Published in Nov-Dec 2021
1) Burger King ‘Mouldy Whopper’
What I love about this campaign is that it is single-minded about the product. Whoppers are now made with fresh ingredients. No brand purpose, no corporate social responsibility, no tree-hugging. Just a good old-fashioned advertising idea, resulting in one of the few case histories that mentions sales. Which were up 14%.
2) Corona Extra ‘Fishing Tournament’
Eighty fishermen competed to see who could catch the most plastic in the ocean in Mazatlán, Mexico. They ‘caught’ more than three tons. I am not an enemy of brand purpose but I am an enemy of virtue signalling. Big respect for Corona which has dedicated itself to cleaner beaches and seas for over a decade. In 2021, they became the first beer brand to achieve ‘net-zero plastic’ and to invite environmental lobby groups to audit the company.
3) Geico ‘Aunt Infestation’
This did not win anything at Cannes Lions. It is a rarity because it is funny at a time when advertising has become increasingly serious. But Geico have two million subscribers to their YouTube channel. This got 28 million views. And in 2020 Geico made record profits. Humour works.
4) Thai Airways ‘Stay Home Miles Exchange’
This won four Golds at The Caples Awards in May. Covid-19 landed early in Thailand. To persuade people to stay home and stay safe, Thai Airways gave air miles for staying put. It gave people something to look forward to as well – a bold declaration about national interest.
5) Deutsche Bahn ‘The CO2 Comparison’
Sheryl Sandberg called this “the future of advertising” – brilliant use of tech to personalise ads, by targeting young travellers about specific destinations using GPS. It is a build on a 2019 campaign which showed people how much money they could save by travelling by train. In 2020, they computed how much CO2 the world could save. Genius. And it won nothing at Cannes. Tcha!
Patrick Collister is Editor, Directory magazine. He is former Executive Creative Director and Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather. firstname.lastname@example.org