2022 was a bumper year for the UK’s advertising market. The latest Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report forecast that the value of the UK’s advertising market grew by 9.2%, to a total of £34.9bn.
Throughout the year, we highlighted a selection of marketing campaigns that caught our eye and contributed to these figures, and we’re doing the same again for 2023. So, what can we expect to see in the world of advertising and marketing over the next twelve months?
At the end of December, we asked more than 150 in-house and agency marketing leaders to share their predictions on the trends, challenges, and opportunities they’re expecting to see in 2023.
Respondents said that areas which hold the most opportunity for marketers include customer retention and loyalty, branded communities and audience engagement, and PR and reputation building. The full report will be released later in January, but before we think too far ahead, we’ve still got one last month of 2022 to review.
So, here are the most impactful Creative, Digital, and OOH advertising campaigns released in December.
Campaign #1 - Auto Trader: Matchmaker
Brand: Auto Trader
We’re proud to begin our December roundup with a campaign born from a successful partnership created through our own Network. The automotive sales group Auto Trader appointed London-based Recipe to help evolve their creative platform and develop a through-the-line master brand campaign.
The relationship saw the evolution of the ‘Britain’s Biggest Matchmaker’ campaign, which celebrates the diversity of the modern cay-buying public. It kicked off with the launch of a new TV advert and full YouTube takeover on Boxing Day, alongside social and digital audio content.
The 30-second TV ad is set to the song ‘Matchmaker, Matchmaker,’ from the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ and presents different cars for different situations – “the one with the perfect size boot,” for new parents to store a pram, and “the one with keyless entry,” for a group of footballers running to their vehicle in the rain.
The campaign is expected to reach 98% of the population over 14 times between Boxing Day and 31st March, achieving over 122 million impacts across the period.
Campaign #2 - Reuters: What’s Next?
What’s Next? That’s not me wondering about the second item in our roundup – it’s the title of Reuters’ latest campaign, launched to coincide with their global leadership forum ‘Reuters NEXT.’
The forum took place in New York on November 30th / 1st December, and it brought together CEOs, world leaders, policymakers, innovators, and youth and community leaders to inspire, drive action, and accelerate innovation for a better tomorrow.
Created by VMLY&R, the out-of-home and digital campaign used thought-provoking questions and powerful imagery to ask, ‘What’s Next?’ on different issues such as global trade, inflation, leadership, and freedom of speech.
The images used in the campaign were created alongside acclaimed artists Justin Metz, who used montage and CGI techniques to create visual representations of the questions facing the world today.
Campaign #3 - Channel 4: Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama
Brand: Channel 4
For our third campaign spotlight of December, it’s………Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom Drama. To promote their highly anticipated #WagathaChristie inspired two-part drama, Channel 4 used the now-icon moment Rooney exposed Vardy in a series of out-of-home billboards and a stunt that saw a plane make two flights across Old Trafford, Goodison Park and Cheshire’s ‘Golden Triangle,’ an infamous WAG hotspot.
The campaign was produced by Channel 4’s multi-award winning in-house creative agency 4creative and planned by OMD UK.
Campaign #4 - DFS: Things that Make Me, Me
Agency: Joint London
The weeks following Christmas are synonymous with a few things – Turkey sandwiches, overcrowded gyms and, of course, the DFS sale.
For their December campaign ‘Things that Make Me, Me,’ the sofa and furnishings retailer enlisted TV personality Rylan Clark to show how to bring your personality to life through home interiors.
Independent creative agency Joint London, alongside PR agency Teneo, developed and produced the campaign, creating a series of social and digital assets to run across Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
In a one-minute video, Rylan shows us three items from his home that say the most about him; a painting of himself dressed as a royal, his own ‘King Rylan’ red box, and a mermaid tail from his time living in Ibiza.
Rylan concludes that the items reflect his choice of sofa - a regal blue one that looks a bit like the sea.
The creatives are an extension of DFS’s overall brand campaign ‘What’s your thing?’
Campaign #5 - WhatsApp (Meta): For the Fireworks Within
Agency: AMV BBDO
A new campaign from WhatsApp, part of Meta, revealed the impact of connecting with friends and family in the run up to New Year.
The work, by AMV BBDO, highlights WhatsApp’s ability to help people have private conversations during the most universally shared cultural event of the year – the start of a new one.
The one-and-a-half-minute film follows three people from across the globe during New Year’s Eve celebrations. A mother puts her child to bed, a woman prepares herself a bath, and a doctor watches his ‘Maa’ attempting to tell a joke on video.
One by one they receive New Year wishes from friends and loved ones via WhatsApp, with the doctor’s mother struggling to finish the joke through laughing. In an emotional twist, it’s revealed the video is old, with a follow-up message reading ‘Wish Maa was still with us.’
We’re not crying, you are.
Campaign #6 - Thinkbox: Happily Ever After
Agency: Mother, London
Where’s the best place to market a marketing body designed to promote the benefits of TV advertising? TV of course. In December, Thinkbox launched their campaign ‘Happily Ever After,’ to make businesses aware of how they can drive new and widespread demand through turning to TV advertising.
The one-minute film highlights the success of fictional law firm ‘Happily Ever After,’ which specialises in nursery rhyme-related injustices (think Humpty Dumpty-type accidents). Lawyer Michael Goose explains that business didn’t really take off until he made a TV ad.
The success of the ad caused business to boom, and they were able to open a second branch – ‘Over the Rainbow.’ I wonder how much compensation Jack and Jill got for tumbling down that hill?
Campaign #7 - Jameson Irish Whiskey: The Drop
Brand: Jameson Irish Whiskey
Agency: TBWA Dublin
For anyone attempting dry January, you might want to skip this one.
‘The Drop’ is the latest addition to Jameson Irish Whiskey’s international brand campaign ‘Widen the Circle.’ Featuring comedian Aisling Bea, the new spot is based on the idea that life is enriched by the magic of authentic human connections.
The 30-second film, created by TBWA Dublin and co-directed by Lance Accord and Patt Murphy, tells the story of how a drop of Irish rainwater makes its way through the distillery, getting triple-distilled into ‘the smoothest Jameson Whiskey’ before being transported around the globe to ‘widen the circle, one drop at a time.’
The best part of the story, Aisling says, is how it ends, before taking a sip. And talking of ends…
Campaign #8 - Shelter: This is No Place to Spend Christmas
Agency: AMV BBDO
We’ve come to the last campaign of our December roundup. Shelter and AMV BBDO launched a thought-provoking campaign to shine a light on those who didn’t have a safe and warm place to call home at Christmas.
Posters for the out-of-house campaign show a park bench, bus stop, car seats and a tent all decorated with the glowing warmth of Christmas lights and tinsel, things that we’d usually associate with the cosiness of home.
The posters and online ads read ‘This is no place to spend Christmas,’ with a call to action to donate to Shelter.
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