Wunderman Thompson global CCO Daniel Bonner dips into five extraordinary, powerful projects that he recalls to be one-of-a-kind
Five all-time greatest pieces of work from anywhere in the world…no small ask. Although, for me, there have been a handful of clear stand-out moments - those watershed happenings in work that have changed the landscape for those that follow. However, there are benefits and trap doors for anything ‘post’ greatness. The greatest work opens up new doors and pathways that were previously considered locked to agencies or brands looking to solve similar problems. It lifts the bar and any lingering responses of ‘won’t’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ can be set aside as everyone becomes more confident about the new opportunities that are afoot.
But, inevitably, there is a trap door for those that follow greatness in pursuit of their own inspiring, ground-breaking moment that’s marked ‘copycat’. The most stand-out work not only defines what is possible, inspiring others beyond lazy conventions and directing us to imagine pastures new. The truly greatest work, the absolute pinnacle of brilliance, so prolific and universally acclaimed, does something quite different - it’s actually so awesome that it precludes anyone to innovate anywhere near its majesty without having to suffer the damning accusations of being ‘reminiscent’, ‘a bit like’, ‘an imitation’ of the original.
All of the following projects set a new standard. They defined and shaped what was possible. They were exceptional - full stop.
Hindustan Unilever - 'Kan Kajura Station'
Agency: Lowe & Partners x PHD
They invented a content distribution channel to connect the unconnected - leaving nobody behind - by transforming a mobile phone into a reliable medium of entertainment. A defining moment for inclusion.
FIAT - 'ecoDrive'
Agency: AKQA London
AKQA created a USB stick that people could plug into their car and see how the technology evaluated their driving style and recommended how to reduce fuel consumption while saving money and the planet. For something that came not long after Facebook started to catch on and just 18 months after the iPhone was born, it was a defining moment for the collision of creativity, technology and brand experience.
ING - 'The Next Rembrandt'
Agency: JWT Amsterdam
This one is a genuine showstopper because it’s the first 3D painting made by software that distilled the features of Rembrandt. One for anyone who is ever feeling cynical about the role of data and tech in storytelling and brand-building. This project drew a line under that, making it a defining moment for ‘data-inspired creativity’…and a defining project that ended any possible cynicism.
Burger King - 'Stevenage FC'
Agency: DAVID Miami x DAVID Madrid
There are so many reasons why this one has made the list. Just watch it and try not to get jealous. A defining moment for sponsorship / influencer / gaming / social / partnerships / content creation.
P&G’s Always - 'Like a Girl'
Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
So brilliantly, brilliantly executed. The casting, the talent, the performances and of course, the alarming and unmissable reality of how deep-rooted misogyny is across the world. This ‘ad’ didn’t solve the problem, but was one powerful, defining moment for ‘gender equality’ awareness.