Year in Review: Best of 2016 Campaigns

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So clever you wish you’d thought of it: Ikea

Ikea is like Christmas morning – but on any day of the year. One simply can’t drive by Ikea and not get lost in the madness that lies in its midst. Ikea has always kept its advertising simple. True to form, Ikea introduced brilliant, simple ideas in 2016. The company’s best campaign of the year, “Retail Therapy,” played on human error by renaming household items to commonly Googled phrases like “My Partner Snores” (a twin daybed), “My Partner Annoys Me” (a desk with a screen between the two chairs), and “How to Make Long Distance Work” (a moving box). This drove thousands of viewers to the site – due to both curiosity and surprise that IKEA showed up on their Google search. Ikea completely redefined great SEO.


Spotify knows you better than you know yourself

Spotify had its game face on this year. Starting with its global outdoor ad campaign, which used listener data to create clever headlines, Spotify enthralled its users in a unique way. Headlines like “To the 1,235 guys who loved the ‘Girls’ Night’ playlist this year, we love you.” or “Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day, what did you do?” Spotify showed that outdoor advertising can still be impactful. Sorry iTunes, Spotify outdid you once again.


Kohl’s had a good year – Thanks, Facebook Live

First, “Chewbacca Mom” took the world by storm proving how effective Facebook Live really can be. With four minutes of commentary and giggles while wearing a Chewbacca mask from Kohl’s, Candace Payne, now known as “Chewbacca Mom,” became Kohl’s biggest advertisement of the year. To show their appreciation, Kohl’s delivered Chewbacca masks, other Star Wars toys and $2,500 in gift cards to Payne. And if the 164 million video views weren’t enough, the post-video interaction between Kohl’s and Payne also went viral, further sending Kohl’s into the spotlight. Kohl’s used this experience to show its business model is about more than profit – they care about their customers and appreciate their business. “Chewbacca Mom” skyrocketed Facebook Live’s popularity and demanded people realize its worth. Watch the original “Chewbacca Mom” video and Kohl’s response online.

P&G’s takes Gold for Olympic advertisements

In 2012, Procter & Gamble (P&G) changed the game for Olympic advertisements and left viewers waiting in anticipation to see what they would come up with during the 2016 Olympics. In the latest installment of their “Thank You, Mom” campaign, entitled “Strong”, P&G pulled on heartstrings by showing how a mother’s support innately runs deep in all humans, including Olympic athletes. On top of the commercial, P&G set up a link-sharing system that allowed viewers to send the link, with a personal message, to their own mother. P&G started a movement guaranteed to not only bring tears to the eyes, but to also use social media for good.


The ultimate guilt trip: Honda introduces #PhonesDownEyesUp

With its 2016 campaign, #PhonesDownEyesUp, Honda tackled a real, and often-ignored, issue and turned it into something people actually want to pay attention to. We’ve all been guilty of trying to multi-task, and Honda hit this problem right on the nose. By producing a series of short videos that infuse comedy into this serious topic, Honda shamed all viewers into realizing how dangerous texting and driving is. Honda also made this campaign a perfect fit for social media by making the videos less than 30 seconds and introducing #PhonesDownEyesUp to keep the conversation going long after the videos end. Well done Honda, well done.

This post was written by Maggie Haliburton, Digital Intern

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