Matt Williams of Partners: best ads of 2016

Best ads of 2016

I started this by trying to think up a clever theme. Perhaps go for campaigns all created in South America, or that all made clever use of outdoor advertising.

But let’s face it, now’s not the time. Let’s just indulge ourselves in three pieces of smart, engaging pieces of work that we all wish we’d made.

1. Netflix – The Friendly Preroll Campaign

If you want to watch Friends in the UK, you just turn on Comedy Central. It’ll almost certainly be on. If you want to watch the show in France, it’s a bit harder. That’s where Netflix comes in. But how do you get the YouTube generation to watch a show that finished before YouTube even launched? With a genius social media campaign that made better use of YouTube’s preroll than anything that’s come before it. Possibly even more so than Geico

2. Wildlife Conservation Film Festival – Dream

I’m always a bit wary of choosing charity campaigns in these things. It’s often so much easier to tap into emotional or shock values that mainstream brands can never use. But this spot does everything so well – the story it tells, the power of the imagery, the craft gone in to making the film. Heartbreaking.

3. Ikea – Torbjorn

No list about great work in 2016 is complete without something Ikea. ‘Let’s Relax’, ‘Retail Therapy’, ‘Wonderful Everyday’…the brand has produced hit after hit from all corners of the world this year. Torbjorn – the man behind the Ikea catalogue, is one of the sillier ones, but it’s brilliantly written, has a really nice insight and is wonderfully shot. It deserves a wider audience.

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