Drunken singing to stop drunk driving and ugly sweaters to sell newspapers

Helsingin Sanomat (Finland), “The Ugliest News of the Year” 

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat has a gritty take on the ugly Christmas sweater fad. TBWA\Helsinki produced five sweaters depicting the ugliest news of the year: climate change, war, plastic in our oceans, technological manipulation and sexual harassment. The sweaters are limited edition and sent to some of the people most associated with the stories this year (translation: an earned media play). “The truth may be ugly, but it never goes out of style,” is the set up line, and here’s the payoff: “By keeping these issues in the public eye, we hope to move closer to resolving them.”

Queensland State Government (Australia), “LifeLegends”

Tis the season for too much drinking and driving. To combat the problem, the Queensland state government in Australia went with a sing-songy ad this year to remind people of the value of designated drivers, or what it’s calling #LiftLegends. Why you should watch? Drunk people singing Bette Midler’s “Wind beneath my wings.”

Pernod Ricard: Ruavieja (Spain), “We have to see each other more”

Advertisers pull on all the heart strings this time year, but this four-minute “life-is-short” film for Pernod Ricard’s Spanish liqueur Ruavieja breaks through better than most. The idea here is that people spend too much time with screens and not enough time with loved ones. The spot brings together pairs of friends who love each other but, they confess, don’t see enough of each other—truly relatable for most. The twist comes when the friends are told how much time they have left with each other, in days. On the one hand, maybe a bit manipulative for an alcohol brand; on the other, a perfect fit for anyone who appreciates the special moments of a drink shared with a special friend in busy lives. This one has been out for a few weeks now but it’s powerful so if you haven’t seen it….

Ripley, “The magical night of Gaspar”

This is essentially an animated modern Christmas made-for-TV fairytale cut down to three minutes. The hero in this short film for the Chilean department store brand Ripley, is a firefighting dad whose crushed to learn he’ll be away from his wife and kids on Christmas Eve because he got picked to work. But all good fairytales have happy endings.

David Brown