The Year in Creativity, 2019 — Part 1

100 top creative leaders on their favorite work of the year, and where we're headed next

To close out 2019, Muse asked 100 top creative leaders to give us their thoughts on the state of creativity—to tell us their favorite work of the year, trends they find exciting, and predictions for 2020.

You can download the full report at this link.

We're also publishing the report as a series of five Muse articles throughout this week. This story is Part 1. Click through to the other installments below:

• The Year in Creativity, Part 1 (this story)
The Year in Creativity, Part 2
The Year in Creativity, Part 3
The Year in Creativity, Part 4
The Year in Creativity, Part 5


The Year in Creativity, 2019 — Part 1

Click the links to jump to individual entries, or scroll down to see them all.

• 360i | Menno Kluin, CCO
• The 3% Movement | Kat Gordon, Founder and CEO
• 72andSunny New York | Justine Armour, ECD
• 72andSunny Los Angeles | Keith Cartwright, ECD
• Alto | Hannes Ciatti, Founder and CCO
• AMV BBDO | Nadja Lossgott, ECD
• AnalogFolk | Carren O'Keefe, ECD
• barrettSF | Aryan Aminzadeh, Creative Director
• BBDO Worldwide | Greg Hahn, Vice Chairman, Creative
• BBDO Bangkok | Suthisak Sucharittanonta, Creative Chairman
• BBDO Toronto | Denise Rossetto, CCO
• BBH | Joakim Borgstrom, Worldwide CCO
• BBH New York | Gerard Caputo, CCO
• BETC Paris | Stéphane Xiberras, President and CCO
• Burger King | Fernando Machado, Global CMO
• Cactus | Hailey Simon, Senior Art Director
• Campbell Ewald | Jo Shoesmith, CCO
• Chemistry | Chris Breen, CCO
• Colenso BBDO | Dan Wright, ECD


360i

Menno Kluin
Chief Creative Officer

PROUD OF

I'm proud of the breadth of work we've produced this year that demonstrates our ability to do large-scale traditional work with high production value while continuing to bring conceptual thinking and craft to digital and social work. The shoot we did for sports streaming service DAZN is a perfect example of this. We worked with director Tom Kuntz and actor/comedian Tracy Morgan to (literally) blow up the fight game with a combination of humor and eye-catching explosions. We also developed a lot of Game of Thrones work for HBO this year that brought our craft capabilities to a whole other level. Our epic Oreo Game of Thrones collaboration was the perfect mix of craft and culture.

However, my favorite project of 2019 is our collaboration with New Orleans Tourism and Spotify, where we launched the first-of-its-kind "Offline Playlist." It was an idea that had its roots in digital and found its way to the real world. It started with a simple Spotify playlist, featuring a dozen or so big-time NOLA musicians. We then surprised followers of that playlist with an invitation to see the artists perform live in the iconic Preservation Hall. This live concert culminated not only in fantastic content but in a once-in-a-lifetime experience for fans. The live event is currently being developed into a full-length documentary to launch in 2020. Just an extraordinary project from start to finish.

JEALOUS OF

As an art director, I always wanted to create a campaign that comes close to the visual language of graphic designer Robert Brownjohn. London agency Uncommon recently created something that does just that, and I'm completely jealous of it. They created a simple and almost old-fashioned print campaign that transforms family conversations into TV listings styled as though they have been ripped out of a magazine. The print campaign immediately captures your attention. It's tastefully done and just refreshing to see people are still excelling at that level of craft and concept. A good ad is a good ad, and this is a great example of a good ad.

EXCITED BY

Brand-led thinking is back in full force, and it couldn't be at a better time. Reckless adrenaline chasing has led to brand erosion over the years and disengaged consumers. The realization that art and heart plays an important role in brand building is exciting to marketers and creatives because it's also not all about crunching the numbers.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

• Even small campaigns will have countless assets and become iterative. 
• Conceptual influencer ideas and the continued explosion of influencer as a category. 
• First creative usage of social commerce at scale.

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The 3% Movement

Kat Gordon
Founder and CEO

PROUD OF

This year we rebranded 3%'s Manbassadors program to better capture who it's for and what it stands for. New name, new identity and powerful new positioning created in partnership with VMLY&R. To really bring it alive, we asked top male leaders in the ad world, including Jimmy Smith and Rob Schwartz, to record the new positioning and unveiled it at the kick-off of our fall conference. This project stands out because at a historical moment when everyone is telling men what not to do, 3% is inviting men to step forward into 21st century allyship in ways that aren't based in compliance or fear but in curiosity and truth. Capturing this in two minutes was a tall order, and I'm deeply proud of where we landed.

