Categories: Marketing

Are These the Best Campaigns of the Year? Grand CLIO's 2014 Award Winners

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Not all advertisements are disruptive and annoying. In fact, some are so good that people look them up on YouTube after seeing them on TV, or even share them with friends and family.

This week, the CLIO Awards (which awards agencies for creative advertising in package design, print, radio, and television) announced the recipients of the Grand CLIO, giving the highest honors for innovation and excellence in advertising, design, and communications.

Many of the agencies, brands, and campaigns are recognizable from this year’s Cannes Lions and D&AD Awards, and there are a few recognizable themes that can be pulled from this group of memorable campaigns:

  • Long-form content is the new ad. Brands are content creators now, and they could learn a thing or two from the film industry.
  • Bring light to a social issue or cause, but don’t stop there. Use those creative insights to do something that will make a difference.
  • Technology doesn’t limit creativity — it can create new forms of advertising opportunities.
  • The line between physical and digital is beyond blurred — it no longer exists. And you don’t have to choose between traditional and digital. They should support and promote one another for greater impact.

Check out the 10 categories for Grand CLIOs and the campaigns recognized:

Branded Entertainment & Content

The Scarecrow

The animated short film detailing the journey of a Scarecrow who looks for natural, wholesome food options made a big splash in the media when it was released in September 2013. The video has been viewed more than 13 million times as of September 26, 2014, and the iPhone/iPad app was downloaded by more than 250,000 people within the first four days of its release. “The Scarecrow” was a big winner at Cannes, and it continues to be one of the best examples of compelling storytelling by a brand.

Brand: Chipotle

Agency: Creative Artists Agency

Content & Contact

Live Test Series Integrated Campaign

Advertising construction trucks doesn’t usually catch the attention of consumers or judges, but a showcase of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s flexibility does. The campaign started a movement — spurring thousands of spoofs and media mentions. The “Live Test” videos also included a highliner walking across two moving trucks and a hamster named Charlie driving (spinning the wheel by following a carrot) up a windy, rocky hill.

Brand: Volvo

Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors



In the Philippines, children haul heavy bags full of textbooks to and from school each day, causing deformities in some and creating a school room of physically exhausted children. Smart Communications transformed textbooks into 160-character SMS messages and placed them on SIM cards for mobile devices, turning them into simple e-readers.

Agency: DDB DM9JaymeSyfu

Brand: Smart Communications


Sorry I Spent it on Myself

Harvey Nichols played up the selfish side of the holidays with a campaign that encouraged consumers to buy low-cost presents so they could spend more of their hard-earned paycheck on something they wanted. The marketing ploy included a gift product line (a sink plug, paperclips, a bag of gravel), and created such a buzz that the wooden toothpicks sold out within a few hours.

Agency: adamandeveDDB

Brand: Harvey Nichols


Sapeurs Documentary

The film details the lives of Sapuers (Congolese Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant Persons): Men who live in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and don themselves in brightly colored, three-piece suits, and creative outfits including kilts, hats, and silks. Emulating the aristocratic Parisians who settled in the area in the early twentieth century, these dapper gentlemen use clothes as a creative outlet and distraction from the country’s volatile recent history. The film ties into Guinness’s “Made of More” tagline.

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Brand: Guinness

Innovative Media

Magic of Flying

Digital billboards don’t typically spark our interest, but British Airways and OgilvyOne transformed the out of home medium into an interactive ad. Appearing on each billboard was a child who moved and pointed to a plane flying arriving or departing from London’s Heathrow airport, along with text that announced where the plan was coming from or headed to.

This reactive ad was the result of a complicated process. An antenna was placed on the roof of a nearby building, which gathered data from the plane’s transponder to identify the flight number. When the plane entered a specific zone, it would send a message to the billboard to begin the display. And by using cloud altitude data, the ad would only be shown if the plan was actually visible.

Agency: OgilvyOne London

Brand: British Airways

Integrated Campaign

Sorry I Spent it on Myself

Leading up to the launch of the campaign, Harvey Nichols released a print campaign and a promotional video, teasing products like “Christmas in a Can.” On the day of the launch, it released a series of commercials (online and TV) showing the receiver of its budget-friendly gifts opening their presents. The 26,000 low-cost products sold out within three days.

Agency: adamandeveDDB

Brand: Harvey Nichols

Out of Home

Magic of Flying

“Magic of Flying” also won in the out of home category for its reactive, technology-based outdoor campaign.

Agency: OgilvyOne London

Brand: British Airways

Public Relations


Building on a traditional insult to girls and women, P&G’s campaign is brilliant and shocking in its simplicity. “Running like a girl” or “throwing like a girl” are traditional slurs thrown around on the playground, but why are these insults? With no fancy visuals or trickery, the ad reveals how young girls don’t have some preconceived notion of “how” they are supposed to run or hit or throw — but at a certain age, other people’s perceptions of how they should act becomes their reality.

Agency: Leo Burnett Toronto

Brand: Procter & Gamble

See the full list of CLIO Award winners here. Which were your favorites? Share with us in the comments below!

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