2019 has been a year of continued change in the fast-moving world of advertising.

Video content continues to grow – short form video on social proving to be huge. With good reason, it suits the way people are consuming their content, allowing to get complex messaging across in an easy to digest format perfectly suited to feeds. And across the board, brands are increasingly changing the way they communicate their message – switching from the more rational “what” they do or produce to the more tangible and emotional impacts of their product or service.

But first things first. This article is not an ‘objective’ summary of the best creative work from around the world. No, this is unapologetically about the work we’ve had the pleasure of crafting here at Bright Blue Day.

If you really did want to see work we haven’t done (after you’ve read this of course), then you could do far worse than head over to The Drum’s Creative Works leaderboard.

OK, that’s the disclaimer out of the way. For those of you who are still with us, please read on to learn about our favourite marketing, creative, tech and ad campaigns from the past twelve months...

#9 Certitude rebrand

Working with charities is something we love to do. And our first entry at number nine is a perfect example of why. This London-based organisation needed a simple articulation of what was a pretty complex proposition. They were finding it hard to cut through the noise and establish relevance to all their audiences. After several workshops, we were able to get to the bottom of why the charity mattered so much to it’s staff, volunteers and the wider community. We were then able to shift the conversation away from what they do, to why they matter. The resulting brand reflects their unconventional approach, and above all the simplicity and honesty of what they do.
Read more about how we drove relevance for Certitude.

Certitude rebrand

#8 AppyParking

Number eight was a rare opportunity for our design team to start with an (almost) blank slate. This was the launch not just of a new app, but a whole new way of parking. It was originally briefed to be a 60-second ‘explainer’ video, based on the app’s most compelling attributes of ease, speed and cost control (thanks to they innovative on-street sensors). But it quickly became a launch campaign. Once we’d created the distinctively playful illustration style, we mapped out a series of individual sections which could be repurposed for use independently of each other across social and digital channels, as both video and stills. The style and approach clearly worked: in the first 2 weeks the ads generated 1,381 installs of the app – 256% over target.
More about our work for AppyParking

#7 RNLI and Ford

In at number seven, this is a pilot project from one of our longest standing charity clients, the RNLI. After signing a three-year agreement with Ford, the RNLI wanted our help to leverage the iconic partnership and raise awareness of the Lifeboat charity’s lifesaving work. We created a digital pack which supported fundraising activities at Ford dealerships in communities which relied on the RNLI’s services. Our standout creative treatment represented a shared vision of safety, the environment and reliability – deliberately juxtaposing the qualities of both brands.
Learn more about our RNLI Ford Campaign.

RNLI and Ford Partnership

#6 Visa does ‘small business’

Number six was a chance for us to drop the storyboard and let the subjects do the talking. Despite years of experience, research and insights, Visa struggle to connect to small business owners. Our solution was simple – get the audience to advocate. We identified 6 individual businesses from Visa’s extensive research to give us a good cross-section of industries and sectors. We then complied a fixed set of questions to ask them, covering their challenges, solutions and ambitions. Shooting took place over 2 months in the UK, France and Poland, interviewing food service, coffee shop, architecture, PR, carpentry and consumable goods small businesses in turn. The result was engaging, genuine content that revealed the passion behind each story.
Learn how Visa (and bbd) power up small businesses!

#5 HP Love Letters

Our first entry for HP drops in at number 5 was something of a challenge. How do you sell HP ink in a world where ‘genuine’ is often replaced with ‘compatible’ and ‘quality’ sacrificed for ‘cheap’? Where printers, accessories and ink are concerned there’s zero emotional engagement. So we built a human connection into the process of ‘switching’ and cultivated a playful conceit that suggested your HP printer felt regret and loss. This translated to a ‘Love Letters’ campaign that personified the printer and played on the Lonely Hearts format found in classified ads.

HP Original Ink 'Love Letters'

#4 Visa ‘Green’ App

Our mobile app for Visa and HSBC lands at number four. Visa are accountable for 1/3 of every pound spent in the UK – so they hold a lot of data. Visa saw an opportunity to give back some incremental value by forging a data partnership with one of their main clients HSBC. Both brands have strong commitments to the environment and saw an opportunity to leverage their combined data for good. Visa engaged us to help them turn their data theories into reality. We worked with their data team to design and build a working prototype iPhone app, with the sole aim of changing consumer spending habits. Quantifying and measuring a customer’s spending over time, it gives them the chance to track and improve the environmental impact of their purchases. By providing the context of regional and national average scores, users could compare themselves against benchmarks, which adds a competitive nature to encourage positive behavioural change.
Discover what it takes to make a Green app.

Visa and HSBC 'Green' App

#3 Montezuma’s Christmas Ad

Starting a really strong top 3 is our challenge to the big names (and big budgets) of the traditional festive ad spots. Chocolate and christmas are two of our favourite things. But competition is fierce in cocoa, so Montezuma’s needed an ad to make them break out from the crowd. Without breaking the bank. Building on our simple (and obvious) insight that chocolate is almost universally loved as a gift, our ad tells the charming story of the Montezuma’s bear. Paying a cheeky homage to gifts featured in some of the big name ads from the last few years, we conclude that chocolate can help bring everyone together. As if proof were needed, our ad beat many of those so-called big names to the number nine spot in Little Black Book’s definitive ‘best christmas ads of 2019’ list.

#2 Harrod’s Bear

Visa are dominating this year’s list, and for good reason. Our second favourite was nominated for Best Visual Craft in the Drum Out of Home Awards 2019. Visa wanted to target overseas visitors in Harrods with a simple campaign encouraging them to pay with Visa. And they wanted it in a matter of days. We opted for fast craft, getting the agency in a room and closing the door until we had a concept and tagline. Creative nailed within hours, we then diverted an Account Manager (fresh out of a client meeting) to Harrods to buy the bear. Shot the very next day, we retouched and delivered the final artwork to Visa ahead of a very tight schedule.
Go behind the scenes with the Harrods Visa Bear.

#1 HP Z Workstations

Topping the year off (quite literally), HP Workstations was one of those juicy, top tier strategic briefs that challenge us on every level – in a really good way. Our brief was to establish the HP Z Series as aspirational.To put clear space between competitors like Apple and Dell. Starting with key audience personas, we focused on appealing to the ‘High Achiever’, having pinned down the distinct characteristics that set them apart: Relentless. Goal-driven. Pragmatic. We crafted messaging that would chime with high achievers in each of our core audience segments: FinTech, Engineering, Manufacturing, Architecture and Construction. And instead of heroing the Z Series Workstation or laptop, we drew attention to the innovation, achievement or disruption that HP could help them deliver. The result was a standout campaign featuring beautiful, inspirational imagery alongside thought-provoking and compelling headlines and messaging addressing very specific audiences and personas.

HP Z Workstations campaign

Quite a list, to end quite a year here at BBD…

A new management team. A new brand. Some hard-fought competitive pitches. Tender submissions. Some wins. Some tears (good and bad). Some new clients. Some old favourite clients. Two stonking parties. Hard work. And some really great work.

We must extend our thanks to all of our colleagues, clients, friends and families for everything you’ve done (and let us do) to support us over the last twelve months.

So what does 2020 have in store?

Well, we know it’s going to be a landmark year. BBD will be celebrating 60 years of fiercely independent creativity in 2020. What an achievement.

But that’s another blog post altogether!

For now, we wish you all the very best for the new year – see you on the other side.

Gavin Grissett, Deputy Creative Director