Best ads of 2016
Johnsonville – Made the Johnsonville Way (Droga5, New York)
Hannah: This campaign made us laugh really hard. But we love it because behind the hilarity is a really smart strategy. It shows us the human side of Johnsonville, putting faces with the brand. We can connect with these people on a personal level.
Tony: It’s great because they essentially wrote a series of funny ads without actually having to write them. The imaginations of the employees totally deliver, while the naivety of the stories gives them charm in spades.
Hannah: They also hock a ton of product, but in a way that’s so entertaining you barely realize you’re being sold to.
(Jeff and His Forest Friends)
Kenzo World by Spike Jonze
Tony: This was an easy pick for us. Fragrance ads are formulaic, try too hard and can feel like being at a stiff fashion party. This one breaks the mold entirely; it’s weird, wild and surprising. Spike Jonze really nailed it.
Hannah: I also think it’s a great example of a brand appealing to modern women without overtly jumping on the “female empowerment” bandwagon. It’s inspiring to see Margaret Qualley being so silly and strong as she dances and power-kicks her way through the ad. She’s nothing like the seductive women we’re used to seeing in fragrance commercials, yet you can’t help but watch this one again and again.
New Zealand Transport Authority – Hello (Clemenger BBDO, Auckland)
Hannah: Its one thing for an ad to cleverly communicate a message, but it’s a much tougher challenge to actually change people’s behavior. We love this anti-texting and driving campaign because it manages to do both.
Tony: The spot cleverly appeals to car passengers instead of drivers, creating a hilarious behavior they can adopt to keep themselves safe. A lot of safety ads try to scare you into obeying the rules, this one uses insightful humor to do it.
Hannah Smit and Tony Bartolucci are creative directors at 180 Amsterdam.