Back To Blog

5 Best Ad Campaigns of 2016

We at Relic like to recognize good work done by others. We understand that continual research of other campaigns is important to keep the creative juices gushing out so we don't get stuck in an ugly rut.

Below are five of our favorite campaigns from the past year that we want to share with you. Comment below if you think otherwise, or if you'd like to add one you think should be on the list.

1. Share A Coke and A Song Summer Campaign


"Share a Coke and a Song" campaign seeks to pick lyrics that inspire connection as a whole community. As Joe Belliotti, head of global music marketing for Coca-Cola North America, said, "Our goal was to create a list that appeals to diverse tastes, so every music fan can feel there's at least one lyric that speaks to them."

We enjoyed this campaign because it develops human connection as well as incorporates music-something that influences a majority of people in one way or another. Being able to make a product, like a drink so personal and unique is genius.

2. Proctor & Gamble Thank You Mom Campaign


This ad strategically targets moms who often use cleaning supplies around the house, while also associating themselves with the Olympic games by focusing on how moms are often the ones who encourage and believe in their children even when no one else does.

We chose this campaign because of the strong emotions it invokes. The Olympic games bring the whole world together and are extremely popular to most. Everybody understands that it takes Olympians many hours of hard work and dedication to make it to the Olympics, compete and possibly take home a medal. By juxtaposing hard moments in the past with the hard moment of the present, while maintaining the influence of their mothers in both, is not easily forgotten by the viewer.

3. Unskippable Ad from Geico


The reason we chose this ad campaign is because of simple genius. Geico used something that we are all familiar with, annoying or unskippable ads that come on before the Youtube clip we want to watch. Geico plays to this annoyance and instead make us laugh because of its ingenuity.

Geico used all the "wrong" advertising techniques on purpose. The videos' message was about Geico savings, that's it, the Geico logo was unashamedly pasted in the middle of the screen in huge, bold letters and the music was intentionally ill-picked and the narrator straightforwardly told viewers, "You can't skip this ad." With so many ad campaigns trying overly hard to make the creative ad elements come to life to impress the viewer, Geico takes a whole new approach and does it without "trying."

Even "the copy is simple; it's almost stock copy. All those things that have become advertising clichés worked in our favor," said Senior VP-Group Creative Director Steve Bassett in an Advertising Age article.

4. #GoPriusGo from Toyota


The #GoPriusGo campaign was released during the 2016 Super Bowl. We at Relic loved it because the company took most of the reasons why people make fun of Prii, openly acknowledged the negative comments and defied them all.

This campaign was successful because they openly acknowledged their faults in a funny way. You would never think that a Prius would be involved in a police chase. Even the bank robbers and policemen in the ad openly acknowledged that it was crazy. But despite all odds, the #GoPriusGo ad campaign proved that the Prius would actually make a great escape car by illustrating some unique Prius feature; such as the quiet hybrid engine, the interactive backup camera and the fact that Prii can run a long time without gas.

5. Down Syndrome Answers from Canada


We chose this campaign because it's very interesting, informative and brings a sense of relief and understanding for those who have someone with Down syndrome in their family or know someone with it. The marketers brought emotion to the campaign by keeping it outside of medical terminology and definitions.

"Down Syndrome Answers" provides a series of clips that explains and illustrates how people with Down syndrome can do various activities like ride bicycles, play sports, hold down a job, cook and much more. The message is that much more powerful because it is delivered by those who actually have Down syndrome. Each video is short and simple and very addictive. You can't just watch one video clip. The people catch and hold your attention.