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AKQA Group CEO Ajaz Ahmed picks his Ad of the Year

Ad of the Year.

One of the most memorable and mesmerising advertisements of 2021 is Burberry’s Open Spaces. In the pandemic-era, where new variants emerge, and barriers go back up, this ad is a dream in a nightmare.

Burberry’s inspirational film singularly expresses the release, and togetherness, the world has been craving, for what seems like an eternity. Mercifully the ad is neither a manifesto, nor a montage and therefore avoids the virtue-signally and sententious worthiness that is seemingly the parlance of so much of today’s banal advertising work.

Perhaps not in its totality, but certainly aspects of the Burberry Open Spaces film are a work of art. It has a central idea, underpinned with flawless craft. It is poetry in motion. The film is a skilful celebration of youth, liberty, our interconnectedness with nature, and need for each other. This is the kind of work that people talk about, share and envy. It also reminds us about the power and playfulness of the imagination, and the opportunity every project has to preach the gospel of grace, clarity and beauty.

Ajaz Ahmed is CEO of AKQA Group.

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