With all the industry hand-wringing of late about whether creative agencies are a dying breed, one might have expected a drought of ambitious advertising in These print and outdoor ad images are classic art direction at its best: simple in concept, flawless in execution and once you catch the concept impossible to stop staring at. The story of a young refugee who escaped Syria in a wheelchair is an incredible one to hear or read—but to see the young woman herself, Nujeen Mustafa, re-enacting her impossible odyssey is something truly special. The debate over the destructive role of single-use plastics on ocean life reached critical mass this year, with major brands including Starbucks pledging to phase out plastic straws.
The Super Bowl is still etched in my memory, not in sepia tones but vivid Technicolor. I was 10 years old—too old for toys, too young for dating. My family, including cousins, uncles and grandparents, sat huddled in our Omaha basement, a blizzard blowing furiously outside.
With audiences rapidly moving online, the question is no longer ambiguous. The best advertising of the decade, then, is the product of this shift—a carefully crafted narrative that tells the story consumers want to hear before they buy. We know that visual marketing is powerful, but psychologically driven visual marketing is unstoppable. Take notes—you can use these techniques too.