2019 MedAdNews Awards Agency of the Year Finalist


  1.  Cadbury “Mum’s Birthday” – This one isn’t COVID-19-related, but I figured I would share because it’s an excellent ad and made me feel a little better about human beings with everything terrible I’ve been reading in the news. There’s a wonderful article on Contagious that goes into the brand history of Cadbury, but I particularly loved this ad, which was a return to their generous Quaker roots, modifying the tagline of “A glass and a half in every bar” to “A glass in a half in everyone.” In light of everything going on the world with COVID-19, it’s good to see advertising that effectively depicts generosity. 
  2. March for Mom’s “Mother’s Day” – I started my pharma career working in women’s health as a market researcher. Nothing is more humbling and revealing of your personal ignorance as a man than being a 25-year-old guy working on post-menopausal therapies. I think this ad does an excellent job bringing to life the insight surrounding the struggle most working parents are having around balancing their lives with their work in a COVID-19–related WFH environment. 
  3. Miami Ad School – Netflix Spoiler Ads – I’m disappointed with public health experts’ and behavioralists’ (see more below) ability to effectively message and encourage good preventative health behavior during this pandemic, however I’ve been consistently impressed with smart advertising campaigns and media placement. This outdoor media series puts spoilers for Netflix series on outdoor media to encourage people to stay inside. 
  4. Budweiser FaceTime Wassuuuupppp! – While I think that A/B’s advertising has been a bit boring and unoriginal as of late, I’ll give this one a pass because it hits in the sweet spot of humor—nostalgia, human connection, and smart use of famous people user-generated content.
  5. Coors Lite “Zoom Clones” – Coors Lite gives you a tutorial for how to design a Zoom clone so that you have time to grab a beer during your conference call. While I don’t condone midday Coors Lite drinking, this is a pretty smart use of quick response zeitgeist marketing. Only critique is that the idea isn’t particularly ownable for the brand.
  6. Clarins “Naturally Moist Hands – I have a huge fear of heights, so my palms were definitely sweating by the end of this very smart experiential marketing ad for hand cream.


  • How to Persuade People to Change Their Behavior – Referencing my mention of behavioralists failing in messaging earlier in this blog, here is a nice HBR article that explains how you can be more effective at changing people’s behavior. Three key steps: highlight a gap, pose questions, and ask for less. Most public health communication has done this very poorly.


  • Wind of Change – Did the CIA write the 1990 Scorpions power ballad Wind of Change? This highly entertaining and interesting investigative journalism podcast tries to find out. Think of it as Argo for hair metal.
  • Clayton Christensen HBR “Jobs to Be Done” – The author of The Innovator’s Dilemma gives a rather dry—but very informative—lecture on how marketers should look differently at competitive frame of reference. Rather than looking at market competition the way that you classically define it, look at it in terms of the job that the product is trying to do. In other words, when you look at a milkshake brand, don’t think about just other milkshake brands, but the reason why the core customer is choosing a milkshake—which as McDonald’s found, wasn’t as a nice dessert, but as a banana alternative for breakfast on long morning commutes.


  • Dyson Designed a Pretty Cool Electric Car You Can’t Buy – From the company that brought you the vacuum that never loses suction comes an electric car prototype that you can never buy. This is why engineers shouldn’t be marketers—turns out that you might want to look into whether there is a customer or a marketplace at your price point before spending half a billion dollars designing a product. Either way, hoping that some of this tech makes it into the new generation of electric cars.

Written by Nick Rhodin

Managing Partner,
Executive Director of Strategic Planning

Nick is devoted to discovering and leveraging core customer insights to drive brand strategy development.

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