It’s been an impressive year for the UK ad industry with a number of standout pieces of work.
Ads of the year.
For me, however, the best campaign not just from this year but probably the past five years is EA Sport’s “Long Live the Prince.” It’s incredible. Having worked on knife crime campaigns for both the Metropolitan Police and the BBC it’s very tough to do anything that connects with the target audience. But what impresses most about Engine’s campaign is how deep it goes. This isn’t some cynical pro bono awards grab. It’s a meticulously executed campaign with proper partners designed to have genuine impact. All bow down.
Other notable campaigns from the year include AMV BBDO’s Macmillan’s “Whatever It Takes.” A beautifully crafted film that combines both the compassion and strength of Macmillan nurses. It’s impossible to watch without getting a lump in your throat.
The UK broadcasters continue to produce outstanding campaigns. But great to see ITV firmly in the mix with Uncommon’s “Britain Get Talking” poster campaign and the thoroughly entertaining “Drama vs Reality” films. My favourite is the one with Jason Watkins. He’s such a great actor.
Tesco and BBH receive an honourable mention too for managing to create a non-weepy Christmas ad that was pitch perfect for the brand whilst capturing the mood of a the nation. Great to see the ASA not banning it on behalf of a bunch of space cadets.
Finally, very proud of Wonderhood Studio’s own small but mighty campaign for the Migration Museum that managed to fuel a national conversation around immigration and the England football team.
If the industry was crawling on its knees last year, it’s certainly back alive and kicking this year. Now let’s all switch off and have a little lie down.
Aidan McClure is chief creative officer of Wonderhood Studios. He has worked at some of London’s top creative agencies including AMV, Mother, BBH, and adam&eveDDB. In 2016 he joined the BBC to help set up BBC Creative, and in 2018 he co-founded Wonderhood.