Sex, Starbucks and free pints: Campaign's most read work stories of 2020

Campaign rounds up the most-read work stories this year.

1. John Lewis and Waitrose's joint Christmas campaign encourages nation to 'give a little love'

John Lewis & Partners turned heads with its festive campaign, which stepped away from a long-form narrative to feature nine different styles of animation.

Created by Adam & Eve/DDB, the campaign was quickly praised by Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and parodied by pop singer Lewis Capaldi, and was eventually named the second favourite Christmas ad of regular Campaign readers.

The ad was created by eight different artists, including Chris Hopewell, who has created music videos for Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand. It was directed by Oscar Hudson through Pulse Films. Manning Gottlieb OMD handled media planning and buying.

2. NHS introduces vivid imagery from front line of crisis

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the NHS launched a hard-hitting TV ad showing scenes intensive care units, police officers at a near-deserted train station and health workers wearing protective clothing.

The spot was a stark departure from the organisation’s previous spot starring chief medical officer Chris Whitty. 

It was created by MullenLowe London, and media is handled by Mediahub and Omnigov (Manning Gottlieb OMD's dedicated agency).

3. Starbucks captures life-altering moment of transgender person trialling new name

Starbucks earned top spot in Channel 4’s fourth annual Diversity in Advertising Award for its depiction of a transgender person trialling their new name.

Created by Iris, "What’s your name" follows James as he finds acceptance in a Starbucks store, where he hears his new name for the first time in public.

It was created by Eli Vasiliou, Richard Peretti, Giulia Frassine, Anny Heyden and Matt Gray, and directed by Nicolas Jack Davies through Sweetshop. 

4. Army bashes influencer culture in recruitment drive

Created by Karmarama, the fourth instalment of the British Army’s wider "This is belonging" campaign follows a soldier as he ignores the distraction of everyday life – including a fitness trainer and his friends – to romanticise the confidence that is built from joining the army.

The ad was created by Meigan Brown and Tobias Owen, and directed by Nicolai Fuglsig through MJZ, while the 10-second films were directed by Billy Boyd Cape through Academy. Manning Gottlieb OMD handles media buying and Mediacom handles planning. 

5. Durex challenges sexual norms in major brand relaunch on Valentine's Day

Durex: campaign addresses sexual stigmas

On Valentine’s Day, Durex launched a campaign challenging sexual taboos and outdated attitudes about sex.

In an open letter created by Havas London, the condom brand declared: “So what if we take a stand for sex? Worry less about how it ‘should’ look. Celebrate how it can feel."

The work was created by John Ogunmuyiwa and the media agency is Zenith. 

Durex went on to tackle stigmas surrounding female sexual discomfort and anal sex, calling out “rubbish excuses” from men to not practice safe sex.

6. Coca-Cola takes poetic approach in post-Covid search for purpose

In July, spoken-word artist George the Poet lent his talents to Coca-Cola’s “Open like never before” campaign (created by 72andSunny Amsterdam), which encouraged the public to look at the world in a different light during the coronavirus pandemic.

The ad marked Coca-Cola’s first work since the brand paused marketing spend amid April’s lockdown measures. 

It was created by 72andSunny Amsterdam.

7. Heineken gets real about downfalls of social distancing

Heineken showcased the teething problems of adapting to a socially-distanced life with its campaign, "Connectioff", which was created by Publicis Italy.

The work was created by Eoin Sherry and directed by Chris Smith (who shot the Netflix hits Tiger King and Fyre) through Smuggler.

Heineken went on to create work promoting responsible socialising, including an ad showcasing social measures in bars.

8. Tesco throws out Santa's naughty list in Christmas ad with Britney Spears track

Sountracked by Britney Spears’ Oops!...I Did It Again, Tesco’s festive campaign (created by by BBH London) said goodbye to Santa’s naughty list in favour of good ol’ fashioned hedonism.

It was created by Daniel Seager and Steve Hall, and directed by Raine Allen-Miller through Somesuch. MediaCom is the media agency.

The ad was named the favourite Christmas ad of regular Campaign readers, while Tesco was hailed as the top brand for positive contribution during Covid-19, according to research from IAB UK and YouGov.

9. Camden Town Brewery gives away free pints in ‘world’s first (kind of) drinkable TV ad’

Camden Town Brewery gave away 90,000 beers in “the world’s first TV ad you can (kind of) drink”.

Created by Wieden & Kennedy London, the absurd “Give ‘em Hells beer giveaway” stars a Glaswegian cat as they outline how booze fans could access free beer via a QR code on their TV screens.

Launched during the Uefa Champions League semi-finals (18 August), the work was created by Adam Newby, Will Wells, Tomas Coleman and Derek Lui, and directed by James Papper through Blinkink. Media planning and buying was handled by Bountiful Cow.

10. KFC scraps ‘It's finger lickin’ good’ slogan (for now) in first global campaign

KFC stepped away from its finger lickin’ slogan (for obvious reasons) during the coronavirus pandemic, as signposted by a global campaign by Mother London which features classic KFC billboards and products with a censored slogan.

It was created by KFC's UK ad agency, Mother London. KFC works with Mindshare for media planning and buying in the UK.

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