My pick of 2012: Dollar Shave Club, Grey New York and Michael Dubin

Fearless Group co-founder Jerry Judge gives us his choices for ad/campaign of the year, agency of the year and person of the year.

Dollar Shave Club

There are still good campaigns in the US, in spite of all the dramatic change in the media environment. I like a lot of what Venables Bell does for Audi. Especially the Ahab spot. Fedex ran a “political” ad around the Presidential election. We all laughed…and it made the point. Deutsch LA does great work for Directv. A really classy campaign. We were all disappointed with their Dr Pepper “anthem” ad. It looks like a client spending lots of money to talk to themselves.

No one at Fearless likes the Microsoft Surface ad. Glee meets Gangam style – strange. Southern Comfort seems special to me. Brave, confident and funny in a knowing way. Dollar Shave Club is my favourite though. On the money. On line. Clear, funny and engaging. I know the guys at Gillette must have spent a lot of time talking about this. Client wrote it himself. And starred in it…

Grey New York

It’s easy to rate the new business winners. Or the award winners. I’m going somewhere else though. I like Grey. Sure they have won accounts but this once lumbering giant now looks and feels like a competitive business. Check Grey New York’s website. They are doing good work. In my opinion it’s a real achievement to make this old elephant dance. Big improvement is hard to achieve. Nice work Jim.

Michael Dubin

Has to be Dollar Shave Club co-founder and ad front man Michael Dubin (see above). Great business idea. Great simple execution ……..three quarters of a billion views on YouTube…..Agencies, who needs ’em?

Jerry Judge is a co-founder of self-styled ‘capitalist collective’ The Fearless Group. Based in New York. Fearless is a new-style agency bringing together senior people from a number of marketing disciplines. Born in London, he has worked in senior management roles in a number of top creative agencies including TBWA, BBH and Lowe in London and Lowe in New York. He then became CEO of Lowe International (now owned by Interpublic) and oversaw the merger of Ammirati Puris Lintas and Lowe in 1999.

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