David Blecken
Jun 2, 2015

Top 1000 2015: 6 big-hit campaigns, and 4 big misses

Great brands are known for great marketing. But sometimes bad ads happen, even to the best brands. Here, some of our favourite successes (and failures) of the past 12 months.

Top 1000 2015: 6 big-hit campaigns, and 4 big misses

Great brands are known for great marketing. But sometimes bad ads happen, even to the best brands. Here, some of our favourite successes—and failures—of the past 12 months.

Hit: Samsung’s app for autistic children

The creative work behind Asia’s top brand is inconsistent to say the least, but a recent highlight was an app designed to help autistic children make eye contact with others and identify the emotions of the people in their lives. Developed by Cheil Worldwide in conjunction with academic researchers, the app claimed to help children make eye contact and identify emotional expressions. We liked Cheil’s effort to introduce “a human-centric brand ideal beyond technology”. (Read more)


Miss: Samsung’s VR birth

In what was billed as the “world’s first live streaming virtual reality birth”, a father was able to witness the birth of his child despite being 4,000 kilometres away, courtesy of Samsung Gear VR technology. So far, so good. The problem? The campaign suggested that the product available to consumers enables such VR communication, which it does not—at least, not without an elaborate setup involving a special camera and streaming equipment that would be out of reach of most users. Creating unrealistic expectations is unwise in an age when people are more insistent than ever on honesty and clarity from brands. (Read more)


Hit: Nike’s military training

The region’s top sports brand took inspiration from the US military to promote the launch of its Kobe X shoes. ‘Deadly quickness temple’ aimed to give Chinese basketball players an insight into the mind of Kobe Bryant with a series of bite-sized but intriguing mobile puzzles that tested their reflexes, analytical powers and problem-solving skills. A great example of how to use gamification and an ambassador—and of how to bring the online and offline worlds together. (Read more)


Miss: Nescafé’s Vietnamese strongman

An eight-minute video from Publicis saw a macho-man talk about coffee so strong it can make lesser men more masculine. Viewers could then click through various interactive elements. The message seemed a stretch for Nescafé and even less plausible in a country famous for some of the world’s best coffee. It was made weaker by the length of the video, the gratuitous presence of scantily dressed female servers and forced zaniness. (Read more)


Hit: Nescafé’s neighbourly Singaporean

A much better piece of work from the Nestlé sub-brand was a nine-part online sitcom, starring a new resident in a housing estate who makes an inordinate effort to get to know his neighbours. The work by GOVT Singapore was based on the insight that modern Singaporeans don’t know their neighbours as well as they could, and that communities have become fragmented. We liked the clear connection to the brand proposition of helping people connect, and most importantly, found the videos genuinely entertaining. (Read more)


Miss: Dettol’s cucumber ice cream

We’re all for the unexpected and wacky, provided that it ties in with the brand and product. We were not convinced, however, by Dettol’s move to bring a cucumber-scented bodywash “out of the bathroom” by creating a cucumber-flavoured ice cream. Which was then given as a reward for playing with an interactive app. Which involved virtual kickboxing, ice cream-grabbing and watergun fights with Hong Kong celebrity Priscilla Wong. The effort to bring a rather unexciting product to life was good, but we found the link between soap and food unappetising. Close, but no cucumber. (Read more)


Hit: Lifebuoy’s symbolic tree

Unilever-owned Lifebuoy furthered its aspiration to prevent disease by encouraging hand-washing with a short film set in Indonesia. Highly localised, the work drew on Indonesian folklore to reinforce the brand’s ‘Help a child reach 5’ initiative. A woman is shown to have a close relationship with a tree that is about to turn five, which, it later transpires, is a representation of her son, who died before reaching that age. A simple, moving piece of work that fits perfectly with the brand. (Read more)


Hit: Citizen Watch’s global brand statement

The Japanese watchmaker launched a 90-second brand film to communicate its core proposition that “it’s always better to make something better, and now is the time to start doing it”. Beautifully crafted by Wieden + Kennedy, the film depicts a work table viewed from above as engineers achieve milestones over the brand’s 84-year history. Dutch filmmaker Johan Kramer used period-accurate cameras to film each of the segments, each of which ends with a delightful period-accurate ‘The End’ graphic. A simple idea perfectly executed, this is a standout example of how to tell a brand’s story in film. (Read more)


Miss: Nissin’s Manchester United animation

We really wanted to like this video, which was created by a renowned animator to activate Nissin’s sponsorship of Manchester United. The result was certainly visually arresting, with the club’s players rendered in a Japanese animation style. Everything looked on track—until the players spoke. Their voices fit so badly into the sound mix and sounded so lifeless, we couldn’t help wonder whether they literally phoned in their performances. (Read more)


Hit: Tiger Beer’s history rewrite

The storied Singaporean brand struck the right balance with a quirky, vintage-feel campaign that included mockumentaries chronicling Tiger’s own version of the country’s history around this year’s SG50 celebrations. One film detailed the creation of chicken rice (a response to a plague of chickens), while the second explained the origins of the ‘Kallang Wave’ (a sporting celebration Singapore sold to Mexico). The work was notable for being humorous as well as patriotic. Small details such as faked newspaper clippings made it complete. We only wished there was more. (Read more)


Related Articles

Just Published

1 day ago

How to prepare for hybrid commerce: Chinese ...

As consumers seamlessly hop between physical and online, brands are expected to provide real-time stock information and personalised experiences across all of their touchpoints. But they must demonstrate a value exchange to consumers to collect the data they need.

1 day ago

Data shows brands don’t need social media accounts ...

Data from a Jing Daily report shows that luxury brands no longer rely on their own social media accounts in China with more engagement relying on KOLs.

1 day ago

Apple debuts 2022 Chinese New Year film (clear some ...

The company's offering for this year is a 23-minute epic—shot on iPhones—about the making of an epic film within the film, also shot on iPhones.

1 day ago

How women’s health brands communicate on social ...

Female founders of women’s health brands say censorship makes it challenging to properly address women’s concerns.