JEALOUS OF

When Gillette's "The Best Men Can Be" ad launched, I tweeted the following: "IRONY: A product men use when looking in the mirror is causing reflection." I meant it as the highest compliment … and still do. Just months after the Kavanaugh hearings and the Weinstein indictments, when the term "toxic masculinity" was shutting down conversation, Gillette invited men and women into a national discourse. Not only did they have the intrepidity to take a stand, they were willing to admit they'd been part of the problem historically. This is brave work that wouldn't have seen the light of day under lesser leadership. YouTube thumbs-down ratings will tell you it was a failure, and headlines conflict on the effect on sales, but if you ask for a project I admired this past year, I'm hard-pressed to think of anything else that had such impact.

EXCITED BY

I'm fascinated by the trend of social surfaces, largely driven by Jordan Seiler. Essentially it's the intersection of urban artists, visual activists and street culture, where people take over surfaces like outdoor ad spaces with messages of intervention. It might seem odd for an adwoman to embrace a trend that obliterates outdoor ads, but when everyday people—especially those who are civically awake and artistically inclined—express themselves in city spaces, it's impossible to look away.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

I gave a keynote at Amazon this fall called "Why Culture Is the New Creativity." I talked about how everyone assumes the future will be shaped by technology, A.I. or space travel, but that I believe exponential gains toward innovation will happen in very personal and individual ways. The future belongs to belonging. Creative companies are finally grasping that making individuals feel psychologically safe is the key to unlocking their truest essence and gifts. When people don't need to ever cover, code-switch or camouflage—well, look out. That's a moment I want to watch from a front-row seat.

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72andSunny New York

Justine Armour
Executive Creative Director

PROUD OF

This year we launched the Cheerios "Right on Tracks" album and Halo Top "Ice Cream for Adults," and feeling the love and industry recognition from award shows has been great for us at 72NY. But I think I'm most proud of how our Smirnoff team repositioned the global brand with "Infamous Since 1864." It's the first time in 25 years that a Diageo brand has had a truly global campaign. The work is subversive and fun and beautifully executed by our team and partners, and I've become even more convinced that great work forges tight client relationships. If you're a craft nerd, there's so much to appreciate in this campaign, from the sound to the casting to the styling and the drinks—everything—and there are more surprises to come. I'm extra proud of our CDs, Dean and Hugo, who brought it all to life with meticulous attention to detail.

JEALOUS OF

Tons of beautiful, big-budget campaigns put us all to shame this year, but I was deeply jealous at a cellular level when Droga5 London made "The Seas Between Us," an absolutely mental feature-length arthouse film (in German!) for a microwavable burger. It's about a son coming to terms with the shadow cast by his father's legacy. The father is a hamburger. The production probably cost about $5, and honestly, I didn't watch the entire film because I don't speak German and have a 10-second attention span, but that's not the point. The point is that David Kolbusz is over there doing the same job as me, with such playfulness and stupid joy, and it made me simultaneously so genuinely ecstatic that we can make things like this, and also ashamed of myself for being so boring. Work like this makes us all better, and hopefully more fun.

EXCITED BY

The industry has been in a mad rush to get diverse voices into the business and into the work, and I'm so proud that at 72andSunny NY we now have a creative department staffed with over 50 percent female creatives. But what's truly exciting is the day-to-day experience of working with a LOT of creative women at every level. I've seen the tone of the work change and expand, agency culture has become more open, supportive and happy, and there are young female creatives with bold voices who don't feel inhibited by any sense of being the token girl. It's a new world in agency land, and I absolutely love it.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

I think we've all read the stat that consumers are now exposed to something like ten thousand ads a day. It's bonkers, and making work unignorable in that context is a challenge for us all. But when you have a whole team—not just the creative department—looking at the work, asking whether this is really going to make anyone take notice, feel something or do something, the TEN THOUSAND ADS pressure test filters out a lot of quiet, lazy, confusing or ignorable ideas. I hope every agency team is having these conversations, and if so, I'm excited that the noise is going to make us all better and more interesting.

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72andSunny Los Angeles

Keith Cartwright
Executive Creative Director

PROUD OF

Seems like ages ago, but I'm still very proud of what we pulled off for the Super Bowl. After winning the business on Dec. 5, we went straight into production the first week of January, and less than a month later won the USA Today Ad Meter poll. We worked with the NFL to achieve a pretty epic piece of creative with an unprecedented and record number of NFL talent in one spot.

