I picked out a few recent projects that I think deserve recognition for obvious reasons, and for reasons that reflect on whether our industry is really as creative and problem-solving as we like to think it is...
Berlingske (Danish Newspaper) - 20th Anniversary of 9/11
Agency: In-house at Berlingske
Illustrator: Kristian Stauning
Sometimes typography is the strongest way to communicate a message. The front-page of Danish newspaper, Berlingske, from the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 gives me goosebumps. I think it’s impressive to incapsulate the past and present of the tragic event that changed the world 20 years ago, in such a simple visual. Last time I saw a front page this strong was when the New York Times marked 100,000 U.S. deaths by Covid-19.
Copenhagen Pride - 'Proud Pitch'
Agency: Worth Your While
I really think this idea deserves recognition for being so quick to be news-jagging on UEFA's rejections to light up a stadium in rainbow colours, and
creating an AR filter
making it easy and entertaining to not only share the message, but to be a co-creator of the campaign. I can only imagine the excitement of thinking 'Hey, what if we used the pitch as a big green screen'. I love it when a simple observation like that can turn into a great idea.
Airbnb - 'Free Accommodation to Refugees'
Agency: In-house at Airbnb
- Getty Images
The world definitely calls for problem-solving ideas, but sadly I feel like most of the innovative solutions coming from agencies are superficial or only ‘prototypes’ for what could’ve been a world-changing idea. It probably has to do with hesitating clients, low budgets and tight deadlines. I think most of the innovative work I see these days comes from within the client’s organisation. Probably because there is a public demand to change if you want to stay relevant. Red Bull, H&M and Patagonia are good examples of this. Maybe we are entering a golden age for in-house creativity, who knows? A recent example of this is the campaign above, when Airbnb offered 20,000 homes to Afghan refugees
Lapee - 'The First Female Urinal'
Agency: In-house at Lapee
The same thoughts apply to this idea - the idea of creating a female urinal ensuring a cleaner, safer and more efficient option for women to pee, meaning no more endless lines at outdoor events. This is exactly what Danish startup, Lapee
, has done. Even though it’s a business idea, I feel like it’s something that Durex, Dove or a beer brand could successfully have done as a brand activation. But a small startup (founded by two architects) came firs, and Lapee is already growing rapidly across festivals and public spaces around the world. Despite being a small startup, it’s probably already the strongest brand in the mobile urinal category, which is a billion-dollar industry. Super interesting having a B2C-facing communication strategy in a B2B market.
Squash - 'Origenial'
Agency: Wibroe, Duckert & Partners
Director & Star: Holger Karberg
As much as I like ideas that use story-doing / activation to deliver a message, I feel that humorous and artistic work has been left behind. Sometimes, problem-solving solutions are not the solution to a problem. The solution can just as well be an authentic or aesthetic way of delivering a story or feeling. I want to highlight this campaign
from Danish soda-brand called Squash. I like it for it’s subtle humour, the simple art direction and the restraint from not talking about product benefits, tactical messages or how the brand are going to save the rainforest or plant a tree. Also, when I talk to my friends outside advertising, they mention this as one of the greatest ads they can think of...funnily enough, they never heard of the 'Moldy Whopper'. I think that’s really interesting and says a lot about the bubble we’re in as an industry.