Best Brand Moments of 2015

Looking for a little inspiration for your next marketing or ad campaign? Check out’s roundup of the best “brand moments” of 2015:

1. #LoveWins
Since more than 50% of the U.S. population supports same-sex marriage, you could argue that brands that wanted to declare their admiration for the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling on the matter risk little. Even so, the outpouring of support from brands including American Airlines, Macy’s and Maytag, in the U.S. at least, was both surprising and creatively executed. It was also an important cultural moment, demonstrating that much of corporate America was aligned with the Blue States.

2. GIFs On Facebook
GIFs have been around for almost three decades, but millennials love them. While GIFs proliferate in email messages and on Tumblr, though, they had been absent from the Facebook news feed. That changed in May, when the social network finally acquiesced and, in August, allowed brands to get their GIFs on. Among the first to try were Wendy’s and Kuat, a Brazilian Coca-Cola brand.


3. Budweiser’s Super Sequel
Budweiser won the 2014 Super Bowl with “Puppy Love,” a Lassie Come Home-type tale featuring an adorable yellow Lab that kept returning to its original owner (and his Clydesdales). What did Bud do for an encore? It continued the tale, showing the same guy and what looks like the same pup, who gets loose, confronts a wolf, and is saved by those Clydesdales. What will the brand do in 2016? Despite the ad sequel’s success, don’t expect another pup. A Bud exec told Adweek that the spots don’t move enough cases, so we’ll likely see a more overt paean to the brew itself.


4. The New York Times Goes Virtual
The Old Gray Lady has been justly accused at times of being behind the curve on advances in digital media, but on November 7 the brand gave its subscribers a vision of the future. The newspaper shipped 1 million Google Cardboard devices that let readers experience “The Displaced,” a virtual-reality (VR) film about war refugees. The effort also included a VR ad for GE.

5. Facebook VR Ads
Speaking of VR, Facebook made it clear that it is not prepared to cede any ground to Google. As Facebook plans to put its Oculus Rift headset on sale in early 2016, the company has laid the groundwork with 360 video, which lets user click and drag to zoom in on an image within the panoramic video. Within a few weeks, Facebook began offering 360 video ads from Ritz crackers and AT&T.

6. Barbie’s Girl Power Message
Mattel, readying an interactive, Wi-Fi-connected version of Barbie, shrewdly countered years of criticism about its famous doll with a two-minute ad that went viral in October. The ad features young girls in adult roles, such as veterinarian and businesswoman. Key to the humor, though, is that the girls don’t exactly talk like adults, but rather express themselves like young girls do. “Can your cat fly? Because mine can,” one young vet tells a startled pet owner. At this writing, the ad has close to 16 million views, making it one of the viral hits of the year.


Check out the full list of 12 brand moments here.

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