JEALOUS OF

It's hard not to be jealous of The New York Times' work. They created a platform that could last for ages, but that also couldn't be more timely. Truth is in short supply these days. The repositioning of one of the oldest newspapers in the country to be a purveyor of truth is brilliant.

EXCITED BY

I love to hear that clients are doubling down again on creativity. The fact of the matter is, it's genuinely our product and always will be. Anyone who says anything to the contrary doesn't get our business. It's the thing that lights me up every day. It's truly the only real value we bring, and I believe the only thing that delivers lasting results. If you're asking for someone's time and attention, you have to provide them with something that is creative enough to hold it.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

I hope 2020 proves to be the year that reminds our industry why we do what we do.

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Alto

Hannes Ciatti
Founder and Chief Creative Officer

PROUD OF

I'm very proud of the "EXPENSIFY TH!$" campaign: Grammy-winning rap mogul 2 Chainz starred in the first expensable music video, featuring receipts worth $500,000, including an ice-sculpted Lamborghini, gold toilets and actor Adam Scott. The team created a legitimate music video song that was not only a lot of fun but within days of its release became the No. 1 trending hip-hop track and No. 3 video in the U.S. on Vevo, racking up over 12 million views.

JEALOUS OF

"Dream Crazier" and the embracing of Colin Kaepernick. Nike, the only big U.S. brand to do so, should be an inspiration for our industry and other brands to create brave work. Droga5 and The New York Times' "The Truth Is Worth It" for its craft. The second iteration of this campaign is even more beautifully crafted and its unique storytelling is inherent to the Times.

EXCITED BY

Brands and entertainment is a space that excites me more than ever. This year the work gave me tremendous hope that the future will be better for audiences who have been bored to death by decades of salesy creative. There are examples of this throughout the past decades, but this year felt like a tipping point with more brands than ever contributing to entertainment, much of it extremely high quality. I'm inspired across the board, from feature films to music videos to Broadway plays—everybody is experimenting, it seems, and brands are investing.

Childish Gambino's "This Is America," for addressing an important issue through entertainment. It has gone down in history as one of the great music videos by tackling an important crisis in the U.S. The same can be said about Johnson & Johnson's 5B—a great story of compassion and bravery—and the Skittles Broadway musical.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

In an era of media saturation and disposable content, creativity counts, and craft and taste matter, and I think we'll see a return to these values in narrative storytelling and production across the board. People don't hate ads. They hate floods of useless information and disruptive messaging with no entertainment value. Entertaining creativity will still be the thing that allows brands to stand out, connect with their audiences and grow.

I think we'll continue to see people increasingly attracted to brands that stand for something and are good for people or good for the planet. In 2020, we'll see brands get more creative in how they tell the story of what they stand for and why.

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AMV BBDO

Nadja Lossgott
Executive Creative Director

PROUD OF

I'm going to cheat and mention two. The first is one Nick and I weren't personally involved with: "Viva La Vulva." But who wouldn't be proud to work at the agency that made that? The other is Guinness Clear. Together with Tim Riley, we repackaged boring old tap water and launched it as an exciting, glossy new product, "Guinness Clear," for their responsible drinking drive for the Six Nations Rugby tournament—which is like rugby's Super Bowl. Both examples are purposeful, but both feel celebratory and creative rather than earnest, which can be the danger with the trend of purpose work.

JEALOUS OF

I love the power of The New York Times campaign "The Truth Is Worth It." The craft is out of this world: beautifully written, beautifully edited, and totally gripping. The simplicity is a wonderful contrast to the complexity of the story it is telling. The temptation to tell these stories in longer formats must've been strong, but resisting it feels like it opened a whole new creative path. But of course, it also does its job. In the soupy sea of half-truths and fake news we've all been drowning in, this campaign emerges and cements The New York Times as the truth teller, finder and expert. Everything about it is great.

EXCITED BY / LOOKING FORWARD TO

As an art director, I am excited by the visual world and how much more important it's becoming in the fight for attention in media space. We now live in a world where brand messaging is scatter-gunned across every possible outlet and we need to find more coherence, surprising design language and a visual tone of voice. Competition and short attention spans are a constant struggle, and in a bid to stand out, we need to be even more creative. In the slot machine of constant scrolling, you are continually looking to be rewarded with your next endorphins. And those endorphins arrive with memorable images and designs, either moving or still. Crazy or pleasing. Without them and without stand-out creativity, as a brand you run the risk of becoming the literal wallpaper that surrounds you. 

