17 DEC 2021
5 MIN READ
‘Tis the season to select our favourite ads of 2021
The festive season is a time for joy and celebration. It’s also a time of reflection. Whilst 2021 has been another difficult year for many, it’s had some fantastic moments. The media world has certainly had its fair share of highs to look back on. Despite the continued challenges presented by the pandemic, we’ve seen some incredible campaigns this year. This week, we’re looking at some of our favourites.
Giffgaff Gives Back
Giffgaff’s campaign from September this year must be my favourite one when the brand launched their first ever TV ad in British Sign Language. They worked together with one of the network members to create an ad that is inclusive of the deaf community in the UK. The campaign was massively hailed by social media, tapping into Giffgaff’s ambition to make ads with difference.
The Pub Was Always On My Mind
Guinness struck a sentimental chord during the height of lockdown with their ‘Welcome Back’ video. With ‘You Were Always on My Mind’ playing in the background, they showed a variety of everyday items with a vague resemblance to a pint of Guinness. The ad finishes with a shot of friends in a pub, finally back together and enjoying a pint. It tapped into everybody’s need to get back together with friends and enjoy something as simple as a beer together. The final strapline told the audience that they’d pledged £30M to help pubs. Heart-warming stuff that made Guinness the most talked about brand on social when pubs finally re-opened.
Back in Spring of this year, Marks and Spencer threatened to sue Aldi over their Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake, claiming that it was too similar in design to their trademarked Colin the Caterpillar. Thus began the epic saga of the “caterpillar cake wars”, and the creation of the social media campaign ‘#freecuthbert’ .
In response to M&S’ launching of legal action against them, Aldi decided to battle it out on social media rather than the courtroom. A single humorous tweet from Aldi, “This is not just any court case, this is…#freecuthbert”, was all it took to launch the brand to Twitter’s number one trending spot and to completely win over public opinion.
The hashtag quickly escalated into a full on social campaign. Within a matter of hours, the internet was flooded with user generated content in support of Aldi. Protests were even held outside M&S. Most impressively, it is estimated that organic reach equated to over £5m worth of media spend!
This incredible result plus Aldi’s impeccable hijacking of the narrative, for me, makes it one of the best social media campaigns of 2021.