A brilliantly executed ad is always something special, and I am fortunate to look out for them every day as part of our weekly “stand out ads” feature.
The criteria to make the gallery is broad because what makes great creative is broad: Witty copy can be just as effective as simple, striking imagery.
But sometimes there’s an ad that is so eye-catching, you can’t help but stop and ask a friend if they’ve seen it yet.
That’s why we started our ad-of-the-month polls at the start of this year. These honour some of each month’s best news brand ad campaigns, and they give readers the opportunity to vote for their favourites. So far, we have had five winners in 2022; by the time this blog post is published, one of these eight ads will have been voted as our sixth.
Winners come from a diverse range of backgrounds — from the charity sector to a start-up company and well-established consumer goods brands. These are the campaigns our readers have crowned as ad of the month so far in 2022.
Even if most restrictions long been relaxed by the government, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic still felt acutely present in January.
While we were often thinking of vulnerable loved ones or protecting those most at risk in society, Frontline19 was reminding readers of those frontline and health workers who put themselves at risk during the pandemic to keep us safe and look after us. This simple but powerful message was voted January’s ad of the month.
February’s winner was something completely different but equally as impactful. In its “ridiculously late” campaign, condiment connoisseur Heinz apologised for its tardiness in releasing something it should have had down decades ago: the perfect Bolognese sauce.
Evoking the style of the classic Volkswagen advertisements of the 1960s, it’s easy to see why Heinz took the crown that month. Not failing to see the funny side, this campaign takes self-awareness to a new level.
The end of February saw the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The world’s eyes were rightly fixed on the horrors that unfolded and continue to unfold across the country today. As readers, we only know these things are happening in Ukraine because of the fearless reporting done by journalists on the ground.
Voted March’s ad of the month, this simple ad from the Journalists’ Charity ensures those putting themselves in danger to report the truth in Ukraine and elsewhere are supported and recognised for their contributions.
In another unexpected twist, April’s ad of the month was a campaign the likes of which I’d never come across until I saw the cover wrap. This was an open letter from the animal kingdom itself carried by TIER, a micro-mobility provider of e-scooters and electric bikes in cities.
Taking a leaf out of humanity’s book by taking to news brands, “The Animals” (as the letter is signed) take it upon themselves to be the role models we need to protect our planet, cut down on our “carbon pawprint,” and travel more sustainably.
Revolving around a celebrity trial that’s gripped the nation, our most recent winner is a fantastic example of a tactical campaign executed to perfection.
With everyone (including the barrister!) reaching for the popcorn, the creative imagines what the court must have looked like through a court artist’s perspective, which is already an instantly recognisable sight in a news brand.
But what puts the cherry on top of this ad is that it sits opposite a real report of the day’s events across the page. This is a brilliant example of how campaigns can use format and context to great effect.