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AnalogFolk

Carren O'Keefe
Executive Creative Director

PROUD OF

We did an activation called AirDrop1 for Nike at the Super Bowl in Atlanta. It was the first shoe drop using AirDrop, giving consumers a 1:1 experience to customize AirForce1s. Obviously I'm proud of the innovative way AirDrop was used. But what I'm most proud of is how the technology democratized the experience. Typically, participation in brand experiences like these require that you have a lot of influence or a lot of money. AirDrop truly leveled the playing field. If you loved Nike and you were there, you could get the exclusive experience. We talk a lot about diversity in our industry. But we should also be talking about accessibility and how technology can enable it.

JEALOUS OF

From concept to execution, the Teeter-Totter Wall is a project that makes me say, "I wish I did that." Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State University, installed seesaws at the border so kids in the U.S. and Mexico could play together. The idea is so simple yet so powerful. And the way they were able to execute it was brilliant. It was a very serious statement on a very serious topic, but it felt lighthearted and hopeful. Even the execution of the bright pink seesaws in contrast to the metallic border-wall beams created a powerful visual statement. It was simply amazing.

EXCITED BY

The rise of vulnerability. It's no longer a symbol of weakness, but a sign of strength. This cultural trend has led to some interesting and important creative work. Nike launched an initiative called Nike by You. Influencers designed shoes based on a personal story or inspiration in their life and limited-edition pairs were sold. A shoe designed by Liz Beecroft, a psychotherapist and sneakerhead, focused on mental health and overshadowed the activation itself. The design put a spotlight on the taboo topic and demonstrated how a brand like Nike is giving voice to vulnerable stories and causes. The traction it got shows how much people want more of this type of thing.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

How many times have we gotten direction from brands recently for our creative to be "real, raw and authentic"? But the reality is, we've all had enough of reality for a while. I predict a lot of work will start moving away from the "real and raw" and more toward bright, cheerful, surreal creative across the spectrum of content to experiences. I predict we'll see a rise in creative that's meant to make us feel good and take us out of every day for a little while—like the Museum of Ice Cream.

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barrettSF

Aryan Aminzadeh
Creative Director

PROUD OF

Sentimental work is hard to do well, so making a heartfelt holiday campaign for Cost Plus World Market was definitely out of my comfort zone. So was trying to get in the Christmas spirit while concepting in February. But I'm really proud of how it turned out. It didn't hurt that I worked with a great team, we were on the same page as our clients, and our director was a dream. I hope to get the chance to make more people cry in the near future.

JEALOUS OF

Droga5's "The Truth Is Worth It" campaign for The New York Times was pretty much perfect. From the use of real recordings to the execution of the type, every element came together in a way that I'm very jealous of. Granted, it's absolutely batshit that facts and truth have somehow become subjective, but the power of this campaign was not.

EXCITED BY

More and more brands are taking a stand for something. A lot of times it can feel opportunistic and trendy in a gross way. But when it's done well, when it's relevant and substantive and even risky, it can be really exciting. Then it's not just about which customers you're trying to gain, but who you're willing to lose. Nike signing Kaepernick was a great example of that.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

We have no idea what creativity might look like in 2020. That's what it makes it so fun.

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BBDO Worldwide

Greg Hahn
Vice Chairman, Creative

PROUD OF

"Back to School Essentials" for Sandy Hook Promise. We wanted to show that there is nothing normal about the new normal. It's sad to say, but people have become immune to the shock of hearing there's been another school shooting. And when it happens, the tragedy and horror get quickly buried in debate. I feel that this project was able to rise above the rhetoric and hit on a visceral level. Within a week after launching, visits to Sandy Hook Promise's home page—where people can learn the warning signs—increased by 400 percent. The video was able to steer the conversation from arguments about guns back to the ways to stop the tragedy. It was discussed on every major national and cable news network. Eleven of the Democratic presidential candidates shared the video on Twitter.

JEALOUS OF

The Tampon Book by Scholz & Friends. I love that it used the government's own twisted logic, or lack thereof, against itself. This project is the perfect mix of creative, strategy, PR and design.

EXCITED BY

A trend I'm excited by is the aforementioned melding of PR and advertising. I'm excited that more clients are seeing the value of fame, and understanding the economic multiplier that comes from big, bold ideas that enter culture and roam in the zeitgeist. The sheer clutter of messages demands ideas that stand out. Otherwise, clients are wasting their money. Safe is the new risky.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

It's an election year, so I think until the day of the election there'll be a lot of angst, tension, purpose signaling and brands trying to figure out where they fit into the conversation. Basically, like the last three years, but now available in Super Concentrate Formula. I think after the election, depending on the results, the tone could either shift to open expression of joy and relief, or I'll be observing it all from Canada.

