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Clever, charming & cerebral campaigns that wow

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London Zoo & Pride

Inspired: London Zoo

A party for the zoo’s gay penguins in a homage to Stonewall’s ground-breaking campaign

In a clever parallel to the capital’s Pride Parade (Jul 5), London Zoo had a Pride-makeover. Visitors were able to learn about gender and mating and “discover just how common same-sex pairings are — from penguins and pandas to goats and giraffes,” zoo officials said. Humboldt penguins Ronnie and Reggie, the zoo’s most famous gay couple, had a special banner in honour of the proceedings titled: “Some penguins are gay. Get over it.” The campaign garnered extensive news coverage and over 4,740 likes on Instagram.

Why we think it’s great:

Clever campaigns are always authentic campaigns and this one brings the true values of London Zoo to life, their expert understanding and knowledge of animals linked to a huge societal movement.


IKEA: Museum of Romanticism

Inspired: Ikea

Spot the difference: Ikea goes head-to-head with public perception of its brand

There are people who would never have a piece of Ikea furniture in their house – they think it’s too recognisably ‘Ikea’ and too functional, too minimalist. To counter this prejudice, Ikea hid several pieces of furniture in The Museum of Romanticism in Madrid and invited the public to spot them. Sounds easy, except it wasn’t. Many chairs, bookcases and crockery blended so well into the 19th century interiors that they went unnoticed. Online visitors were also invited to spot the hidden objects resulting in 9 million impacts on social media and 25 million media impressions both audio visual and in print.

Why we think it’s great:

Tackling a negative perception of a brand straight on can often lead to brilliant creative results. This inspired promo from Ikea, using the heritage of a museum to bust misconceptions about their product being too modern and functional, delivers a real through-the-line campaign.


BMW: farewell video for retiring Mercedes-Benz CEO

German luxury car brand pokes fun at its rival in a friendly fashion

With the news of Mercedes-Benz’s CEO Dieter Zetsche retiring comes a video dedicated to his last day. In what at first appears to be a Mercedes ad, we see him leaving the building to applause, giving up his company ID and being chauffeured home in a Mercedes-Benz car. We see Zetsche thank the chauffeur and then – shock – drive out of the garage in the latest eye-catching BMW i8 Roadster model with the punch line: “Free at last”. It ends with the line: ““Thank you, Dieter Zetsche, for so many years of inspiring competition.” The video, that was posted on Twitter, accrued over 1.6 million views in just two days.

Why we think it’s great:

This ad is a fun and bold demonstration of a big brand being unafraid to take on its nearest rival. Consumers are attracted to confidence, and in this advert, BMW combine it with good humour and just the right amount of audacity.


B&Q Bee Pit Stop

Inspired: B&Q pit stop

The home and garden retailer encourages consumers to ‘bee part of it’

With rapid urban development there are fewer places for bees to feed and rest. In response, B&Q worked with garden designer Matthew Childs to create a bee-friendly pit stop – a giant honeycomb-shape structure filled with hundreds of pollinating plants at London’s King’s Cross Station. The artwork, that contained over 500 plugs of lavender, was part of BBQ’s wider campaign to raise awareness about the steep decline of bee-friendly habitats. Passers-by were encouraged to plant their own bee pit stop in their garden. All this with an almost irresistible campaign hashtag: #beeandq.

Why we think it’s great:

Despite the fact that this campaign is incredibly sweet, it also helps highlight a really important issue that is no doubt close to the hearts of a lot of B&Q’s loyal customers, breathing warmth into the brand.


Shiseido: My Crayon Project

Inspired: Shiseido School

Skin tone experts Shiseido teach Japanese school children to respect difference and each other

This charming campaign by Shiseido tackled the stigma of different coloured skin tones in Japan – one of the most homogenous nations in the world. Cosmetics company Shiseido aimed to educate school children that every skin tone is special and unique – with crayons. Shiseido scientists scanned each child’s skin and customised them into coloured crayons with their name. The children drew themselves and each other in what was an interactive and fun way to normalise skin differences.

Why we think it’s great:

We are increasingly seeing beauty brands reflecting a broader sense of the mainstream version of what is beautiful, and this clever campaign from Shiseido does just that. Focusing on children demonstrates that prejudice can start (and stop) from a very young age – a great message for parents and society at large.

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