2022 in Review: The best campaigns of the year

Year
(Reel Ads of the Year)

I love advertising. No, really. Even in this day and age of advertising-free streaming, I do love seeing the genius and hard work of an agency, a creative team, and a production company come together.

My origin story began in advertising. And I know firsthand it’s hard AF to get a good ad out of the door. As a creative, there is nothing more satisfying than sitting in an office, or these days on ZOOM, with your art director and discussing a litany of “What Ifs.” That’s because there is nothing as pure as the initial creative ideas two or more brains come up with.

They are unscathed. No Creative Director has yet to tell them whether it’s embraced or retreat back to the drawing board. An account team hasn’t dismembered the idea yet. The client hasn’t sat there and listened yet and asking for time to decide.

Pure.

The concept is in its inception. And we all know these pure ideas will evolve. Sometimes into greatness. Other times into mediocrity. Hell, most of the time into mediocrity.

But there are ads that do get better along their unique journey known as the “Creative Process.” And we love celebrating them at 360.

From tearjerker campaigns to creative that made us think of ads so funny, we had to call each other and say, “Watch this!” These are the best ads of 2022 – a celebration of the multitudes of copywriters, art directors, creative directors, account teams and clients who were brave enough to get something unique out there:

REEL 360 News’ Top Advertising Campaigns for 2022

1. Rocket Mortgage “Dream House with Anna Kendrick and Barbie”

Chicago’s Highdive manages to top the Super Bowl for a third year in a row. Two years ago it was Bill Murray in the classic Jeep “Groundhog Day” spot. Last year, it was Rocket Mortgage with Tracy Morgan. This year, it is with Pitch Perfect’s Anna Kendrick, Barbie and He-Man.

Kendrick opens the ad alongside a young girl and her Barbie. She says, “Barbie really wants this Dreamhouse. It’s got stunning views and a slide,” before adding, “and Barbie found out about this Dreamhouse with an alert from Rocket Homes.”

Brand: Rocket Mortgage | AgencyHighdive


2. Amazon “Mindreader”

In the spot created by Amazon and Lucky Generals, Marvel star, Scarlett Johansson, and Weekend Update hubby Colin Jost are at home in awe of Alexa’s functionality as they put their game-day routine into action, and imagine a world in which Alexa could read their minds. The couple playfully shows how they interact with Alexa at home by saying, “Alexa, it’s game day,” and “ask” everything from scheduling and setting reminders, to playing music.  Watch below:

Brand: Amazon | Agency: Lucky Generals


3. Kia “Robo Dog The All-Electric Kia EV6”

Created by our friends at David&Goliath, Kia’s 13th Super Bowl spot, entitled “Robo Dog,” opens on an electronics store where a lonely robotic puppy stares out the window as a “real” dog is lovingly petted by a passerby out for a walk.

Robo Dog then notices a young man unplug his Kia EV6 from a charging station and drive away, leaving Robo Dog even more dejected. But the AI four-legged friend knows what he wants and the chase is on set to Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler. Reel 360 News, like others, fell in love with the CGI pup.

Brand: Kia | Agency: David&Goliath


4. Uber “Uber Don’t Eats”

Uber topped itself this time. Both disgusting and funny AF, Uber Eats debuted an ad informing viewers that it has expanded its delivery service to non-food items. Starring White Lotus’ Jennifer Coolidge, Gwyneth Paltrow and Trevor Noah, the post features them trying to figure out how to eat their non-food items, ranging from a stick of deodorant to lipstick to Paltrow’s infamous Vagina candle.

“This candle tastes funny,” Paltrow admitted as she took a large bite from the side. “Not bad, but funny.” Watch below:

Brand: Uber | Agency: Special Group US


5. SAXX Underwear “Man or Gentleman – How a Gentleman Treats His Balls”

SAXX’s 2022 advertising campaign “How A Gentleman Treats His Balls,” created by Quality Meats, prompts guys — and the people who love them —  to question if the underwear they’re wearing properly cares for their balls.

“We wanted a campaign that treats balls as seriously as we do. Not to say they’re not funny, I mean, they’re balls. But they’re more than just a low-brow punchline. So we created a female character, basically a manifestation of our female-run company, to talk candidly about balls and start that conversation,” says Sally Wilson, VP of brand marketing for SAXX.

Brand: SAXX Underwear | Agency: Quality Meats


6. Dat’suma “Timelapse”

In a fun 2022 campaign, PeterMayer Advertising launched multiple Dat’suma billboards around New Orleans. The hook – every billboard was positioned to capture local ‘sunshine in every can’.

“Dat’suma IPA Beer is a special summer beer from Faubourg that uses local oranges called Satsumas in the brewing process. The challenge was to get beer-loving locals to organically notice the sun setting into a glass without prompting and for them to share in social media. One board was placed right near an outdoor bar that served Dat’suma,” noted Chief Creative Officer, Matt Kuttan.

The creative and media teams were actually able to position the billboards facing east in order to show the sun literally set into the glass.

Brand: Dat’suma | Agency: PeterMayer Advertising 


7. AirPods Pro “Share the Joy”

This Christmas, Apple celebrated the joy of shared experiences with the all-new AirPods Pro and its audio-sharing feature. 

Two bored friends spend a lazy afternoon in a café in Buenos Aires where it never snows. One flashes his screen to the other as a new song begins to play. They turn on the AirPods’ Audio Sharing and wirelessly connect to a single iPhone. Indifference turns to elation as the music carries them across the city, magically turning the world around them into snow.

Brand: Apple | Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab


8. Uber One  “Sarah’s Backup Plan”

In September, independent creative agency Special Group U.S.  launched a pretty hilarious campaign featuring comedians Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, model Julia Fox and actor Zach Cherry (Severance), who each go over how Uber One is saving them costs and going to extremes to save.

For instance, Silverman won’t have to post any more feet pics on Bignaturaltoes.net. Damn.

Brand: Uber One  | Agency: Special Group U.S.


REELated:


9. Heinz – “Vegetarian Vampire Recruitment Film

Heinz’s Halloween entry rebrands the popular ketchup as “Tomato Blood.” Created by W+K, we meet the first vegetarian vampire, Toby, who is played by TikTok influencer E.J. Marcus. The mockumentary/PSA gives us the likable “bat-man” asking us to not go after people. Drink less blood. Have more ketchup.

The creative coincided with the October 2 release of AMC’s Interview With the Vampire series.

Brand: Kraft Heinz | Agency: Wieden + Kennedy


10. Change the Ref “The NRA Children’s Museum”

4,368. Think about that number. 4,368. Not dollars. Not square footage. We are talking 4,368 lives. Children’s lives. This is the number of children killed by bullets since 2020. 4,368. In 2022, these lives were represented by a mile-long yellow school bus procession peacefully and solemnly driving from Houston to NRA supporter, Senator Ted Cruz’s house.

Named “The NRA Children’s Museum,” this project, supported by ChangeTheRef, was the latest by artist Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin.

The convoy was made up of 52 school buses, whose empty seats represent the 4,368 children who would have sat there but instead fell victim to gun violence. The NRA Children’s Museum will be on display in the lead bus.

Brand: Change The Ref | Agency: In-House


It made us happy and proud to support the agencies’ hard work throughout 2022. We applaud you. Know this as well, there are so many others we could have added to this list. Just because we didn’t doesn’t mean we didn’t think the world of your creative. Congrats and Happy New Year!


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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @colinthewriter1

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