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BBDO Bangkok

Suthisak Sucharittanonta
Creative Chairman

PROUD OF

One of the projects we worked on this year that I'm proud of is our 7:1 Furniture Collection for HomePro, which at its core is a home solution for the visually impared. Most furniture uses similar color shades throughout its design scheme, which results in very low color contrast in each piece—making it more difficult to see. For HomePro's 7:1 collection, we designed the furniture with high color contrast—giving much more defined edges and other elements. I like it because it's a simple but sustainable solution for our clients, whose mission is to provide professional home solutions to ensure everyone can have a better quality home life.

JEALOUS OF

Recently, I like Twitter's B2B ad campaign from Spain. Three darkly comic commercials unfold like creepy little horror stories. The pace is super slow, no dialogue, and everything is communicated visually. In doing so, they cleverly show the behavior of the Twitter users in comparison with other media in a subtle, yet not so subtle, way.

EXCITED BY

A.I. is extremely exiciting, and it will be interesting to see how it continues to impact advertising and society as a whole. There are undeniable benefits of A.I., automation, machine learning, etc. in the advertising process, but not every company is ready to use it or understand how to use it. It will be exicting to see how we as creatives take these advancements in A.I. and use them in the creation of next generation ads and campaigns.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

Video will continue to be king, with increased personalization and targeting. VR and AR will find a more substantial foothold, while influencer commuincation will lose some relevance. Regardless of the landscape, the beautiful thing about creativity is that it is fluid, it adapts and defines its environment, and in 2020 I am sure we will see some incredible and inspiring examples of creativity at its best.

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BBDO Toronto

Denise Rossetto
Chief Creative Officer

PROUD OF

The Regent Park School of Music (RPSM), a nonprofit that provides subsidized musical education to kids of all ages throughout Toronto, needed to raise money. We engaged Grammy-winning producer Frank Dukes and the RPSM students to record an album of music called Parkscapes. But this is not just a regular album. It's specifically created to be sampled by professional artists. Every time an artist samples music from Parkscapes, licensing fees, royalties and residuals will be paid out to the school for the life of the song. I love that we created a sustainable donation idea not for the kids—but by the kids. What we never expected was Taylor Swift sampling one of the songs for her latest album. The PR from this was way more than a little inner-city music school could ever have dreamed of.

JEALOUS OF

I love "Guinness Clear" from AMV BBDO. One of those ideas that's so obvious after you see it that you want to kick yourself for not coming up with it yourself. I love that they treated the consumer like they are smart and in on it. People get this stuff. They love when you challenge their perceptions. Because no one does that in marketing. The execution, of course, is perfect too. That's because the agency didn't try to be overly clever with it. Parodies only work when you don't try too hard. You did the creative part when you came up with the brilliant concept. Now all you have to do is shoot a straight-up beer ad—without the beer. Hilarity and effectiveness ensue.

EXCITED BY

I think there is starting to be an appreciation for true branding again. Companies like Adidas, Gap, Old Navy and Trip Advisor are realizing that while short-term marketing objectives are important, building long-term brand affinity is critical. Granted, sometimes a consumer may see an ad for a really sweet deal on an Away suitcase on IG and immediately click and buy it (not that I personally just did that last Tuesday). But way more often, brand affinity is a slow burn that's built up long before you even know you need a suitcase. No matter how much a brand targets me, if I don't love the brand, I'm not interested and more often really put off by that brand. Of course there's a need, and room, for both. But I think the pendulum has swung too far one way. I still believe consumers make decisions based on emotional factors above all else. I'm excited to see brands starting to feel the same way again.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

I don't like making predictions in general. But I'll tell you what I'm hoping for. What about more humor? I could use a good laugh. Could humor be a cause? Should there be a campaign to bring it back? I love the quote, "Laughter is the shortest distance between two people." And in this world, a lot less distance would be nice.

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BBH

Joakim Borgstrom
Worldwide Chief Creative Officer

PROUD OF

I'm proud of the team in London who delivered the Samsung SpaceSelfie campaign. It's an idea that is simple to say, but incredibly complex to pull off. It required real bravery and dedication from all involved, but the result was simple. Beautiful. Rewarding. Unbelievably impressive. It gave tens of thousands of people around the world the chance to experience something they may never have thought possible—seeing themselves in space. It didn't cost them a penny, and it was a brand that made it happen. I now have an amazing selfie of myself swimming in space. Amazing.

