German agency Serviceplan schooled us on the power of simplicity in 2012. The agency ranked number four on our list of most awarded shops of 2012, thanks largely to a pair of breathtaking design efforts that demonstrated how brevity and wit can trump the most complicated of campaigns.
The agency turned the typically boring annual report into an impressive branding vehicle with the brilliant Solar Annual Report, for solar energy company Austria Solar. It featured what appeared to be a series of big, blank white pages--but revealed its true contents when exposed to the sun's rays. The report won the Design Grand Prix at Cannes, and earlier this month, earned a slot among the nominees for the London Design Museums' Design of the Year.
The agency proved a master of communicating ideas with clever grace on another award-winning effort for BMW. The client tasked the shop to create a work that conveyed both the automaker's efficiency and dynamism. Serviceplan brought the idea to a life, quite literally, in a remarkable installation that at first, appears to be a series of random abstract pieces, but when viewed from different angles, they revealed either the words "efficient" and "dynamics."
That's not to say that Serviceplan wasn't up for more intricate productions. As if Star Wars and Lego fanboys needed any more excitement, the agency conceived the magnificent Lego "Builders of Sound" installation, a giant barrel organ made entirely out of lego blocks and Star Wars figures to promote the launch of Star Wars 3D in Germany. The agency worked with Lego builder Rene Hoffmeister and translated the movie's famous main theme into a matrix, which became the blueprint for the organ. Star Wars' various worlds like Endor, the Death Star and Tatooine were then incorporated into the barrel, which when turned would then play the theme. The installation traveled around various theaters in the country and now has a home at Legoland Germany. Those who can't visit, can still play the organ online.
The agency also showed its morbid side, on a powerful anti-drunk driving message that brought back the dead. In a bold move for radio, of all categories, it installed antennae in the shape of death-crosses at intersections where people had died in drunk driving accidents. When cars passed by, the antenna would override the cars' current radio frequencies to relay personal stories from the victims themselves, encouraging others to play it safe.
Check out the other 2012 Creativity A-List honorees here.