Five years ago adland was changing – will these blasts from the (recent) past be museum pieces?

Let’s take a slightly different route down memory lane: back to 2015, arguably the time the digital revolution really began to blow a hole in conventional adland.

Back in 2015 the ad holding companies still reigned supreme (WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell trousered £70m in salary and bonuses) and the Cannes Lions was still a festival of creativity as opposed to applied tech.

Film still ruled and here are three of the big 2015 winners.

Saatchi & Saatchi Sao Paulo won the Film Grand Prix for 100 years of Leica.

Not sure it’s quite that good but you can see evidence of 2015’s flavour of the year – “purpose.”

Creative Effectiveness, a relatively new category (but the way the wind was blowing), gave the Grand Prix to Forsman & Bodenfors’ ‘Live Test’ series for Volvo Trucks. Hard to argue with and the ads were mostly great.

And Film Craft went to John Lewis and adam&eveDDB for ‘Monty the Penguin.’

Not sure we’ll see any more of these as the new regime at John Lewis struggles with a mountain of Covid-19 and other problems although one, presumably, was in its early stages pre-lockdown.

It’s possible that advertisers will still want to make big brand statements after Covid-19 but the signs already are that digital spend is recovering faster than offline (it’s already bigger) so ads like these might become museum pieces. And it was only five years ago…

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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.

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