The Best marketing ads of 2018

2018 has been an incredibly exciting year with some big name brands and agencies rocking the industry with bold and daring campaigns, and of course, some that didn’t go quite to plan… Here are the ads that we think were the most successful. 

Nike – ‘Colin Kaepernick – Just Do It’

To celebrate its 30th birthday, Nike teamed up with NFL player Colin Kaepernick to act as one of 30 faces of their ‘Just Do It’ campaign. Printing the words: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything”, across his face, the campaign brought to the surface the police brutality protest carried about by Kaepernick and fellow NFL players when they began kneeling during the national anthem.


When KFC ran out of chicken earlier in the year, the quick-witted marketing team managed to turn the sour situation into a clever pun switching the letters KFC to read ‘FCK’. By not attempting to hide the issue, the fried chicken company attracted a new crowd and managed to keep the chicken hype going throughout the shortage.

BrewDog – ‘Rate My Beer’

BrewDog’s clever attack on rival beer companies used Budweiser, Carling and Fosters’ taglines against them. Highlighting the near-perfect score of 97/100 for BrewDog’s Punk IPA, as chosen by consumers on the website, and juxtaposing this to the significantly lower scores of the other beer brands (0/100 for Budweiser), the ad taglines read Wassup, Bud?, Good Call, Fosters? And Refreshingly Perfect?

Channel 4, Nationwide, Maltesers and McCain – ‘#TogetherAgainstHate’

To fight back against online abuse, Channel 4 teamed up with Nationwide, Maltesers and McCain to broadcast a primetime break takeover that highlighted the discriminatory and hateful abuse that many suffer online. Playing the brands most successful ads, the videos were edited plastered with the real, shocking and offensive social media posts the adverts received.

Iceland - Ad against palm oil

Having been ranked by some as ‘the most powerful campaign of 2018’, Iceland’s palm oil advert in collaboration with Greenpeace has certainly rocked the industry. The short film features a cartoon orangutan, ‘Rang-tan’, causing havoc in a young girl’s room. When she finally has enough and confronts Rang-tan, he explains to her that the human harvesting of palm oil has destroyed his home leaving him with nowhere to go. Although the film was banned from being shown on TV by advertising body Clearcast, the video quickly went viral and with it has gained a wave of support for the fight against palm oil.

The fight against plastic

With David Attenborough’s latest series of Blue Planet drawing the nation’s attention the issue of plastic polluting our oceans, 2018 has seen a mass movement in the way of brands and campaigners advertising the issue. Sea Shepherd created a particularly poignant video where a dolphin, turtle and shark struggle to break free of their plastic confiding. LADbible also backed the movement with their campaign ‘Trash Isles’ in which they called for a mass rubbish isle to be declared a country by the UN in order for the pile to be cleaned up.

Lloyds Bank – ‘#GetTheInsideOut’

Having partnered with Mental Health UK, Lloyds Bank and their #GetTheInsideOut campaign created by Adam & Eve/DDB openly highlights the issue of mental health. The video sees people, including some high-profile celebrities, playing the stick-note guessing game but instead of guessing a person, the conversations open up the mental health conditions that affect thousands daily and pass by undetected.

John Lewis/Waitrose & Partners

For the first time, John Lewis and Waitrose joined their marketing efforts to launch their new rebrand. To shine a light on the partner owned businesses, the rebranded Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners use the tagline, ‘for us, it’s personal’, to highlight the stories and individuality of staff which they say, sets them apart from other retailers.