5 of the best creative agency ads in 2021
2021 was a fairly turbulent year, to put it mildly.
But thankfully, there’s always one thing you can rely on - brilliant creative agencies producing brilliant ideas.
Last year was no exception, with superb ad campaigns being launched on a regular basis.
Some aimed to lift the mood of the nation during the pandemic, some tackled hard-hitting social issues, and some just expertly sold client products.
To celebrate a year of astonishing creativity, we’ve pulled together a list of the most decorated ads of 2021 - alongside a couple of Harmonic favourites.
“Long Live The Prince” by Engine Creative for The Kiyan Prince Foundation
Campaign Big Awards Winners 2021: Best Campaign
Knife crime is a hugely important issue to address in society today - but the subject can be a complex one to tackle through advertising.
Despite this, Engine Creative and The Kiyan Prince Foundation managed to deliver an exceptional anti-knife crime campaign in 2021 - innovative, emotional, and hard-hitting.
The ad revolved around Kiyan Prince, a promising footballer who lost his life to knife crime in 2006. However, the campaign isn’t packed with the kind of dark imagery that you might expect.
Instead, the ad celebrates the character and athletic ability of Kiyan Prince - it aims to inspire young people to make the most of their potential.
To mark Kiyan’s 30th birthday, the campaign has placed his memory in the spotlight once again. Kiyan has been added to the Fifa 21 roster, included in a limited edition trading card, and even listed as a QPR squad member.
The ad is truly unique, raising awareness of an incredibly serious issue with compelling positivity. Plus, the work was delivered pro-bono by Engine Creative, with all proceeds raised going to The Kiyan Prince Foundation.
“Tender Yet Tough” by AMV BBDO for Macmillan Cancer Support
Campaign Big Awards winners 2021: Student Choice Award for TV & Cinema
We’re all aware of the impact a cancer diagnosis can have on individuals and their families.
We’re also aware of the support that Macmillan consistently provides for patients.
But how often do we really think about the Macmillan carers and staff?
This emotional campaign from AMV BBDO and Macmillan places the focus on the dedicated staff that work tirelessly to support cancer patients.
‘Tender Yet Tough’ shows us the tender care that Macmillan professionals provide, while also exposing the incredibly tough and selfless nature of the job.
With the pandemic delaying medical appointments and Macmillan grappling with reduced funding, this ad does a fantastic job of bringing cancer care back into the public consciousness.
Importantly, it also gives Macmillan workers the credit that they’re due.
“Change Accelerated” by Uncommon Creative Studio for Formula E
Campaign Big Awards winners 2021: Automotive
Climate change is a global issue at the heart of many international agendas.
With ‘Change Accelerated’ Uncommon Creative Studio has positioned Formula E at the forefront of the ongoing fight against the climate emergency.
The advert is fast-paced and electrifying - no pun intended. The thrills and technological advancements of Formula E are highlighted with gripping visuals and sounds.
The campaign draws an incredibly powerful parallel between electric racing and the race against climate change. It simultaneously showcases Formula E as a force for good, while also drawing attention to the importance of electric vehicle technology.
Uncommon have perfectly balanced raising awareness of a serious subject (i.e. climate change) while also boosting the creative profile of a client - which is certainly no easy feat.
These award-winning ads are all fully deserving of their industry accolades. But now let’s take a look at some of our personal Harmonic favourites from 2021.
“Introducing The Icelandverse” by M&C Saatchi for Inspired By Iceland
Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘Metaverse’ announcement received a mixed reception online - and M&C Saatchi and Inspired By Iceland wasted no time in creating a fantastic ad that parodied the promotional video.
‘Introducing The Icelandverse’ features a Zuckerberg lookalike introducing the amazing Icelandic countryside. A real, tangible place that promises “enhanced reality without the silly headsets.”
The ad is hilariously funny and pokes fun at the strangeness of the Metaverse, encouraging tourists to experience real human interactions rather than virtual experiences.
However, the campaign isn’t just packed with good humour. It also expertly showcases the stunning natural beauty of Iceland, which is exactly what a successful tourism ad needs to do.
“For When It’s Time” by Energy BBDO for Extra Gum
The gradual reduction of lockdown measures in early 2021 was met with cautious optimism from the general public.
Energy BBDO and Extra Gum perfectly captured this sense of freedom and excitement with this light-hearted campaign.
The ad encourages people to ‘get their ding back’ as they venture back out into a post-lockdown world, saying goodbye to virtual meetings and embracing real-life social interactions.
The creative message resonated with many during this turbulent time, and it’s difficult not to feel good while enjoying the energetic positivity of the ad itself.
Sometimes a great advert just needs to deliver a dose of optimism, and that’s exactly what Energy BBDO achieved here.
2021 set a high bar for creativity in the ad industry, but we’re confident that 2022 will deliver even more exceptional ads and wildly successful campaigns.
We can’t wait to see the work being produced in the coming months!
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