2018 IN REVIEW: Throughout December we're looking back at the year in APAC marketing, advertising and communications—listicle-style.
Today, we kick-off our look back at 2018 with our 10 favourite ads/campaigns of the year. The work is presented in no particular order, with links to our original coverage.
A groom's shocking wedding speech makes for a brilliant retirement-planning ad
Advertiser: NTUC Income
Talk about brilliant opening lines! Four seconds into this film a groom giving a speech at his wedding banquet announces that he grew up with "the worst parents in the world". He even has a Powerpoint.
Brilliant anti-sexism campaign weaponises retargeting
Advertiser: Our Watch
One of the most ingenious uses of a digital platform we can remember seeing.
Shiseido addresses themes of courage and self-discovery in bold new film
In recent years, Shiseido has shown itself to be one of the most innovative advertisers in Japan, and this piece of work continues to set the brand well apart from others in the sector.
Hong Kong Ballet campaign is a soaring success
Advertiser: Hong Kong Ballet
Agency: Design Army
Transposing ballet moves into modern Hong Kong settings, the Hong Kong Ballet's 'Never stand still' campaign is the rare piece of work that actually deserves the often-abused adjective 'jaw-dropping'.
Auto website promises everyone their own personal car commercial (yes, everyone)
Agency: CHE Proximity
The appropriately named 'AutoAds' campaign (get it?) uses an algorithm to combine hundreds of filmed scenes and thousands of voiceover clips with the seller-posted information, rearranging the footage with different visuals in a process that could in theory create up to 1.2 trillion variations, according to the agency.
Vicks brings 'Touch of care' to Philippines
Agency: Publicis Singapore
In a culture where over-the-top Tiger Moms are celebrated and where many kids are trained and tutored more than they're touched, it's worth remembering the importance of the bonding that occurs through physical contact and emotional support.
SoftBank and the art of the random crossover
Already having found success with a long-running Hercule Poirot-style murder mystery featuring a star-studded canine and human cast, the brand is now borrowing from a popular campaign for an eyeglasses brand.
Nike launches stunning first-person basketball adventure
Agency: R/GA Shanghai
A first-person, digital, 'choose your own adventure' story that takes place in highly stylised—and highly awesome—2D animation.
This empty cereal box could feed hungry kids
Advertiser: Foodbank WA
Agency: The Brand Agency
The effort puts the issue of hunger in front of people right when they're about to spend a lot of money on a shopping cart full of food to fill their own stomachs, and it makes it super easy to toss a $5 donation into that cart.
Pantene: Look at these beautiful humans
Agency: Greynj United
It's always great when people who have traditionally been seen as "other" can instead be portrayed as simply people. People who are deserving not of special treatment, but simply of equal treatment. And of fabulous hair.
Wait, what about...
For good measure
Here some more worthy pieces of work we considered.
- Epic film mythologises sticky rice: Glutinous rice grains get the origin-story they deserve in a film for Wu Fang Zhai by Social Lab Beijing and Stink Beijing.
- Hong Kong agency organises 'breakup tour' for the newly single: Cathay Pacific, Airbnb, Carousell, KKday and Pamycarie participate in a co-branding exercise organised by Secret Tour Hong Kong.
- These bunny books are more for adults than kids: Gidget Foundation, with Naked, introduces book series aimed at helping parents recognise and cope with perinatal depression
- In this campaign, there are literally no excuses for abuse: Perpetrators and victims try to explain away abusive behaviour, but this Australian campaign, for Our Watch by Thinkerbell, won't let them.
- New Zealand police force kills (in the comedic sense): Real members of the force answer recruitment FAQs in video by Ogilvy that's funnier than many supposedly funny TV shows starring professional comedic actors.
- Jollibee's 'Kwentong Jollibee' series, with McCann Worldgroup