Review of the Year 2011: Advertising

27 December 2011
Reading Time
3 minute read

I know what you’re thinking – why is It’s Nice That even bothering with an advertising category? Surely the continued triumph/flogging to death of the Go Compare opera singer overshadows literally anything else in 2011? Well, maybe, but actually we found some other interesting stuff that floated our boat too…

There’s quite a lot of things that we cover which could potentially come under this category, having as their end goal promoting/selling a particular brand or product (and you’ll find in fashion, animation and graphic design top picks that could have found their way onto this list). We tried to draw a line between work that only really worked as part of a campaign and that which could stand on its on merits, but admit the approach was far from scientific. Honourable mentions to the continued emergence of Lisa Zeitlhuber, and to the most-watched advert on YouTube, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Royal Wedding for T-Mobile (more than 24 million and counting…)


Oddly when we sat down to discuss this list we found we had two entries on the shortlist aimed at making people think about their drinking. It’s a tricky balancing act to make something effective which doesn’t feel prim or patronising but both these efforts pull it off with aplomb and in the end we found it impossible to separate them. Clemenger BBDO’s approach to tackling drink driving is the Be a Bloody Legend effort which manages to be funny, memorable and surprising in its concept rather than in the usual shock-factor way.

Meanwhile the discrepancy between how people think they are after a few jars, and how they actually are is nailed with a stylish interactive approach for a German night-bus company. Two very different approaches, two very slick results.

We are Pi for TEDx Amsterdam

Sometimes on a Friday afternoon we find that articles don’t quite get the attention they deserve, lost in the maelstrom of the headlong rush to towards the weekend. But when we first saw We Are Pi’s campaign for TEDx Amsterdam, we couldn’t help but get it up asap, so impressed were we by the sheer ingenuity of it. Oh and you clearly agreed, with some 2,000 hits over that first weekend – a beautifully simple idea carried off with verve and flair.

Mother (for Nick Ballon 140 characters, Stella Punchdrunk, Psychic Tees)

Our final pick is not an individual campaign but rather an agency which we feel contributed an awful lot to the industry during 2011 with their inventive campaigns. From using the ever-immersive, ever-impressive street-theatre of Punchdrunk for Stella Black, to having the brilliant Nick Ballon capture 140 characters at the agency itself, to most recently launching a series of psychic t-shirts in a bid to raise money and awareness of Age UK, our near-neighbours have demonstrated a breadth of imagination which has appeared to be sadly lacking at times as advertisers struggle to keep up with the ever-changing media landscape.

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About the Author

Rob Alderson

Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.

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