Since the new year is still fresh but the pandemic has not yet ended, you can really feel the ripples of both the past holiday season and the ongoing influence of Covid in recent work. But apart from catching a certain 'zeitgeist' and regardless of the medium, there’s always one element that distinguishes the inspiring work from the noise: it’s either this instant 'WTF, how did they pull this off!?' response, or a shared truth that touches you and makes you nod involuntarily. That being said, let’s find out how you react to this selection...
Penny - 'The Desire'
Agency: Serviceplan Germany
Director: Marcus Ibanez
In Germany, where there is no Super Bowl (and therefore no Super Bowl ad breaks), the weeks before Christmas have become many a brand’s placebo for showing some advertising muscle. So, there’s much competition around which brand gets out the most entertaining or emotional Christmas ad. In 2021, the honour probably has to go to a commercial from supermarket discounter Penny, which cleverly uses its story for a promotion of 'experiences spent together', made available by the brand. But more importantly, with its perfect cast and direction the nearly for four-minute-long online commercial perfectly nails the deep desire of a whole generation of youth and their parents bereaved of some normalcy during the strange last two years.
Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazine - 'Ins Leben'
What a bold image...and what a powerful message! To celebrate the wonder of birthing, but also to normalise the reality of it, the weekly magazine of the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper put the photo of an actual birth of a child on its cover and also shared the picture on Twitter, just one day before Christmas.
Deutsche Telekom - 'Beethoven X: The AI Project'
Agency: DDB Germany
A great example from Deutsche Telekom, headquartered in the same city Ludwig van Beethoven was born some 250 years ago, for how to turn data and AI into compelling branded storytelling and entertainment. Based on the brand’s mantra of letting people experience what 'truly connects us', Germany’s largest telecom and IT provider not only took Beethoven’s legacy out of the museum and onto the stage, but created a whole new experience by finishing the never-completed 10th symphony with the help of experts and AI technology. Now, this year, they will even launch the concert on vinyl, as download and on streaming platforms.
antoni PSA - '#TogetherAgainstCorona'
Agency: antoni GmbH
In Mid-December, agency antoni convinced firstly its clients, and then about 50 of Germany’s most well-known brands, to show public support for the national Coronavirus vaccination campaign by changing their brand claims into playful pro-vaccination messages. Posting the results on social media under the Hashtag #ZusammenGegenCorona, the initiative went viral instantly. In just a couple of days, more than 1000 companies followed, creating what surely is the most successful - and important - PR campaign of the year in Germany.
WhatsApp - 'It’s Not New Year Until You Get the Message You Are Waiting For'
Agency: BBDO San Francisco x BBDO Berlin
Director: Niclas Larsson
Post: Slaughterhouse Berlin
Music: Universal Music
2022 has just started, so some of us might have experienced a moment like the one depicted in WhatsApp’s New Year's campaign. Besides the relatable insight, the great thing about this work is that it manages to capture the essence of its message from the six-second bumper formats, to 30-second broadcast ad, to the well over three-minute short film shown here, immaculately directed by Niclas Larsson and beautifully shot by La La Land cinematographer, Linus Sandgren.