THE YEAR GOOD MADE FRIENDS WITH GREAT.
This New Year we’ve again gathered together a family of campaigns that represent something of a high watermark of achievement in our industry. To be judged Gold at Cannes and then Gold at the Effies is evidence of an advertising idea that is beyond reproach – both in terms of the commercial or behavioural impact it creates for its client and the way it moves our industry forward through sheer imagination and innovation.
In 2013, twelve campaigns achieved this remarkable distinction. They’re all big ideas that have spread contagiously through earned and social media – now almost a necessity for true advertising effectiveness. Tellingly, they are not, in the main, ‘digital ideas’ - but indeed they are ideas that are interesting and exciting enough to have taken on a life of their own in the digital world.
Perhaps the most interesting theme running through this year’s list is a theme that ran brightly through this year’s Cannes Lions - the trend of brands building brilliant and effective campaigns from a platform of social conscience and contribution.
A friend of mine calls this trend ‘Good to Great to Good’ – brands that have transformed from commercially ‘good’ to commercially ‘great’ and then looked to connect with consumers in a deeper way through doing things that add something good to the world around them.
Eight of the twelve 2013 Cases for Creativity are bang on this trend.
In the case of the Colombian Ministry of Defense, their remit is purely a social one. And the Argentinian newspaper La Voz’s campaign is a CSR initiative. But the rest are commercial organisations unapologetically selling more product, but doing it in a way that leaves the world in a better state than which they found it.
Chipotle has educated us all about the need to rethink food. Dove has continued to challenge the way we think about beauty in even more powerful ways. Vodafone addressed a curious currency issue in Egypt in a brilliantly innovative way. P&G rallied support for mothers all over the world. American Express supported small businesses in a meaningful and sustainable way. And Dela Funeral Insurance convinced thousands of people to celebrate their loved ones while they still have the chance.
It’s difficult not to be buoyed by this proof that brands can achieve at the highest level commercially while at the same time making the world a better place.
Jim Collins, author of ‘Good to Great’, famously said that ‘good is the enemy of great’. But in an age of brands going from ‘great to good’, the two are very much friends.
I hope that agencies and their clients all over the world take inspiration from these cases, and that as we continue to strive to do great work, we also succeed in doing good work.
On that note, special thanks to David Tiltman at Warc for his extremely good work helping identify winning papers.
The 2013 Cases for Creativity are:
1. “Anything is Possible at Christmas” for Colombian Ministry of Defense by Lowe SSP3, Colombia
2. “Cultivate a Better World” for Chipotle by Creative Artists Agency Los Angeles, USA
3. “Fakka” for Vodafone by JWT Cairo, Egypt
4. “Life Signs” for La Voz del Interior by Ogilvy & Mather Buenos Aires, Argentina
5. “OREO Daily Twist” for OREO by DraftFCB, USA
6. “Proud Sponsor of Moms” for Proctor & Gamble by Wieden+Kennedy, USA
7. “Real Beauty Sketches” for Dove by Ogilvy, Brazil
8. “Small Business Saturday” for American Express by Crispin, Porter & Bogusky and Digitas, USA
9. “The Great Paper Airplane Project” for Pima Air & Space Museum by BBDO San Francisco and Becore, USA
10. “The Liberation” for Only Jeans by UncleGrey, Copenhagen & Stockholm, Denmark & Sweden
11. “The Most Interesting Man in the World” for Dos Equis by Havas Worldwide New York, USA
12. “Why Wait Until It’s Too Late?” for Dela Funeral Insurance by Ogilvy & Mather, The Netherlands
- James Hurman
James is one of the marketing world’s leading strategic thinkers.
Formerly a planner with advertising agencies BBDO, Ogilvy and DDB, James’ career has been built on advertising internationally recognised for its creativity and effectiveness. His work has won 50 Effies and 22 Cannes Lions. In 2013 James was ranked the world’s #1 Planning Director.
His internationally acclaimed 2011 book, ‘The Case for Creativity’, summarises two decades’ evidence of the link between imaginative marketing and commercial success. Recently James traded PowerPoint for Excel, becoming Managing Director of Y&R New Zealand.
James can be contacted at www.caseforcreativity.com