Disney was behind this sweet holiday tale about a grandmother who longingly remembers her childhood as a girl in the Philippines. Now living with her daughter and grandchild in another country, the separation from her native land becomes even more palpable during the holidays when she recounts a sweet moment with her father, who gives her a stuffed Mickey Mouse one Christmas. Created in-house with Flux Animation, it’s an endearing tale that’s both specific and universal as it highlights unique traditions of Filipino culture while celebrating the power of family connection.
At number four, the character Phyllis Vance from “The Office,” portrayed by Phyllis Smith, has been a popular figure in ads these days. At the beginning of the year, she starred in a campaign for Panera Bread and now, she’s in a web series for craft store Joann Fabrics. Created out of agency Where Eagles Dare, it revolves around how Phyllis, like the rest of us, has been coping with working from home. Appropriately, she gets “crafty” with her set-up in order to free herself up for her real passions—like knitting socks for cats.
Beats by Dre goes straight to the gut in this gorgeous, challenging film. Created out of Translation, the ad asks the question, “You love Black culture, but do you me?” In a beautiful interplay of word and images assembled by an all-star lineup of talent that includes director Melina Matoukas, Emmy-winning screenwriter Lena Waithe and musician Solange Knowles, it forces viewers to confront the painful dichotomy Black individuals endure in a world that embraces their achievements and contributions yet fails to protect them or provide them with an equal playing field.
Burberry dispenses with the fanfare of food and frills for its holiday ad. In this fantastic film directed by Megaforce out of Riff Raff, the British clothier offers a new take on Gene Kelly’s iconic dance sequence from the 1952 classic film “Singin’ in the Rain.” Instead of a single man in love, we have a troupe of four dancers, who take on the elements in an enthralling cinematic metaphor for the adversity the world has faced over the past year.
John Lewis and Waitrose's much-anticipated Christmas campaign is a chain reaction of love, depicting heart shapes passed from one person to another in a series of vignettes by different artists. Once again by Adam&Eve/DDB, it was directed by Oscar Hudson of Pulse, and it encompasses live action, claymation and traditional animation and CGI. The spot signifies a wider campaign about charitable giving and is very different from the brand's usual storytelling fare. This time, John Lewis deliberately chose to work with a range of artists in order to better support the creative industry which has been hard hit by the pandemic. They include Chris Hopewell, who has created music videos for Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand, and French animator Sylvain Chomet. The soundtrack, by British singer Celeste, is an original song, in a move away from the brand's tradition of recording cover versions of classics.
That's it for the Top 5. Make sure to check out more of the best in brand creativity at Adage.com/Creativity.