The Creative Work We Consider Great

A couple of months ago I have sent out a survey to advertising professionals to find out more about what they consider to be great creative work. I wanted to find out what constitutes great creative work in their opinion – and what they think stands in the way of it.

While I’m finalising that article, I thought I’d share with you the work people have shared with me when I asked them to give examples. I included this question not necessarily to collect work the participants considered great. It was more to have some context to evaluate respondents’ point of view on what makes great work. Nevertheless, I want to share the full list of ads that have been mentioned in the survey.

Nike, Dove, and Apple

Unsurprisingly, the most cited piece of work to be considered great was last year’s Nike campaign “Dream crazy” with a particular call-out for the Kaepernick motif with some other ads by the American sports brand (“Find Your Greatness”). Under Armour’s “Rule yourself” campaign with Phelps also got two mentions.

Nike – “Dream Crazy”

The second most mentioned brand was Dove with their “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign and some other work. Apple, too, was mentioned quite a lot with a broad range from the classic “1984” to “Think different” to “Misunderstood” and “Welcome home.”

Fearless Who?

And then, of course, there was “Fearless girl” – even though there’s one particularity about this one: while for every other piece of work people mentioned brand and campaign title, for this one, people only mentioned the name of the campaign. (Maybe, because nobody actually ever remembered the name of the brand?)

Product Ideas are Ideas, Too

It’s worth mentioning that among the examples for great work were also four product ideas, most of which were brought up by creatives: ada, Volvo’s Lifepaint, Dollar Shave Club, Poo Pourri, and The Ocean Cleanup.

The full list of mentioned ads is below, sorted by discipline. (I haven’t included the amount of mentions.)

The Full List

ACCOUNTSTRATEGYCREATIVESPECIALISTS
Nike – “Dream Crazy” (Kaepernick)TAC – “Meet Graham”KFC – “FCK”Dove – “Speak beautiful”
Disneyland Paris – ”The little duck”Dove – “You’re more beautiful than you think”ada (product)Nike – ”Dream crazy” (Kaepernick)
Dove – “Real Beauty Sketches”BVG – “Is mir egal”Dove – “Real Beauty”Apple – “Think different”
Dove – “You’re more beautiful than you think”HornbachVolvo LifepaintUnder Armour – “Rule yourself”
REI – ”Opt outside”Dove – “Real Beauty Runs Deeper”Dollar Shave ClubCome4 – “The lover”
Apple – “Misunderstood”Nike – “Dream Crazy”Poo PourriTide – ”It’s a Tide ad”
Lurpack Spreadable – ”Freestyle”Libresse – “Blood Normal”State Street – “Fearless Girl”Levi’s – “Go forth”
State Street – “Fearless girl”Dulux – “The Invincibles”Nike – ”Find your greatness”Heinz – ”Pass the Heinz” (from Mad Men)
SIXT (all their political reactive advertising)Snickers – “You’re not you when you’re hungry”Apple – “1984”Diesel – ”Be stupid”
Nike – “Find Your Greatness: Jogger”Volkswagen – “Lemon”Sandy Hook Promise – ”Evan”
Axe – “Find your magic”Compare the market – “Compare the Merkat”Nike – ”Make it count” (with Casey Neistat)
Mercedes Benz – “Uncrashable Toy Car”Three – “Mobile phones are good”Spotify – ”Thanks 2016”
The Guardian – “The Whole Picture”Microsoft – “We all win”Volvo – ”The getaway car”
The Ocean Cleanup (as a product)Comic Relief – “Swear App”OK Cupid – ”DTF”
Dove – “Real Beauty Sketches”PALAU LEGACY PROJECT – “The Palau Pledge”
Lacoste – “The leap”LAD Bible – ”Trash Isle”
Bud Light – “Just right”March for our Lives – ”The most vicious cycle” (feat Kesha)
American Greetings – ”The World’s Toughest Job”Rexona – “Tribute”
ESPN – “This is sportscenter”Haribo – ”Pico Balla”
LEGO – ”imagine”Mailchimp – “Did you mean”
Glug (logo animation)AXE – “Suck my ball”
University of Suffolk (Brand identity)
ABSOLUT VODKA – “A vodka movie”
Nike – “Dream crazy” (Kaepernick)
Apple HomePod – “Welcome home”
Sakeru Gum – ”Long Long Man”
Olympus – “Photography playground”
Volvo – “Epic split”

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