From Christmas and Ramadan campaigns to sweet Skittles and Oreo ads, here are the top 10 Behind the Work pieces that topped our list and gained the most attention this year, writes LBB’s Tamara Felemban
Curious by nature, viewers and readers love to be given some insight behind a project, to feel like they’ve been let in on the creative process behind some of their favourite content. Not only does it make them feel included and, in some way, involved, but it also offers an insight into the company, the brand, its values and the team behind these creative projects. So, it is not surprising that there is a great interest in work that happens behind the scenes. This extra knowledge helps humanise the brand and creates a deep connection between it and consumers.
The growing interest in the category can also be seen here at LBB. Our Behind the Work channel is one of our most successful and active ones, attracting attention to some of the most interesting stories behind creative projects and campaigns from the industry. With many people tuning in and reading it each week, LBB does its best to relay all the details, the creative challenges and even some exclusive information behind some of the most fascinating work out there. And we do so because we believe that behind every great campaign is a creative, hard-working team working in the shadows and out of the spotlight, when it is their work that should be celebrated, given love to and put in the limelight.
Being our fourth most viewed channel, we can safely say that no two campaigns are alike and that the inside scoop will offer memorable stories that will surely bind your interest.
Topping off the list is Land Rover’s ‘Spillway’ stunt led by James Bond stunt driver Jessica Hawkins and dubbed as the UK’s “longest ad break ever.” Choosing Iceland's Kárahnjúkar Spillway, Europe’s biggest dam and one of the most difficult environments possible as the location for this year’s big challenge, Jaguar Land Rover’s agency Spark44 has proven its willingness to beat all odds and redefine the impossible. After all, the agency has been known to undertake gruelling challenges and push the Range Rover Sport to the max, testing its limits in unforgiving places like this.
Dangerous yet thrilling, LBB’s Alex Reeves spoke to the filmmakers from Bang TV and The Big Picture Company to know more about the campaign and exactly how the team overcame so many obstacles to brilliantly bring the car back in one piece.
Watched by 100 million+ viewers each year, the Super Bowl is easily the most popular and watched annual sporting event in the world. And it’s a known fact that it is extremely difficult to purchase a place for your spot in this massive event, but imagine not being able to even do that in the first place. Exclusivity deals from rival companies stop many brands short from the beginning, making it impossible for them to even consider broadcasting their campaigns in such events.
The Molson Coors Beverage Company decided that wasn’t going to have that and came up with a clever way to break the rules (sort of) and use the Super Bowl’s buzz to its advantage. The company worked with DDB San Francisco to create an innovative Super Bowl ‘hack’, a Meta Bar for their brand Miller Lite in the browser-based metaverse project ‘Decentraland.’ Users could join the bar and enjoy virtual brewskis, socialise with other avatars, earn limited-edition cosmetic items and premium wearables for their Decentraland avatar and more while watching the Miller Lite Super Bowl spot. LBB’s Ben Conway spoke with DDB San Francisco’s executive creative director Ben Wolan to find out more about the brand’s use of this emergent, revolutionary web3 technology.
A box office success last year, Dune was both a beautiful and unexpected movie to end the year with. Considered ‘unfilmable’ or uncontainable for the longest time, Frank Herbert’s novel and the detailed world had given acclaimed filmmakers like Alejandro Jodorowsky a very hard time in their attempts to bring it to the big screen. To everyone’s great surprise, Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the epic sci-fi Dune last year was not only successful but accomplished an extraordinary feat in filmmaking that proved once again that the impossible is what we make of it.
With all that in mind, and although it turned out not to be impossible after all, it was still hard and required a greatly skilled individual, which is why Denis Villeneuve turned to a familiar face, Rodeo FX’s Deak Ferrand for the job. Deak’s work as an artist includes Game of Thrones, Blade Runner: 2049 and his collaborations with Denis, whom he’s worked with before. But although he is a highly skilled and greatly talented concept artist, the Dune universe presented an altogether new and unique challenge even for him, which LBB's Adam Bennett heard about.
Based on a true story, 'KFC's Anything for the Taste’ spot was a hit with viewers, who have enjoyed following the story of a fake-food inspector from South Africa who's willing to do anything and go anywhere for KFC's chicken and leaving behind a signature souvenir.
Impersonating a restaurant quality assurance inspector to eat at KFC for free, the fake Mr. Molapo grows on viewers as they slowly develop a soft spot for him and root for his little scam journeys across the country. Humorous, full of drama and extremely fun to watch, the new campaign from HunkyDory / Romance Films by director Greg Gray and agency Ogilvy South Africa is a comedic spot created from a newsworthy moment and LBB Nisna Mahatani made sure to get the inside scoop and hear all about it.
Christmas is the busiest time of the year, especially for the ad industry which releases countless festive campaigns and content for consumers to enjoy in harmony with the season. For this year’s Christmas festivities, Asda created a memorable spot featuring the iconic Christmas elf himself, Buddy the Elf, looking for a new job at one of its branches.
