Creativity Picks the Best Ads of 2013: Citibikes, Dove and IBM

Creativity's Top 2013 Picks: Here's No. 1

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For the past 10 days, Creativity has been counting down 2013's best moves in brand creativity. Start your year off right with our top picks.

No. 1 in Film/Video: Dove's Real Beauty Sketches

Dove's social experiment to prove that women are more beautiful than they themselves think takes top honors in this category. In a campaign by Ogilvy Brazil, filmed by John X Carey of Paranoid in a San Francisco loft, the beauty brand employed FBI-trained forensic sketch artist Gil Zamora, who usually sketches people described by crime eyewitnesses. First he drew portraits of women according to their own description, and then he drew portraits of those same women according to strangers who had met them on the day. The differences between how they describe themselves and how others describe them are immediately striking. The full campaign includes a short documentary, four films documenting women's reactions to the portraits, and outdoor executions. The wildly successful campaign won the brand the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes 2013.

No. 1 in Print/Design: IBM's Smarter Ideas for Smarter Cities

The simplest ideas can sometimes be the most powerful, and IBM and Ogilvy Paris prove that with "Smarter Cities," which turned ads into useful, smart solutions. By adding a simple curve to a poster, they turned them into places to stand under when it rains, and someplace to sit when you're tired. With some modifications, they also turned them into a ramp for bicyclists to easily traverse. The idea earned the brand the Outdoor Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

No. 1 in Integrated: Citibank's Citibikes

Citibikes, Citibanks's NYC-based bike sharing system, wasn't a new idea. There have been similar efforts in cities around the world, including Toronto and Montreal. But the bank turned what would have been just another bike-sharing program into an opportunity to create a social, cause-based integrated campaign. For one, the bank snapped up, smartly, naming rights -- a coup considering that many, including New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg kept tripping over the name, calling the bike program "Citibank" -- a mistake that was nothing but good for the brand. The bikes themselves also doubled as out-of-home ads for Citibank. And best of all, it helped the bank, which took plenty of money from the government as a bailout after the financial crisis, earn some much-needed goodwill among New Yorkers. Citibike's agency is Publicis Kaplan Thaler. The idea is so good, it even inspired non-advertising efforts, such as this one, where Animal New York got BMX king Tyrone Williams to show people that Citibikes are awesome enough to take for a crazy spin, every day, any day.

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