Every industry has its luminaries, the ones that are damn good - whether past or present. Advertising spawns a number of notable names due to the nature of its business and the variety of sectors it touches. These big names routinely roll out captivating ads. However, the illusive ’wow’ factor can be difficult to measure in an industry whose standards and techniques are constantly evolving. The most prolific talents tread a fine line to create messages that resonate with the audience using an assortment of alluring strategies. The words boring and insignificant are swearwords in this craft.
The scope of creative context is a regular source of tension. Creative teams and advertisers often lock horns to determine a working formula. In many cases, creative people work ridiculously long hours against incredible deadlines. Nonetheless, these innovators are redefining creative expression within by embracing the use of traditional media and technology-based solutions.
1. Chris Graves
Chris Graves is an outstanding figure in the world of advertising. He is the chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi’s Team One, a role that allows him to demonstrate his creative expertise. Chris embraces the use of technology to send compelling commercial messages. He supports techniques that exploit the power of print ads and mobile devices. The approach enabled Team One to craft an effective campaign for Lexus, a brand synonymous with cutting-edge technology.
He originated an interactive concept involving a print ad and tablet devices. The pioneering CinePrint magazine ad captured the imagination of consumers. Readers could place the print ad over the device to produce a delightful projection mapping effect. With the web page Lexus.com/stunning loaded, the magazine ad appears to be moving. The jazzy play of light brought the page to life; an effect that neither digital nor print media could pull off without the other. The never-seen-before concept generated huge interest and online conversation, effectively thrusting the Lexus brand into the limelight.
2. Molly Grubbs
Molly Grubbs, a creative strategist at Tumblr and former associate creative director at Team One, thrives on devising creative strategies for difficult advertising concepts. This has turned her into a creative maestro capable of handling any large, integrated campaigns. She focuses on technologically and socially innovative campaigns. Molly has been involved in several Lexus ad productions during her time at Team One. She creatively developed a captivating advertisement, in which a Lexus IS played a rhythmic beat by gracefully maneuvering around a closed course lined with drums.
The surreal motion enables the vehicle to produce a unique musical piece by tripping foot pedals attached to drum sets as it passes. The concept allowed the automaker to demonstrate the vehicle’s agility by giving viewers an opportunity to feel its impressive energy. A number of specialists were involved in the production of the immersive commercial, including mathematicians, music composers, production designers and a stunt driver. Molly has also assisted in the production of integrated campaigns for Shoah Foundation, The Ritz Carlton and CBS Watch Magazine, among others.
3. Anselmo Ramos
Anselmo Ramos is an executive creative director at Ogilvy & Mather in Brazil. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including 42 Cannes Lions, 8 CLIOs, Eurobest and 5 One Show Pencils, among others. He is so good, they might as well change the name Cannes Lions to Ramos Lions.
Having worked in São Paulo, New York, Lisbon, Madrid and Miami, Ramos finds inspiration in global insights and concepts that can travel. The prodigy created the hugely successful Real Beauty Sketches campaign for Dove. It became one of the most viral ad campaigns of all time. It attracted the attention of major news agencies, such as The Guardian and The New York Daily News. The heartwarming campaign was aimed at correcting women’s misconceptions about their own beauty.
It features an FBI-trained forensic artist who draws portraits of different women based solely on their own descriptions (he could not see them). The artist also sketched the same women based on descriptions given by strangers. The campaign proved that when it comes to beauty women are their own worst critics. The Guardian reports that the ad managed to make some women weep. Its message resonated with a massive audience because Dove and Anselmo Ramos’s team were bold enough to tackle a genuine societal problem without employing superficial concepts. They focused on ordinary women as opposed to supermodels.
4. John Mescall
John Mescall is the global executive creative director at McCann Worldgroup. He has amassed a lion’s share of advertising industry awards, including over 30 Cannes Lions, CLIOs, 5 Grands Prix, One Show Best of Show, Black and Yellow Pencils and Webby awards. Mescall created a playful and innovative strategy for the Macquarie Dictionary in Australia. The campaign coined a funny new word – phubbing. The term refers to the mischievous act of ignoring someone in favor of focusing on a smartphone. The campaign was aimed at highlighting the evolutionary nature of language as influenced by new social phenomena.
Mescall also created the hugely successful Dumb Ways to Die campaign for the Melbourne public transit system. The ad became Australia’s most viral campaign thanks to the brutally honest message, a catchy tune, offbeat humor and a bunch of amiable blob creatures. It singled out the predictability of trains as the reason why being hit by an oncoming locomotive is the dumbest way to kick the bucket. In February 2015, it was still the third most viral ad of all time, globally. The brilliant campaign managed to reach over 46 percent of the target audience in 30 days. In addition to earning $60 million in media impressions and contributing to a 20 percent reduction in the number of people struck by moving trains in Australia.
5. Joanna Monteiro
Joanna Monteiro has earned a solid reputation as a creative powerhouse. The Chief Creative Officer at FCB Sao Paulo is the recipient of numerous advertising awards, including 20 Cannes Lions and 1 Grand Prix in the Mobile category, among others. She was involved in the production of the "The Protection Ad" for Nivea. The campaign made use of print media and mobile technology to send a compelling message about the advertiser’s brand. Joanna’s team inserted a detachable child-tracking bracelet into the print magazine ad. Parents could retrieve the device fitted with a built-in locator and attach it to their kid’s arm. The bracelet was linked to a mobile app that allowed tracking of a child’s location using a smartphone. The application also dispatched an alert whenever a predetermined distance limit was exceeded. The innovative concept enabled Nivea to stand out from its competitors by becoming a reliable authority on protecting children’s skin and having fun in the sun safely.
6. Kate Stanners
Kate Stanners has created a number of memorable campaigns, including the popular Cadbury Flake spot, ’Black Friday’ for Channel 4, T-Mobile’s ’Royal Wedding’ and the ’Anagrams’ Holsten Pils commercial. The Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi London Group is not intimidated by the complex challenges associated with big corporate clients, such as P&G, Visa and HSBC. In T-Mobile’s ’Royal Wedding,’ Kate and her team managed to take full advantage of the excitement surrounding the impending wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William to create a viral sensation for T-Mobile. A bunch of lookalikes ramped up the hype amidst an atmosphere of expectation by bursting onto the screen in a series of outlandish dance routines.
In a world where consumers are becoming increasingly numb to advertising, creative people are seized with the challenge to push the boundaries. This is giving rise to a new era of advertising in which advertisers are appealing to consumer’s better judgement by infusing a variety of social issues into their messages. Nivea’s ’The Protection’ campaign is a case in point; it appealed to parents by promoting child safety.
Although creative awards are regarded as a distraction from the real business of advertising, some of the work entered is making use of technology to achieve amazing things. For instance, a billboard campaign (The Social Swipe), lets ordinary people swipe their credit cards to donate to charity. To reflect the changing advertising landscape, the Cannes Lions awards introduced a new category dedicated to honoring innovative campaigns using the power of advertising for the common good.
Have you seen or heard any other viral campaigns recently?