For my High Five, rather than just picking my favourite ads of the last three months, I changed the brief slightly and decided to focus exclusively on campaigns for Irish charities and causes. These are all organisations that need as much support and promotion as they can get, particularly at this time of year. Also, given it’s December, I don’t think anyone needed to read another random creative director’s list of his favourite Christmas ads, so I’ll spare you that. I want to give a big thanks to BBDO's creative department for helping narrow down the list, and to Christopher Gore, who suggested I focus on charities in the first place...
Allianz x Women's Aid - 'The World's Strongest Women'
Agency: In The Company Of Huskies
Production: Rattling Stick
Director: Fern Berresford
Post: Absolute Post
This is one of my favourite campaigns of this year. It’s not often an ad catches me off-guard, but this really surprised me. It draws you in with the expected slick visual language of female empowerment, and then pulls the rug from beneath you and hits you with an emotional gut punch. A great idea made with real craft for an important cause. Congratulations to the teams in Huskies and Rattling Stick, and to the clients in Allianz for a brave and beautiful piece of work. Click here
for more information on Women’s Aid and its important work.
Barnardos - 'When Cracks Appear'
Agency: The Public House
Production: Pixel Melbourne
Director: John Gavin
So I’ve kind of broken the rules here. This campaign isn’t strictly from the last three months, but to be honest, time has lost all meaning at the moment, so I decided to include it anyway! This is a beautifully simple idea which highlights stress and mental toll the pandemic has had on vulnerable children over the last couple of years. 'When cracks appear, we’re here' is a wonderful expression of the support that Barnardos provide to families in need. A really nice and beautifully crafted campaign. Visit the website
to donate and support the work that Barnardos does.
Belong To - '#ComeIn To Support Belong To'
Agencies: In The Company Of Huskies x TBWA\Dublin x BBDO Dublin x Goosebump x Publicis x Verve x Elevate PR x Mindshare x Core
Production: Motherland x Algorithm x Mutiny
What I love about this campaign (apart from it highlighting an important cause) is that it is a genuine all industry collaboration, with people from agencies and production companies all across Dublin volunteering their time and working together. Planning came from our own strategy director, Rachel O’Donnovan, with creative direction from TBWA, account management from Huskies, creative from Goosebump and Publicis, and so on. There’s a real cast of thousands on this campaign. And that’s without mentioning the dozens of clients donated media spots. I think this kind of industry collaboration needs to be celebrated when it happens. See here
for a full list of credits and more information about the campaign, and here
to support the work Belong To do for LGBTQ+ youth.
St Vincent De Paul - 'Impossible Choices'
Agency: In The Company Of Huskies
There is a timely insight in this campaign that has been dramatised in a simple and powerful way. The starkness of the print execution is particularly compelling. This is another strong and smart campaign for a very worthy cause. Click here
to support St Vincent De Paul’s Christmas campaign.
Dublin Simon - 'You Are Homeless. You Are Not Less.'
Agency & Post: BBDO Dublin
Director: Dermot Malone
I was a little wary of including one of our own on a list of my favourite ads. However, the work Dublin Simon does is incredibly important, particularly at this time of year, so I’ll take any opportunity I can to talk about them. We’ve made dozens of campaigns with Dublin Simon over the years. However, this was the first one that speaks directly to homeless people. The script, written by Des Kavanagh and Rob Murray, is both a celebration of and an apology to the homeless. Being homeless is something you experience. It is not what you are, and it doesn’t make you any less than anyone else. Shot on 16mm film, it features authentic portraits of people who are homeless or have experienced homelessness. There was also a print campaign developed in collaboration with Irish artist, Maser, featuring posters with messages that speak directly to homeless people located in places where they sleep. Click here
for more information on the amazing work Dublin Simon does, or to support it in its Christmas appeal.