JEALOUS OF

Wendy's, "Keeping Fortnite Fresh." I love fresh ideas that start with a small observation. The opportunity was a new game mode on Fortnite called Food Fight, in which Team Burger was pitted against Team Pizza. When Wendy's found out that Team Burger stored its meat in freezers, it wasn't happy. Wendy's doesn't do frozen meat. So, the brand got involved in the game. But instead of killing other players, Wendy's decided to kill all the freezers where the burgers were stored. All this was announced on Twitter and streamed on Twitch. Fresh ideas like this don't cost a fortune to produce. It's about finding a fresh way to be relevant, finding the opportunity to use existing tools and channels, and a fresh way to connect with an audience who maybe doesn't care or pay attention to what your brand is doing. This project was fresh, in every aspect.

EXCITED BY

Deepfake. It's mental. Technology is changing our industry from every angle. We have so many tools available now for the creative process, whether we use them for concepting, producing, exploration or to be part of an end campaign. I love how we can now use A.I., machine learning, voice assistants, and all sorts of data to make things magical. The most fascinating and creepy thing I've stumbled upon lately is the movement of deepfake artists making incredible fake face videos. I love and hate it in equal terms. Advertising is a powerful tool, and pointed in the wrong direction it can so much damage. But used in the right way, we can create or recreate moments in history. We can bring back people from the past that we love and miss. I think it's the most exciting time in the history of advertising. Anything is possible.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

Gaming is where the world should be looking for creative inspiration. The gaming industry is blowing up. As a result, so many new opportunities are opening up. Creative opportunities. Advertising opportunities for brands. Branding opportunities. New media opportunities. New platforms. All this newness requires new ways of thinking. When you transport yourself into the world of gaming, you transport yourself into a world of limitless possibilities. And that's what creativity is all about—doing things you never thought possible.

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BBH New York

Gerard Caputo
Chief Creative Officer

PROUD OF

This always is a tough question because anyone close to the work will find things to be proud of, whether it's the idea, the way it came to life or the effort of the team involved. With that, I'm going to call out our "Half-Assed Gift Collection" for Flaviar. It's an idea that runs counter to the thoughtfulness of the holiday season, with gifts that seem very unthoughtful initially, yet contain a secret code for a Flaviar subscription. What makes me most proud was how every discipline across the agency collaborated to make it happen, from designing and manufacturing the products, to writing and producing the promo films, as well as creating a pop-up experience where we sold the gifts in the Bryant Park holiday market. There was so much energy and care put into this project, but just seeing the live reactions of confused holiday shoppers was a gift in itself.

JEALOUS OF

I admired a lot of work this past year. However, Aviation Gin's ability to insert themselves into the cultural conversation around the infamous Peloton ad was genius. As a creative, I always admire when a brand has a strong, relevant point of view and acts nimbly in the way Aviation just did here. Sure, the online film was funny and featured the product, but what I loved most was how it empowered the actress from the Peloton spot to own the moment as well. At the time of writing this, just 17 hours later, the film has almost 3 million views on Ryan Reynolds' Instagram and almost 300,000 likes on Twitter and rising. That's some serious cultural jujutsu there.

EXCITED BY

More and more and more voices. The power of voice is one of the most potent forces in the world. My favorite moment as a creative leader is recognizing the unique creative voice of someone in the work. It's my job to protect that voice, help cultivate it and get it out into the world. I believe if agencies work harder to embrace a variety of different voices in their creative communities, it will naturally require a wider range of people and disciplines to contribute to the creative product. This is always very exciting for me.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

I'm looking forward to (and hopeful for) the desire of brand building to continue to rise. Companies are under more pressure than ever to drive quick results, and the stress of that can lead to very short-term thinking, which is understandable. With a strong brand, they are more equipped to act nimbly in cultural moments and simultaneously build success over time. I believe a great agency's value is rooted in the ability to create great brands, and now we have more opportunities to apply our creativity in more ways, in more channels and at greater speed. Hopefully, this could be something for everyone to look forward to.

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BETC Paris

Stéphane Xiberras
President and Chief Creative Officer

PROUD OF

I like the campaign we did for Canal+'s collaboration with Netflix. I was really happy to have found a new tone for a brand I've worked with for such a long time. The campaign is a bit mad in its ambition, but I've always been a gambler at heart and thankfully it came out well!

JEALOUS OF

No surprise, I would have been proud to be behind the New York Times campaign "The Truth Is Worth It." It's so intelligent, well written, well directed. Truly remarkable.

EXCITED BY

I think there's an open field of possibilities when it comes to esports and gaming, and I think we could do a lot more and a lot better. I've already noted a lot of interesting stuff coming out the past few years, but I really think we've just seen the beginning.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

Without being pessimist, 2020 will be just like every year before—a majority of mediocre and inefficient ideas. Then, in the middle of the ocean of merde, a few gems that make it all worthwhile!

