Best ads of 2016 – Droga5 and BETC Paris lead in January

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This is a bit risky – rounding up the best ads of 2016 on a monthly basis. No leaving it until the end of the year and forgetting the odd lapse of, er, judgement.

Anyway, we liked Kwik Fit’s Christmas campaign from PR agency Taylor Herring (as did most of the rest of the world) and it produced another perky effort in January, ‘Fit Kwik’ which scored 8. There was some clever print too.

Finnish dairy producer Valio and agency hasan & partners scored a coup by signing up ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister from Motorhead to front a new campaign, itself a spoof on an older ad. But the grim reaper has been cutting a swathe through the music and entertainment industries and Lemmy died before the film came out. But Valio ran it anyway as a ‘tribute.’

Another 8, which it would have scored even without Lemmy’s sad demise.

This is a rather more contentious 8. My esteemed colleagues in the US, who know far more about these things than me, clearly demur but it’s Coke’s big global one-brand rebrand under the ‘Taste the Feeling’ banner – featuring a whole gaggle of agencies.

It is, indeed, happy smiley young folk as seen in countless phone ads and others. But it actually works for Coke. Anyway, what else can you do? Say it’s good for the waistline?

We said at the start of the year we’d be more sparing with 9 scores, such ads need to be truly outstanding. 6 is actually pretty decent. We’ve also noted the spate of ‘here for good’ ads sweeping all the awards. But it’s obviously easier to make something good if the world starts on your side.

But Droga5 produced the goods for the YMCA – ‘The Y’ as it now seems to be – in a campaign that could hardly have been done better. It doesn’t take the easy options either.

BETC Paris has won endless plaudits for Canal+ and here’s another 9, for just one football match.

It’s real, surprising and heart warming, which you can’t say about many football ads. The Olympique de Marseille steward’s daughter is clearly destined to be a star.

A good start to the year then. And a nudge to the UK to up its game.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.