad I know, from a pescatarian I know, but this is a great fcking ad and a brilliant PR stunt. This piece of print from creative agency Mother was one of our favourites this year. When KFC in the UK received serious backlash resulting from an unexpected chicken shortage (yes this was a real thing) that forced many locations to close, it wasn’t easy to imagine a response that would both stem the flow of negative PR but also reverse it. But working closely with the brand, Mother created the print ad FCK. Humble, witty and dramatic all at the same time, a print ad that shows apologies can be lovable with the correct tone. How it never took home a Lion at Cannes for PR we’ll never know. But FCK me it’s a great ad!

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Apple | “Welcome Home”
Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab

For those of you that know me, I am not one to jump on the apple cart but I have to say I was blown away with by this spot. This is probably one of the most ambitious creative pieces currently. Visually amazing and an insane production, the technical capabilities of the set are astonishing to watch, this isn’t just art for art’s sake there is also a real connection with the product. We see how apple’s home pod allows twigs to create an expansive new reality in the confines of her compact NYC apartment – a visual metaphor for the impact that sound can have on a space. One of the best ads this year and possibly one of the most arresting set productions I’ve ever seen.