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Burger King

Fernando Machado
Global Chief Marketing Officer

PROUD OF

I am really proud of the launch of the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich. We knew we had a killer product, but the love from our fans for the sandwich was unlike anything I've seen in my marketing career. Popeyes is an amazing brand with a strong heritage around Louisiana. We are working hard to come up with some really cool stuff which will keep the brand growing and paying back all the love we are receiving.

JEALOUS OF

I love the work done by The New York Times. I honestly don't get jealous about it. I am happy to see David Rubin, chief marketing officer of The New York Times, and Droga5 killing it with campaigns that are relevant, provocative and extremely creative. From the courage to the crafting, these folks are redefining their business and getting amazing results. We need more of that. I am not jealous, I am proud of seeing the success of some friends and to see such a brilliant example of how powerful creativity can be.

EXCITED BY

I am excited to see more and more brands building concrete plans to deliver against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I am tired of seeing brands doing stunts or campaigns to create awareness of issues. Surely putting a spotlight on a problem helps. But taking concrete, real action against real problems is what will move the world forward.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

I hope our entire industry makes a real effort to become more diverse and that we shift the focus from communication that raises awareness of relevant topics to concrete actions that will move us into the right direction.

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Cactus

Hailey Simon
Senior Art Director

PROUD OF

I was proud to be a part of "The Joy of Giving" for the Colorado Lottery. Scratch tickets make a great last-minute holiday gift, but they don't come across as particularly thoughtful. So, we turned that weakness into a strength with this campaign. Instead of pushing a lavish dream of riches, we created a heartwarming piece that, at its core, was really a product demonstration designed to remind Coloradans that it really is better to give than to receive.

JEALOUS OF

Healthcare advertising can be difficult to navigate. Often hospitals just want to show the healthy success stories they have facilitated. So when it's done in a way that stands out from the familiar formula, it can really be powerful. The SickKids spot using the song "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails broke through healthcare advertising clutter. These arresting images of suffering patients impacted both myself and the category.

EXCITED BY

As brands continue to move to project-based work, it's creating greater creative cross-pollination. This gradual shift means that, as creatives, we'll be working on more and more differing clients. Brands will become less stale without the same perspectives competing against the same brief year over year.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

Good creativity in 2020, and moving forward, will do more than spread awareness and make a sale, but will move towards progressing society as a whole. In a time when people are bombarded with more ads and messages than any other, campaigns will have to make real change in the world and cut through the clutter to earn respect of consumers. To make something someone would want to watch, seeks out on his or her own, and forwards on to others.

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Campbell Ewald

Jo Shoesmith
Chief Creative Officer

PROUD OF

I'm really proud of our rebrand this year. As an agency more than 100 years old, it's quite a challenge to comprehensively reflect who we are and where we are going. But this new design is one in which we own our age in this moment sharing "We got old by thinking new."

JEALOUS OF

"Eva Stories," based on The Diary of Eva Heyman, really haunted me. This brave young woman left behind a relatively unknown diary telling about her life during the Holocaust. Rather than leave it as a written format, the creators used Instagram to reach younger audiences with shorter videos to reflect her life and the world crumbling all around her.

EXCITED BY

As the reliance on short-term metrics continues penetrate our industry, it signals an opportunity for emotionally driven creative to stand out even more, assuming you can make the case for it to be made in the first place. I think there will always be a certain amount of unexplainable magic to creativity. But as we learn more about the human brain and how different stimuli impact responses, we can see the signs of this type of creative work being more effective long term. It's exciting that the science is catching up to what our guts have always told us.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

Consumer B.S. radars continue to get sharper and in turn will keep creative and brands on point and honest with people. It also means there is so much opportunity for us to reach different audiences and leapfrog "mass market" approaches of old.

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Chemistry

Chris Breen
Chief Creative Officer

PROUD OF

Netflix x Samsung, "Waiting with Huell." Netflix asked us to create exclusive content for their partnership with Samsung. We ended up creating 62 hours of video content leading into the world premiere of the Breaking Bad movie El Camino on Netflix. The idea centered around Huell, a relatively minor character in the series. While Huell wasn't the star of El Camino, he was still getting a lot of play on social media. He had achieved cult status among fans who wanted to know what happened to him. So, we took this nugget and ran with it. We set out to answer the question, what happened to Huell? Last time fans saw him, he was waiting in a safehouse for DEA agents to return. The idea allowed fans to sit and wait with their beloved Huell as his world and the movie premiere synced up in real time. The entire thing was livestreamed on Samsung TVs across the globe and shared in bite-size nuggets in social for millions of fans to watch and talk about. As a result, more people watched El Camino on opening weekend than the No. 1 box-office film, Joker.

