As we kick off a new year, we take a look at eight of the most impactful marketing campaigns of the past month, shedding some light on the production, reception and why these ads ticked our boxes.

January is a time of new habits, health-kicks and most importantly – sales. According to the latest BRC-KPMG survey, retailers reported that like-for-like sales were up 8.1% from 2021. Shops saw customers return after a December blighted by Plan B restrictions and rising Covid-19 case rates, which disrupted the key Christmas period. However, the easing of restrictions wasn’t good news for all sectors. Food sales dropped 0.1% for the past three months as people went back to eating out more often.

In terms of marketing campaigns, a famous TikToker turned his train spotting talents to fashion, Twitter ‘manifests’ a thought-provoking OOH campaign and BBC Three goes green for its relaunch to the airwaves. Let’s take a look what’s been going on…

Download: The Best of the Network 2021

North Face X Gucci

It’s the collaboration you never knew you wanted, but one that makes perfect sense. For a new collection between Gucci and North Face, train-lover and TikTok sensation Francis Bourgeois was brought onboard, literally, in a video produced by Highsnobiety. 

The video sees Francis star as a train conductor on a dream-like journey through the Alps, with him and his fellow passengers sporting the collection of monogram patterns, bold logo prints and forest-themed motifs.

Highsnobiety said of the collaboration, ⁠“With the bold collection focusing on exploration and outdoor activities, there’s no one better than Bourgeois to bring it all to life.” 

The positive response to the unusual collaboration could see more high-end brands working with content creators in the future, so watch this space! 

Twitter – Manifestations 

“Manifesting that this article gets over 10K page views,” – if you type it, then it’s sure to come true right? In some cases, that’s exactly what happens. With posts about ‘manifesting’ reaching an all-time high, the marketing team at Twitter have trawled back through some historic Tweets to find examples of it in action.

For example, Niall Horan of One Direction fame wrote back in 2010 that he’d ‘applied for xfactor, hope it all wrks out.’ Well Niall, it sure did! Another came from Megan Thee Stallion, when she tweeted back in 2014 that she ‘needs a team bc I promise rap gone take off for me.’ Well Megan, you’ve not done too badly. 

The OOH campaign ran across eight North American cities on giant billboards.

“Twitter has the power to manifest people’s dreams,” said Beverly Jackson, vice-president, global brand and consumer marketing at Twitter. “Tweeting your vision into existence and having the world witness the evolution of your manifestation is both an empowering and fulfilling experience. This campaign serves as a reminder of the importance of believing in yourself and that a single whispered tweet can come roaring into reality.”

BBC - Winter Olympics 2022

For an event of Olympic proportions, i.e. the actual Olympics, you’d expect the advertisement around it to be just as grand. Luckily, the BBC always delivers on that front and this year’s Winter Olympics is no exception.

Coming from BBC Creative, the trailer for this year’s Beijing Olympics is directed by Balazs Simon through Blinkink production company. While it may look like they have used cubes of ice and snow to realise this project (just as NOMINT did for WWF’s response to the COP26 summit,) the sculptures are actually 3D printed models, with entire scenes printed frame by frame.

Speaking about the process, Simon expressed that creating the film was “quite a challenge. My personal favourite task was coming up with a solution for the camerawork in the snow scenes. To get a first-hand experience of the characters’ efforts, I wanted to bring the viewer as close to them as possible: a great example of how a seemingly simple creative decision could grow into a big web of intertwined technical challenges.”

Strike – Feel Free

If you want a reprise from the recent miserable weather, have a watch of Strike’s new ad campaign. The feel-good summer vibes are the brainchild of Brothers & Sisters and uses the track ‘Keep Moving’ to strike (no pun intended) a different tone in a sector with not a great reputation for caring about customer feelings. 

Strike is the UK’s number two online estate agent and believe on focussing on the good feelings around selling your house for free will help them towards over taking Purple Bricks.

Moneybox – Moneybox Stories

Finances are very much in the headline currently, with energy prices going through the roof and 2022 being dubbed ‘the year of the squeeze.’ Really, it’s the perfect time for digital wealth manager Moneybox to launch its new campaign.

After a successful pitch in September 2021, the brand appointed 20something to help them in the next steps of their evolution. The new campaign, entitled ‘Moneybox Stories’ uses much-loved personal items, and the odd fur-baby, to tell the story of financial progress for several Moneybox customers.

