Annual 2021 represented a milestone in the realm of creativity this year. Following nearly two years of Zoom calls, restrictions and social distancing, The Annual was a chance to celebrate and to showcase the best creativity has to offer, an occasion to champion the industry and its huge accomplishments in these unforgettable 18 months.
This year more than ever, The Annual 2021 winners are a testament to the power of the industry and the urge to drive positive change across the world. With stunning work from Chelsea Pictures/AMV BBDO, Edelman, PepsiCo, Mother and others, it was natural to expect a stellar lineup of Gold winners this year – and yet, we couldn't be more surprised by the unparalleled quality of the work presented in 2021. It flatters us to realise that the best of creativity is right here, on Creativepool.
Check out the Annual 2021 Gold Winners below, including our first ever Grand Prix to #Wombstories!
Grand Prix Winner: Chelsea Pictures - #Wombstories | Animation
Libresse 2020's campaign #wombstories, directed by Nisha Ganatra and produced by Chelsea Pictures, gives a voice to the unseen, unspoken, and unknown truths about women's periods, vulvas and wombs. Stunning animation alternates with striking live action scenes, resulting in a sensory experience to raise awareness of the strength of women all around the world. #Wombstories is the first ever perfect score in the history of Creativepool, and for good reason. The masterful blend between live action and animation weaves together multiple compelling narratives about the strength of women worldwide – a relatable, powerful, unique message that has few equals in the history of advertising.
"Impeccable in so many ways: execution, sound, animation, and most of all, the idea itself."
/ Rodolfo Sampaio
Roof Studio - The Eventful Life of Rosemarie | 3D
“The Eventful Life of Rosemarie” is a touching 3D-animated short about a WWII survivor. The film was conceived by Swiss agency CRK as part of a campaign to strengthen careers in long-term care and recruit more young health professionals. In hearing the stories of Rosemarie’s painful childhood experiences of being separated from loved ones during the war, to the joy of reuniting with them, her life story becomes a source of inspiration for her caretaker Livio, serving as a reminder that a career in long-term health care is an opportunity to help others and become part of their story.
"Stunning and impactful. The story has been brought to life with great tenderness and sensitivity. The beautiful materials somehow add an emotional texture to the film, as well as a physical texture."
/ Ric Comline
Blue Zoo Animation Studio - Sinking Feeling | Animation
Sinking Feeling is the 2021 #BZShorts film directed by Mark Spokes. As the last year has been challenging for so many, Blue Zoo endeavoured to use their resources and platform to help others and decided to make a short for charity PAPYRUS UK to amplify their message, as their mission to reduce youth suicide is more relevant now than ever before. After a studio-wide call for pitches, Mark’s idea for Sinking Feeling was voted the strongest by the studio. Over 60 artists volunteered to help on the film and Blue Zoo worked in collaboration with PAPYRUS to treat this subject with the sensitivity it deserves.
"Utterly flawless in craft. Blue Zoo is an incredible animation studio who always produces world class work. This is no different."
/ Sophie Chapman-Andrews
Biscuit Filmworks - Starr Park Reveal Campaign | Branded Content
This video campaign walks potential investors through Starr Park: a mysterious and somewhat sinister amusement park that promises to “bring people together and soothe their childhood wounds.” From rides to games to TV shows to frozen dinners to cartoons, Starr Park had it all. It also had hidden codes, ominous warnings, trapped employees blinking for help in morse code, horrifically unsafe conditions and more than a few dead people. Although not obvious to the casual viewer, this film features literally hundreds of character references, hidden codes, red herrings and subtle hints at the game’s sinister origin… all still being discussed by the Brawl community to this day.
"Excellent execution for the brand (game). Weird art direction that made me question what's behind this. It works brilliantly well."
/ Juliana Ardila
PepsiCo Design & Innovation - Pepsi x China's People's Daily New Media | Graphic
As an homage to the global collective of medical staff, workers, volunteers and delivery persons who have been fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic every single day, PepsiCo launched the “Everyday Heroes” campaign, a meaningful tribute expressed through commemorative can designs. Created for the China market, The limited edition gift box depicts four of these heroes in action with heartrending illustrations across a unique series of cans. The cans feature newspaper-style typesetting alongside the dominant tones of the classic Pepsi red and blue color palette, each one featuring quotes in Chinese from real People’s Daily reporting, as well as comments from actual readers.
"Strong graphic style, love the execution, use of colour and thought behind honouring those who worked hard during the pandemic. Great piece of work."
/ Cheryl Gokdemir
Martin Reznik - Furniture Illustrations | Illustration
This series of illustrations was commissioned by Marc Krusin, a London-based furniture designer, for the promotional use on his website and across social media channels. At first Marc asked Martin to create a single image of an interior setting featuring two of his signature designs; Martin was given full creative freedom regarding style and the layout of the illustration. Each illustration was drawn in pen and ink on paper and then redrawn digitally. The client’s initial idea was to create a mini series where each image would be drawn by a different illustrator, but after Martin completed the first illustration, happy with the result and the positive response on social media, the client decided that he should do the remaining three illustrations himself to keep the same style.
"Awesome detail and balance of strokes."
/ Christel Chong
Mother - KFC 'The World's Least Appropriate Slogan' | Integrated
When Covid-19 hit, It’s Finger Lickin’ Good immediately went from being one of the world’s most famous slogans, to being the world’s least appropriate. So, what do you do when your most iconic asset - the one you’ve spent 70 years, and billions of dollars making famous - suddenly becomes a public health risk? You censor it. And launch a public information campaign to tell people, that thing we’ve been saying over and over again for the last three quarters of a century? You should probably ignore it. For now.