JEALOUS OF

Wall Street Journal, "Read Yourself Better." I love the new Wall Street Journal work by The&Partnership. It focuses on the end user, or as the campaign likes to point out, the reader. There is a difference. The work challenges you to become a participant in forming your opinions. In some ways the campaign is the antithesis of the New York Times campaign from Droga5. What is interesting about the WSJ campaign is that it challenges the reader in a bigger way than perhaps the Times campaign did. That campaign was truly fantastic, but it really set out to make the Times the hero and shed light on the importance of truth. The WSJ campaign doesn't make the news or the work that goes into it the hero. It basically says you are the hero, but only if you choose to be accountable and read.

EXCITED BY

Digital and social not sucking. Not sure if it actually qualifies as a trend, but the marketing pendulum seems to be swinging back to brand over product. With digital and social so omnipresent, everything has been commoditized. You name it, you can find it somewhere else cheaper or better or get it faster, and you are constantly being reminded about it. Your purchases follow you like cheap perfume. The brands that are winning are elevating their story out of the muck of product. When I was a kid, I remember the back of the Miami Herald being covered from top to bottom in car ads. On some level, the whole world turned into the back of a 1980s Miami Herald. Not pretty, and impossible for consumers to care about your brand. Social and digital moving past simply selling products and features to help brands connect in authentic ways has me pumped.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

The ideas are coming! The ideas are coming! I don't think we'll see a massive shift. We've become so risk adverse. Less risk. Less reward. All of the data and analytics are only a good thing if they enable your decision making. I think we are getting close to a tipping point with how agencies on the whole use data. When that happens, I feel like we'll hit the sort of Golden Age of Creativity in the digital and social era. Of course, it's not going to happen in one fell swoop. It's going to happen one awesome piece of content at a time. As an industry, we were making ads the same way they made them in 1972. That had to change, and it has. P.S.: Robots scare me.

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Colenso BBDO

Dan Wright
Executive Creative Director

PROUD OF

In November we launched a project called "Play" for our client Spark—New Zealand's biggest telco. It's an initiative to help parents find the right balance of on-screen play and outside play for their kids. It starts with a new product—a connected ball that tracks active playtime and trades it for screen time. The ball pairs with an app so parents can feel a little more in control. And the ball can track play independently, so the kids can feel a little more in control. It even tracks kicks, throws and passes and gives kids badges as their skills improve. Spark are at the forefront of bringing new tech to New Zealanders' homes. So it makes sense that they're also at the forefront of innovating ways for kiwi families to navigate the challenges technology brings.

JEALOUS OF

So many. But I really loved "Go Back to Africa," from Black & Abroad. It's pretty perfect. The perfect blend of right and wrong. The perfect symmetry of a social-led insight becoming a truly social campaign. And a perfect example of the creative clarity a genuinely purpose-led business gives you. Then there's the effortlessly but meticulously integrated data smarts in every single part of it—from hijacking hateful comments, to crowdsourcing campaign imagery, to on-the-fly personalized promo edits. But I think a big reason it stays with me is that any one of us could have done it. We should have done it. There was no multimillion-dollar production, no eye-watering media spend, no cutting-edge innovation. Just brains, attention to detail, diligence. Oh, and there's courage. But it's funny how that creative clarity of living your purpose makes that seem less of a thing.

EXCITED BY

The commercialization of purpose. It sounds terrible when you put it like that. What about "purpose for sale"? No, that's worse. But the reality is good. It's the shift from brands doing purpose-led stuff off to the side, to integrating it into their day-to-day business. This year at Cannes we saw this on the rise with work like "ThisAbles" from Ikea, Microsoft's Xbox Adaptive Controller, "Go Back to Africa" and Docomo. Inviting purpose into the heart of the business is essential. And that means it's OK to make money from it. Not to exploit people's belief in your purpose for profit, but to build a profitable business fulfilling your purpose. I could say it's a fine line. But it's not. You either prove your purpose through your products, or it's a side hustle. I'm excited to see more brands going for option one.

LOOKING FORWARD TO

I'm excited to see creativity continue its march into the inner workings of business. Alright, "march" might be too strong a word, but it's progress. And it's great. Consultancies have opened the doors and done a terrific job of selling the power of creativity to drive business success. The walls are lower, we have our springy shoes on, and the opportunity is huge. So my hope is that we will see more creatively led business ideas, more purpose in more product, and the beginning of the end of comms-only brands.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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