Anisha Obeng, business director at 20something said: “The idea of “stories” is important. We wanted to communicate that it’s not immediate, lavish returns, but an essential journey and growth that develops over time. The idea of “stories” also adds a warmth and humanity to what is often a dry and bewildering finance category. It’s important these stories centre on relatable characters - people just like us. The average person doesn’t want to be the next Wolf of Wall Street. They want a secure, healthy return on their investment and future financial security."

The ads were shot by Jennifer Sheridan at Park Village, with OOH and social activations set to follow.

BBC Three – Back on TV 

Six years after BBC Three became a digital only channel, it’s made a triumphant return to our airwaves thanks to the massive success of content such as Fleabag, Normal People, Killing Eve and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. The relaunch prompted a new creative identity for the youth-orientated channel, with its previous purple colour palette being replaced by a vibrant green. Viewers were also introduced to a set of idents featuring a trio of hand-shaped characters, Captain, Spider and Pointer. 

The new look came from a collaboration between BBC Creative and Superunion. To bring them to life, the team enlisted the help of VFX studio Ghost and Robert Strange. The new direction for BBC Three is in keeping with Superunion’s previous work on the rebrand for BBC Two and its reimagined idents.


Kicking off in ‘Veganuary,’ Oatly, the world’s largest and original oat drink company, kicked off its biggest UK campaign, ‘THE NEW NORM&AL SHOW.’ The aim of the campaign was to kick off a nationwide conversation about how eating a plant-based diet is a totally normal choice these days, all through the medium of puppets.

The campaign was launched with a mini-series of five short episodes featuring to puppets in the form of oat drink cartons called Norm & Al. The two characters are attempting to shift to plant-based eating.

The campaign has been developed by the Oatly Department of Mind Control in collaboration with BAFTA-winning production company, Nexus Studios

Talking about the campaign, Oatly’s creative director, Michael Lee said, 'After trying to help people eat more plant-based with super long Instagram posts, dorky Super Bowl ads, nonsensical headlines and picking on dads in the UK, we’ve now landed on puppets to do the job. The cool thing about THE NEW NORM&AL show is that it lets us deliver a message that people might normally roll their eyes at, but because it’s puppets, well, who doesn’t like puppets? Despite that last sentence, Norm & Al are really just about adding some fuzzy felt, wobbly arms and flappy heads with well-styled wigs to the plant-based movement, and if that all makes it easier for society to grab on to, then yeah, these puppets will be a total success.’

The launch has been supported by Oatly’s largest UK digital media buy campaign across Broadcast VOD (Sky, All4 and ITV Hub), a Programmatic VOD (YouTube), display ads and a Social VOD (Facebook & Instagram). 

British Heart Foundation – This Is Science

To highlight the power of how science is saving lives, British Heart Foundation launched their new campaign ‘This is Science.’ The campaign has been created by Saatchi & Saatchi and tells the stories of people who are alive today because of the public donations to the BFH medical breakthroughs that have turned science fiction into reality.

The Mill/MPC collaborated with Saatchi & Saatchi to deliver the VFX and colour grade for the emotive film, which combines CGI with the voiceover of Peaky Blinder’s Cillian Murphy.

The ad begins with a young boy with a scar on his chest, getting ready for school. This boy, as the voiceover reveals, was a ‘scientific hypothesis,’ while the viewers see a CGI visual of the 3D printed heart used for his surgery.

Thortful - Dolphin


leading online greeting card marketplace thortful have launched their first major integrated campaign that illustrates the true potential and impact of giving the perfect card to the right person.

The campaign, by independent creative agency isobel, launches with its first TV ad, for Valentine’s Day, with the brand line: ‘that’s really really really really really really really thortful’.

‘Dolphin’ features a couple who break into their unique language of love (dolphin noises, obviously), triggered by one giving the other a thortful Valentine’s Day card. The spot breaks in a Channel 4 Premier Break partnership on 25th January @ 10pm, during Davina McCall’s Language of Love. During this initial campaign phase, thortful will launch their new ‘really really’ sonic branding, with three different film versions appearing in the same ad break.

Film advertisement created by Isobel, United Kingdom for thortful, within the category: Retail Services.

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