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  • Genie’s Year In Review:

    Genie’s Year In Review: Four campaigns that have inspired our creative minds in 2022.

    As the year draws to a close, now is always a good opportunity to look back on the work that has stood out for us over the last twelve months.

    There are countless campaigns that have captured our attention – but what interests us most here at GENIE are those pieces of work that really spark inspiration. It’s one thing to spot something exciting or impressive, but it’s perhaps slightly rarer to come across something that genuinely gets your creative mind thinking about things in a different way.

    With that in mind, we asked four creative minds from Genie to tell us which piece of work has most inspired their creative mind this year, and why.

    Here’s what they said…

    Danny McGuiness

    Danny is the Founder of Play Function Studio, a studio that designs and directs moving images. He has over ten years of experience making films for some of the world’s leading brands.

    What piece of work has most inspired your creative mind this year?

    For me, it’s Studio Dumbar’s graphics package for D&AD’s 2022 ‘Be part of more’ campaign. This is the third year running that Studio Dumbar have created the visual identity for D&AD, and this year’s campaign comprises 2D and 3D graphics and coding, building on the work they’ve done previously.

    What is it about this work that you find inspiring?

    What I like about Studio Dumbar’s work is how technologically playful it is. Quite often the reason a piece of design catches my attention is because I don’t understand how they’ve done it – when it leaves me thinking ‘how have they done that?!’ Being a maker myself, I’m always interested in the craft behind a piece of work.

    I also like that this is a living project. This is the third year in a row that they’ve created a graphics package for D&AD and so it feels very generative.

    Does it inspire you to think about your own work differently?

    When looking for inspiration for branding projects, in particular, I often turn to this. I’ve been doing more brand work lately and often that requires images that are going to work in motion across a whole range of different touch points – something that’s going to look as good in motion as it does when static.

    Would you have any builds?

    Not really to be honest! For as long as Studio Dumbar continue creating work that makes me want to go away and find out exactly how they’ve done it, I’m going to remain excited to see what they do next.

    Ana Pinhal

    Ana is a Brand and Communications Strategist, with experience working with brands including Renault, Toyota and Heineken Group.

    What piece of work has most inspired your creative mind this year?

    The campaign that jumps out is TENA’s #LastLonelyMenopause.

    What is it about this work that you find inspiring?

    With this campaign TENA had the courage to tackle a taboo subject in a very relatable way.

    Ads today still need to be a lot better at representing real people, and although it shouldn’t be surprising that TENA would choose to use mature women for this campaign, it still is. I remember when Dove started its ‘real women’ concept, and many people assumed that no one wanted to see so-called real women. Thankfully that mindset is changing – but we still have a way to go. There are still far too many twenty-somethings in ads for anti-wrinkle creams, for instance.

    Does it inspire you to think about your own work differently?

    It inspires me to try and encourage my own clients to do meaningful work like this; it helps me sell what I believe in.

    Would you have any builds?

    I’m curious to see what TENA is going to do next. This is perhaps the first time for this product that they’ve done something so real.

    I also think that because this ad has so many layers there are many other campaigns that could come from the film – there are many stories within the story, and I’d love to see them explore each of these small components in more detail. It’s wonderful to see so much richness of content within one idea.

    Mark Jewitt

    Mark is a Creative, Director and Editor, working across advertising, marketing, production and creative. He has over twenty years of experience, and has acted as creative lead across film, photography, animation and CGI.

    What piece of work has most inspired your creative mind this year?

    Patagonia’s ‘Scale of Hope’ film, which is currently running as an hour-long stoppable in-stream ad on Google. It’s the story of Molly Kawahata, a former White House climate advisor and alpine climber, and documents her climate activism and struggles with mental health.

    "Patagonia has earned a genuine right to be leading this conversation"

    What is it about this work that you find inspiring?

    Patagonia is doing brand purpose at the same time as almost every other brand right now. So surely this should be just another piece of branded content hijacking a purpose? Not this film. Although this is still branded content, it’s totally authentic.

    I think there can be a tendency for content like this to skirt authenticity sometimes, but the film doesn’t shy away from genuine human emotion. For example, Molly Kawahata is completely open about the fact that she suffers from bipolar disorder.

    Patagonia has also played with a lot of the obvious tropes of this kind of adventure filmmaking. Amongst films of this genre there’s a bit of a cliche of mountaineers ‘conquering the summit,’ which comes with an assumption that anything less than that is a failure of some sort. So another reason I love this film so much is that (spoiler alert!) she doesn’t get to the top.

    Does it inspire you to think about your own work differently?

    I think the strength of this film is that it reminds me of my own projects that I’m most proud of. For example, there’s a film I made for Yamaha about a motorbike builder in Amsterdam. It was a passion project and we were able to completely let him be himself. There was a simplicity – and I suppose authenticity – in that, that I think allowed us to make a beautiful film.

    Would you have any builds?

    I don’t think so, and the reason for that is that this film and the brand work honestly together. We’re inevitably going to reach a point where people become purpose-jaded, but Patagonia has earned a genuine right to be leading this conversation, especially when it comes to climate activism.

    Renée Lam

    Renée is an Amsterdam-based Senior Art Director and Graphic Designer. She has worked on global campaigns for brands including Uber, Coca-Cola and Google.

    What piece of work has most inspired your creative mind this year?

    The piece of work I’ve been most inspired by this year is the music video for Pharrell’s ‘Cash in Cash Out,’ directed by Francis Rousselet.

    What is it about this work that you find inspiring?

    It’s been a long time since a music video caught my eye in the way that this one did. I love this film as it’s such a surprising mix of aesthetic – zoetrope, claymation, CGI – executed at such a high level of craft. I think the zoetrope technique is particularly cool; it was invented in the 1800s so to see that in the context of a modern day rap video really makes you sit up and take notice.

    Not to mention the content is just absolutely bonkers; there’s an irreverent tone that’s super funny, and I love the way they’ve animated the lyrics to match the flow and syncopation of the track. It’s all just brilliantly done.

    Does it inspire you to think about your own work differently?

    When you are executing a concept it can sometimes feel that everything looks the same, making it harder to come up with something surprising. This is a reminder that as well as looking forwards we can also look back into the past to be inspired.

    Would you have any builds?

    The only thing I’d say is that it would have been amazing if they had made the video for real, rather than using CGI – although it’s very possible they decided to use CGI because of the pandemic. I’m a tactile person, so being able to make something real that you can touch and feel would have been even more satisfying from my perspective.