"Bold. Original. Simple. Effective. And some light relief amongst a sea of emotional advertising during the pandemic."
/ Jenny Sowerby
Edelman - A New Jingle for a New Era | Music & Sound, Social Good
It's a double win for Edelman with A New Jingle for a New Era, a stunning campaign which was able to impress our judges in two categories. The events of summer 2020 sparked a nationwide reckoning on racial injustice, exposing deep-seeded racism throughout American culture—sometimes in the most unexpected places. Even the ice cream truck jingle was revealed to have roots in 19th century racist minstrel shows. One hundred years after inventing the ice cream truck, Good Humor decided to acknowledge the jingle’s hurtful legacy and stop it from reaching another generation of children. Edelman turned to a music mastermind with undeniable credibility: Wu-Tang Clan, founder and composer at RZA. Together, they collaborated on Edelman's vision for a new kind of ice cream truck jingle and let RZA work his magic. His creation mashed up the signature tones of ice cream truck music with a little Wu-Tang flavor.
"A wonderful project that focused on overcoming a problem with creativity and love. The fact that a new generation will grow up hearing this shows that you can shift culture and create long-lasting change for good. Well done to all those involved!"
/ Emma Collacott
Todd Antony - Flying Stars | Photography
The civil war in Sierra Leone led to thousands of innocent civilians having legs, arms or hands forcibly amputated by rebel soldiers or landmines. The Flying Star Amputees are a group of football teams across Sierra Leone born out of the adversity of this war. Todd wanted the portraits to get across some small sense of the trauma the players have experienced in their lives, by using a number of in-camera techniques. He used lens diopters and slow shutter speeds to create ghosting and jarring effects within the image, alluding to the trauma and ghosts of their past experiences. In some images, the refracting nature of the diopters placed in front of the lens creates a blurry, mirror ghost image of their remaining leg where their missing leg would be.
"What a great series of most resilient people. This is what photography must do in these times: showing what's happening all over the world. And yes, sometimes it is cruel. But even this becomes a beautiful story, due to the way we approach it and what we do for people. Stunning piece of work."
/ Werner Van Reck
Eyeforce - No Man's Land | Production
No Man's Land is a kaleidoscopic portrait of a team of bullet biters. Instead of seeing their old lives swept away, they see new frameworks emerge in the corona crisis. If fate takes everything out of our hands and even wipes our streets clear, what happens then? Are we discovering something new? This project is a visual rendition of the fragile and penetrating ‘monologues intérieur’ that we carry with us when the hamster wheel stops turning.
"Beautifully shot, wonderfully choreographed, immensely powerful."
/ Steve Rogers
Absolute Post - Reverse Selfie | Post-Production
Dove's Reverse Selfie campaign reveals the shocking damages social media and digitally distorted selfies are inflicting on young people's self esteem and offers tools to alleviate these social pressures. Carefully crafted visual effects were imperative to conveying this shocking message and Absolute were tasked with creating both graphic and subtle VFX elements in order to do this important message justice. The resulting campaign is shocking, yet relatable – and helps to educate young people of the major layers of filters/alterations that go into the the perfect selfie of the influencers they look up to on social media.
"The post production is seamlessly integrated and tells an incredibly impactful story. The use of VFX aids in the storytelling of the vulnerability of these young girls."
/ Katy Hill
Ketchum - Pain Museum | PR
Over 50% of the UK has periods – but ‘women’s problems’ are still dismissed, silenced and ignored. Ketchum was tasked by Libresse to shatter this culture of silence and empower people to speak up and be heard. To share how they feel, to force a conversation about endometriosis and pain, the Pain Museum was developed by Ketchum’s in-house production team to explore the gender pain gap one story at a time. The visual narrative journey forces the viewer to confront the reality of the gender pain gap and hear first-hand experiences of pain and suffering. Designed to reach a broad audience, the Pain Museum is hosted on the Libresse website and explorable in English, Russian, Hungarian, French, Spanish, with a Mandarin version currently in development.
"Fantastic, creative and immersive execution that more than answered the brief. Masterful work - well done team!"
/ Dominique Rock
FCB Inferno - Raising Profiles | Social Good & Social
It's a double Gold win for FCB Inferno in both Social Good and Social with this strikingly genius campaign for The Big Issue. When Coronavirus lockdowns hit, Big Issue vendors were unable to sell on the high streets and saw their livelihoods erased. FCB Inferno decided to recreate their sales model digitally on LinkedIn. They used location data to find the businesspeople who worked in the area where the vendors used to sell, thus reconnecting them with old customers who used to walk by them every day. This drastically shifted the perceptions of the vendors, proving that they were legitimate businesspeople who had every right to be on LinkedIn. In the end, the vendors amassed +2500 connections between them. Their subscription sales increased by 325%, they sold 400% more magazines, and several of their posts were viewed +300,000 times – thus proving that digital inclusion truly does equal real-world inclusion.
"Smart solution to one of the biggest problems London faced during lockdown. A simple but clever use of a platform that is often not used to its full potential."
/ Jordan Dale
Wunderman Thompson Colombia - WaterLight | Social Good
WaterLight is a device that provides 45 days of light using only salt-water. It has been created as a long-lasting, 100% recyclable product. Designed to function for 5,600 hours – which equates to over 230 days or 2 to 3 years of use – this device is capable of charging small appliances such as a cell phone or a radio via a USB port. Perfectly suited to seawater, the device also responds to fresh water mixed with salt and even – in emergency situations – urine. Waterlight is the clean energy revolution that will help everyone in the world without access to electricity.