Campaigns that caught our eye in 2022
19th December 2022
It has certainly been a busy year for the PR & comms industry. During a rollercoaster twelve months, brands have had to be bigger, bolder and more impactful than ever, while staying sensitive to a nation going through tough times. We’ve asked our team to share some of their favourite industry campaigns from the last year, from the thought-provoking to the downright funny. So grab a mince pie, sit back and enjoy Alfred’s take on the campaigns that caught our eye in a year like no other.
Caroline Shine, Associate Director – My favourite was Tesco’s Ramadan OOH Campaign. Digital billboards strategically situated in areas across the UK with a prevalent Muslim community show empty plates filling up with delicious-looking food as the night sets in and the sun goes down. Accompanied by the lines; ‘Together this is Ramadan’ and below; ‘In honour of everyone fasting, these plates only fill up as the sun goes down.’
This wasn’t just a token piece of advertising or a tick-box exercise. The campaign involved inclusion consultancy, The Unmistakables, with research showing that 67% of Muslim people feel they are portrayed in a negative light in the media. Tesco wanted to stand behind the community and stave off any negative criticisms. The campaign had so much attention to detail, for example, ensuring other adverts, such as those selling alcohol, did not play in between, with the billboards popping up in areas like Bradford, Brent, and Birmingham.
Debbie Lloyd, Senior Account Manager – It’s been a year (and then some…) of political turmoil in the UK. So, in true British fashion, we turned to satire to cope, with a British video game company Construct creating an 8-bit video game in response to Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng tanking the economy. Costing only £750 to make across three days, this was a great example of gamifying current affairs to engage consumers, alongside creatively hijacking news without needing to spend a fortune.
Emily Levy, Senior Campaign Director – No one’s mentioned Christmas Adverts, so I had to jump in here. Every year, we wait patiently for brands to unveil their Christmas adverts, which they have been working on since the previous one launched. Many brands now are injecting purpose and sometimes even sadness into their Christmas adverts. There’s no denying, the festive season can be a sad season for some, but I actually adored the way The National Lottery’s Christmas advert was just about love. After a couple of bleak years, especially Christmas periods, it was nice to see a story between to strangers falling in love on a train and reuniting through a lottery ticket. It was the mini version of The Holiday, or the Love Actually I needed this year!
Fran Rivett-Carnac, Director – How do you make an 87-year-old board game feel relevant today? Monopoly rose to the challenge brilliantly this year with an OOH campaign that focused on the tough life lessons children learn from playing the game. Amusing photos of youngsters in varying stages of Monopoly-induced rage were accompanied with captions: ‘For learning to let go’; ‘For learning how to calm down’, ‘For learning how to express emotion’. Full of humour and relatability, the campaign also touched a deeper nerve with parents worried about how to raise resilient children in a tough world. A clever campaign that reminded us all what a great (albeit maddening) board game Monopoly is.
Greg Collins, Senior Account Director – The best campaigns can be explained in one line and a Bounty-less Christmas celebration tub campaign has certainly hit the sweet spot for Celebrations. Outside of blanket coverage, if a campaign can cause Piers Morgan to Tweet in outrage you know you’ve probably done a good job. Another measure of success is whether people outside of the marketing bubble actually care and will they talk about it? In a year dominated again by harrowing news, this is exactly the kind of distraction and pointless conversation we all still want and need in our lives.
Hannah Jackson, Creative Strategy Lead – Parkinson’s Disease impacts six million adults globally and using a smart device can be challenging for those who suffer with hand tremors. Havas worked with the German Parkinson’s Association to build a solution and reconnect patients with the digital world. Staybl is the first browser of its kind, using virtual counter-movements to compensate for tremors in real time. A strong example of tech being a force for good and a catalyst for change.
Hannah Lynch, Director – Now, bear with me… Yes, the ongoing strikes have been painful for commuters and consumers for months, but there’s no denying that the RMT’s leader is incredible at communicating why the strikes are happening and why there’s still no deal. It’s fascinating to watch Lynch spar with unprepared journalists, providing a specific, factual and fresh answer to any question thrown his way. He should be a communications case study for all CEO’s, spokespeople, and most certainly, politicians.
Holly Legg, Director – The chilling film created by Women’s Aid to highlight the increase of domestic violence during sporting tournaments, was one of this year’s most impactful campaigns. The use of the iconic football slogan so often chanted at matches, the flag imagery and the use of audio in the film all weave together to deliver and highlight this issue in an emotional way, which stops you in your tracks.
Mark Hamill, Associate Director – Often ignored as one of the big players in the Metaverse, The Sims offering players of their newest expansion ‘High School Years’ the opportunity to thrift clothes created by some of the biggest names in Depop brought a wonderful dash of the circular economy to gaming. While it’s not the biggest move to promote eco-conscious consumption, it’s a great nod to it and the more we see an activity being normalised, the more likely we are to adopt it ourselves.
Nadia Sarwar, Senior Account Executive – For the final season for Afterlife, Netflix teamed up with CALM and installed 25 benches in parks across the UK to encourage people to openly talk about their mental health. The benches also featured QR codes which provided people with CALM’s support and resources. A nice brand partnership encouraging open conversations when it comes to mental health.
Niall De’Ath, Senior Account Manager – Airbnb partnered with international and regional nonprofits and governments to secure housing for up to 100,000 refugees. The company has been coordinating efforts to offer shelter and safety free of charge. More than 28,000 people have signed up through Airbnb.org to offer temporary housing to others, while Airbnb founders have committed to match donations up to $10 million.
Rich Langrish, Head of Social – It’s been a good year for some of the best political activists in town, Led By Donkeys. Not only have two Prime Ministers resigned on their watch, but more than ever they’ve helped show people how corrupt modern politics is through standout content that captures even the most ardent right-wing-centrist’s attention.
Stewart Clark, Account Executive – Around the release of God of War: Ragnarok in November, KFC billboard advertisements began appearing next to billboard advertisements of the game reading “And that’s why there’s KFC delivery.” A great example of quick and simple reactionary comms, which definitely made me want to order some fried chicken!