The spot released only a month ago already attracted a great deal of attention for its familiarity and nostalgia, reminding viewers of better times in the past when things were simpler. Paying homage to the 2003 movie and using scenes and lines from the original film, the campaign brings the classic character to life in modern day times and leads viewers through several adventures with Buddy around the store as he takes on (and sabotage) some of his tasks.
Created by Havas London, with post production by Framestore and under license from Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products, Asda figured that a little Christmas magic is what the world needed most and its exactly what they believed Buddy could offer viewers this year. For more, check out the full piece by LBB’s Zoe Antonov, as she learns more about the campaign and the difficult licensing of such an iconic character.
Not to sound dramatic, but the day SKITTLES decided to change its lime flavour to green apple was possibly one of the worst days in the brand’s history and its biggest turning point recorded. Ever since the substitution between both flavours that occurred in 2013, thousands of people flooded the brand’s social media platforms with lime-avenging online campaigns that demanded the original flavour’s return. The massive uproar from these passionate lime-lovers gained so much attention and anger that the brand has struggled to appease, until now.
Nine years later, the long-awaited, grand return of the ‘Lime Skittle’ involved a livestreamed apology by a SKITTLES spokesperson in a press conference apologizing to each tweet mentioning a form of disapproval of the change. The result was a campaign that did not take itself too seriously and which showcased clearly the brand’s humour and personality, all while giving the consumers what they want-the restoration of the lime flavour.
LBB’s Ben Conway spoke with DDB Chicago’s global strategy director Josh Drueck, global brand lead Jasmine Jabbour, executive creative director, Colin Selikow and executive producer, Annie Larrimer about the campaign and the humorous way the brand decided to tackle this absurd public outrage.
Continuing on with the sweets theme, another campaign that received a lot of love this year is OREO’s ‘Oreo & Friends’ project in the UAE. In an effort to reduce the rising rates of abandoned pets and to raise awareness of the issue, the brand collaborated with Saatchi & Saatchi to help find homes for abandoned pets named after the cookie company. The campaign included the launch of a website that showcases adorable videos and pictures of the colourful personalities of the dogs, cats and rabbits named ‘Oreo.’ Also partnering with K9 Friends and Yanni Animal Welfare, the brand ensured each one of these pets went on to find a suitable and loving home for them.
Saatchi & Saatchi MEA’s creative director Alok Mohan, associate creative director Anika Marya and senior copywriter Katie Handfelt told LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about their experiences working with Oreos and why you should consider adopting them.
Sky Broadband’s new campaign features guests that require no introduction, the iconic yellow, cheeky Minions from Dreamworks’ ‘Despicable Me’ franchise. To help launch Gigafast, its fastest ever broadband, the team at Sky Broadband has decided to take a new creative path and use the help of these little troublemakers to communicate just how fast the new broadband is in a comedic, exciting way. From digital ads and TV spots to traditional outdoor ads like billboards showcasing our little friends being flung around by the speed, the team at Sky Broadband communicates the Gigafast feel on another level. Marketing director Dave Stratton told Laura Swinton how this campaign came about and why they decided to feature the Minions in their new campaign.
Celebrating the Holy month of Ramadan in 2022, supermarket giant Tesco collaborated with diversity and inclusion consultancy The Unmistakables to execute an incredibly creative campaign that showcased billboards with plates that slowly fill up with food the closer it gets to sunset – which is Iftar time or when the Muslim community breaks their fast. Not only that but the position of the billboards complimented the direction of the sun and the illusion matches the changing sunset times every day throughout Ramadan, so that the food fills up exactly during Iftar time and matches the food on tables at home.
Collaborating and including a wide range of Muslims from cooks to photographers and consultants, the campaign stands out, literally, from the rest and supports the Muslim community bringing society closer together than ever. BBH London’s art director Ciara Boyle and copywriter Chloe Neal told LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about the campaign and how this creative idea of celebrating Ramadan came about.
Finally, the list ends with a relatable spot that is near and dear to the hearts of avid readers, the monthly eBook subscription platform Kobo Plus. From creative agency The Garden and directed by Someplace Nice’s Pete Henderson, the spot features a reader who cannot contain her excitement about her latest read-a feeling many readers get painfully well. In spite of all the interruptions around her, she cannot hide her passion and expresses her guilty pleasures to anyone around to hear. Kobo’s messaging celebrates the joy of being a reader and purposefully expresses the feelings and presents the situations readers find relatable to create a better connection with their consumers in this spot. And to discuss this more, LBB sat down with Someplace Nice director Pete Henderson, alongside creatives Lindsay Eady, Nuala Murray, and Mriga Suchdeva to share why reading is a joy to the soul and often feels like an uncontainable secret.