Lauren Smith, executive creative director at 72andSunny LA, picks out some recent favourites that she feels are worthy of celebrating
Getting into another creative's mind is one of the joys of this industry. I hope you enjoy going through mine, and that you find the work as inspiring as I do...
Apple - 'Cinematic Mode: Detectives'
Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab
Ahhh, I just love it when the creative conceit matches up with the product feature with such perfect synchronicity! And, obviously, this one was just superbly well executed and marvellously simply clever.
Airbnb - 'Made Possible by Hosts'
Photographer: Dani Pujalte
I first worked years ago on Airbnb’s first ad campaign for 'Belong Anywhere', and I was inspired then - and even more so now - by the harmony between what their brand believes and how they behave. It’s a rare feat to have your brand inextricable from your brand’s marketing, and they do it in so many ways. A few examples are: Brian Chesky’s announcement on Twitter that starting on 18th January, he will be living in Airbnbs for the next few months, relocating every few weeks, to literally live the new trend of 'decentralisation of living' that is 'changing the identity of travel'. And when the war in Ukraine hit, people on Airbnb were booking stays they had no intention of taking, just to donate money to people in Ukraine. Airbnb began waiving all fees as a way of support. But of course, they back all of these actions up with a gorgeously restrained and deeply human ad campaign that comes to life through real documented stays at Airbnb and the most stellar of music choices. One of my favourites: 'Bonnie and Clyde'.
Barbie - 'International Women’s Day'
This is less traditional advertising and more brand behaviour, but I think it’s a perfect example of how a company like Mattel can reinvent the identity of one of the core brands to better serve the kids who look up to Barbie. When I was a kid, my mum wouldn’t let my have Barbies (for all the reasons one would expect a working doctor slash mother in the 1980s wouldn’t want her child playing with Barbies), but it only made me want them more! And now that I’m a working mother myself, I admire the brand investing in Barbie as a role model versus just a model. For International Women’s Day this year, Barbie announced one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls that are based on twelve global female role models, from Shonda Rhimes to Melissa Sariffodeen.
SHISEIDO - 'The Party Bus'
Agency: SHISEIDO Tokyo
Production: Tower Film Tokyo
Post: Masanobu Hiraoka x Caviar
Music: Kazuyoshi Tonami x YUGE inc
I know this one is older than six months, but I haven’t seen anything like it, before or since. It’s a simply mesmerising, moving, ethereally and imaginatively animated film about a young girl’s romantic choices on a bus. It's a beautiful piece of craft, and I love the mix of live action and tactile animation, gives it some real soul and handmade-ness, with emotion deep at the centre of it. I wish I could have made it!
United Airlines - 'Good Leads the Way'
Production: Pulse Films
United Airlines just did their first brand campaign in nearly a decade. And I worked on this one, and I’m including it because it’s such a herculean effort, but also an example of a fully-integrated, multi-media campaign that I’m so proud of the team and our clients for pulling off during a pandemic. A lot of times, one wins a piece of business to relaunch a brand and we do an anthem film and some banners and we’re done. Not this one. We started with the simple premise: This is the story of an airline when good leads the way, and we told that 'story' using the tools of 'storytelling' across: anthem films, support films, skippable YouTube built directly for skippable Youtube, a storytelling twitter thread, an Instagram sticker for Instagram stories, a six-page 'storytelling' spread in the NY Times, trash cans in Huntington Beach, trash cans in New Jersey, airports all over the country, social-first version of the films, and literally thousands of other pieces. It’s special because this airline has changed over the past decade, and so has its brand mission, but no one knows this story. So we told that story, and told it in ways that were bespoke to very medium. And stick around for more, 'cause this story’s just getting good...
*I’ve included just the YouTube playlist of the creative work but there’s much more out in the world now. Just fly United!