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Campaign Top 10.

Campaign Top 10.

Awards, of course, aren’t everything. When we’re creating work, our thoughts are always focused on what’s most important: ideas that grow a client’s business.

But… it’s always nice when the bright ideas and hard work are recognised. We’re particularly thrilled that two of our imaginative campaigns have been included in Campaign’s highly-regarded Top 10 ads of 2015 lists.

BJL started working with Whyte & Mackay in 2015, developing a communication platform that tackled harshness – a commonly held preconception of the blended whisky category. We felt that our “Surprisingly Smooth” Lion ads would connect with people – a hunch that was confirmed when it was named one of the Top 10 outdoor ads of 2015.

Campaign also recognised our work to effectively shift perceptions around not only the brand – but blended whisky itself: “Abandoning the “heather and weather” shots that often characterise the sector, BJL drafted in the animal photographer and digital artist Tim Flach to change drinkers’ perceptions of the whisky.”

Richard Pearson, one of our Creative Directors, said that the ads echoed the thoughts of real whisky drinkers:

“Most people think blended whisky will be strong and harsh, but in taste tests Whyte & Mackay performs highly versus the competition. We had to highlight this very smooth taste, and also avoid all of the classic category conventions depicting the Highlands – so we gave the work a contemporary look and feel, modernising the brand.”

As an integrated agency, our strengths lie as much in writing strong copy as they do in creating stunning images. Being Family’s “Your Path to Adoption” campaign needed to convey both the gravity and the joy in adoption – and we used powerful copy to highlight kernels of emotional truth surrounding the issue.

So we were naturally pleased that, when naming the campaign as one of the Top 10 regional press ads of 2015, Campaign focused on our writing:

“It’s nice to see that the art of long copy remains alive with this set of ads for Being Family… Based on real stories, the ads are directed at potential parents who unnecessarily rule themselves out of adoption. One is about a woman who fears she is too old to adopt. Another features a couple worried that a disorganised home would be a problem.”

Another of our Creative Directors, Karl Stones, said,

“Our job was to dispel negative perceptions and tackle the barriers to adoption head on. We used real insights to tell stories of genuine fears and concerns, which gave us a distinctive, narrative copy style.

Within the first few weeks of launching, enquiries more than doubled, applications increased by 160% and website hits increased by over 700%. Knowing we’d helped so many people, and given so many children a new start in life was enough of a reward. But to also be recognised by Campaign for this work – amidst stiff competition – was the cherry on the cake.”

For us, being able to draw a line between creative artistry, strong messaging and a measurable uptick in our client’s business is just as valuable as any award – and we are so pleased that these two campaigns managed to achieve both!


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