2019 MedAdNews Awards Agency of the Year Finalist

The Unforgettable Bag

Vancouver Grocery Store uses shaming messages to discourage use of plastic bags. The campaign may be effective at banning the use of plastic bags; however, it may actually lead to people being less likely to reuse them, which is actually bad for the environment. Having a 2-year-old child has made me think a lot more about the future. That, and why the lyrics of “Baby Shark” are so catchy. Several analyses have looked at which type of bags have the lowest environmental impact. Sadly, plastic bags are not only the cheapest, but also the least environmentally impactful. The best thing you can do is reuse them. Tesco in the UK has actually set up an incentive program for recycling plastic bags called The Unforgettable Bag.

Super Cuts – Bald Spokesman

Super Cuts – Bald Spokesman – Michael Kelly, the hatchet man from House of Cards, becomes the spokesperson for Super Cuts. As a fellow balding/bald man (it’s a process), I think it’s genius to use a bald guy to tell people to appreciate their hair. Only problem with this ad is that Super Cuts gets a little buried in the smartness of its premise.

NY Times – The Truth is Worth It

NY Times – The Truth is Worth It – My dad is a local newspaper writer. So were my grandmother and grandfather Rhodin. I watched them bust their butts for their whole career covering things like drug raids, local weather stories, and high school football. Despite this, I personally don’t subscribe to a newspaper. After watching this ad, I felt bad enough to consider subscribing to the Times. Why? Because this brilliant ad shows all of the hard work that it takes to write one article that you read for 5 minutes while drinking your coffee in the morning. All I’m saying is: support good journalism, it’s hard work.  

Voltaren Gel – Silence the Pain

Voltaren Gel – Silence the Pain – Love the creative execution here, unique and truly surprising. Rather than talking about pain relief like every other pain ad does, they show the drama of pain using the power of opera singing.

Adidas ComplexCon – Unlock the Drop

Adidas ComplexCon – Unlock the Drop – For those of you who are not sneakerheads, there is a whole culture of people who will wait 3 hours in line for the newest, hottest, coolest sneakers and then plunk down some serious dinero for them. Adidas decided to hack this culture using an AR-assisted app to speed up access to the hottest shoes from 3 hours to 90 seconds. If speed and amazing customer experience are your brand, this is your case study.


Reply All – #144 Dark Pattern – Fascinating dissection of how Turbo Tax uses dark patterns and intentional confusion to get people to pay for something that should be free. This is an excellent example of a Follower Counterfeiter competitive strategy in which you seek to confuse your customer into unintentional purchase.


LSD (Self Titled) – Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo on one album—supergroup earwormy goodness.

The Culture Code
 by Daniel Coyle – Incredibly interesting and insightful book about building effective team culture. I particularly liked the sections about the difference between designing a culture for efficiency vs creativity.

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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