Barneys Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters campaign image
Luxury brands took risks with their advertising efforts this year, casting themselves as the villains or putting non-models front and center in a fashion campaign.Those that chose unconventional themes were rewarded, as the campaigns were more likely to stay in consumers’ minds as they flipped through a magazine or their social media feed. While branching out, keeping a brand’s heritage central is key for consistency of image. Here are the top 10 advertising efforts of 2014, in alphabetical order:
From Audi's "Dues" commercial

Audi of America unleashed a wave of advertising efforts for its entry-level, sub-$30,000 A3 model that hit the United States April 3. The multichannel “Paid My Dues” campaign revolved around a television spot featuring comedian Ricky Gervais and various other celebrities. Four other spots trailed the lead commercial and conveyed ideas such as resilience and authenticity and built upon the buzz that began with the Super Bowl. The central commercial in the campaign is called “Dues” and displays celebrities going about their work routines while saying the lyrics to Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” The toil and grit that the song evokes likely resonated with the target audience, who may have felt that they had earned a new car.

Barneys' Brothers, Sisters, Daughters and Sons campaign

Department store chain Barneys New York aligned itself with the fight for transgender equality with an ad campaign and outreach. Barneys’ “Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters” campaign featured 17 transgender individuals with diverse backgrounds and stories that were told through a series of short films. With this campaign, Barneys showed a more personal, human side to its brand that allowed it to connect on a deeper level with consumers. Photographer Bruce Weber shot the campaign that showed the 17 subjects, most surrounded by their loved ones. Mr. Weber also filmed interviews with the campaign stars and created a series of short films. Transgendered individuals featured include the first transgender student to graduate from her Oklahoma high school and an aspiring fashion journalist who was the subject of a nine-year documentary.

Good times

Switzerland’s Baume & Mercier promoted an identity as a watchmaker that celebrates life moments with a new advertising campaign. The watchmaker’s first effort since 2011 aimed to keep Baume & Mercier relevant in the eyes of today’s affluent consumers without tarnishing its DNA by staying true to its mantra of “Life is about moments.” Instead of reinventing itself, Baume & Mercier relied on timeless imagery that was understood across generations. Photographed by famed German photographer Peter Lindbergh, the Baume & Mercier campaign featured its most iconic watches, the Clifton, Linea and Capeland. Each photograph was meant to show the ideal occasion for gifting, or self-gifting, a Baume & Mercier wrist watch. For example, the photographs depicted a wedding, a birthday, a birth and self-achievement.

Chanel "The One That I Want" campaign image

French fashion house Chanel premiered a new film campaign with model Gisele Bündchen under the direction of Baz Luhrmann for its storied Chanel N°5 fragrance. “The One That I Want” is a film that embodies the modern woman, the woman who makes her own decisions and struggles to balance her priorities in daily life. By regenerating the Chanel N°5 campaign, Chanel was able to reimagine the fragrance for the next generation of the modern woman. The film shows Ms. Bündchen as the song “You’re the Only One That I Want” plays in the background. Chanel’s campaign has run as a social video, television spot and in print advertising, breaking late in the year.

Dolce & Gabbana fall/winter 2014 campaign image

Italian fashion label Dolce & Gabbana created an enchanted forest scene for its winter 2015 advertising campaign, taking its family theme into royal territory. In addition to print ads, Dolce & Gabbana shared the filming of the campaign with a video to more thoroughly depict the concept. This video takes the consumer further into the world Dolce & Gabbana created, making for a more immersive brand experience than a print ad. The video cuts between different sections of the forest, first showing a blond female model wearing a hood that looks like armor, then switching between groups of men, some dressed as soldiers, and some sporting crowns lounging on thrones. The royals drink and eat, stop to smell the literal roses or bicker about oranges.

Hermes metamorphosis spring/summer 2014 campaign

French leather goods maker Hermès brought its spring print campaign to life through a social video that explored the brand’s range of products. Hermès’ Metamorphosis print effort featured models in its ready-to-wear and accessory pieces set within a thick jungle of palm fronds and large leaves, while the digital campaign focused on an expansion of items such as jewelry and home wares. The Metamorphosis print campaign was seen in leading publications such as WSJ. magazine, Robb Report, Vanity Fair and Tatler. Depending on the publication, the ad showed either women’s or men’s apparel or accessories. For instance, one image showed a woman crouched on a moss-covered stone wrapped in an Hermès scarf that was fluttering above her as if it were a butterfly’s wings.

Sir Ben Kingsley for Good to be Bad campaign

British automaker Jaguar gradually built its British Villains campaign leading up to the Super Bowl premiere, but the campaign had the legs to run with variation for much longer than the one-time mega-event. The brand enlisted British actors Sir Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston to front the “It’s Good to be Bad” campaign, all of whom had played villainous characters in at least one blockbuster movie. In the television spot, the actors mused on what makes British actors so attractive for villainous role. Following the campaign’s debut during the Super Bowl, Jaguar targeted New York subway commuters with train takeover promotions for its Good to be Bad campaign.

Kenzo fall/winter 2014 campaign image

LVMH-owned Parisian label Kenzo teamed up with art publication Toilet Paper magazine on a surreal advertising campaign for its fall/winter 2014 collection. The resulting campaign showed models popping up out of holes in the floor or breaking into houses using the dog door. Breaking away from traditional fashion advertising images can help a brand stand out in the middle of a magazine’s pages. Kenzo’s ad campaign took place in a slightly off-kilter world, where “the strange and beautiful coexist in singular harmony.” The campaign was released throughout the week of July 7-11 on Kenzo’s blog Kenzine, as well as on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Lanvin winter 2014 ad campaign image

French fashion house Lanvin highlighted its own familial bond with the winter 2014 advertising campaign, which stars model Edie Campbell and her relatives. In different campaign images, Ms. Campbell sits on her horse, and her family poses in evening attire. To introduce the campaign, Lanvin filmed a three-minute video of the family members interacting with each other through a stand-alone door. This floating house door acted as a playful metaphor for the maison, which was founded by a woman dedicated to making clothes for her daughter. Selecting a real-life family, from young adults to grandparents, allowed the brand to show its appeal and age appropriateness across generations of consumers.

Series 1 for Louis Vuitton

France’s Louis Vuitton reinterpreted the house’s codes and visual imagery under the direction of Nicolas Ghesquirère for his first advertisement campaign as creative director. Clothing in the print effort, fittingly titled “Series 1,” showed off Mr. Ghesquière’s fall/winter 2014-2015 collection. After the departure of former creative director Marc Jacobs, the first to develop ready-to-wear for the leather goods maker, many wondered what approach Mr. Ghesquière would take for both his designs and ad campaigns. Mr. Ghesquière recruited three iconic photographers to interpret his designs. Making appearances in fashion publications worldwide starting in August, the campaign featured the work of Annie Leibovitz, Juergen Teller and Bruce Weber, all of whom chose a different model muse and setting.

Luxury Daily

Buzzing on Adweek:

The magic of Tide Here’s how one laundry detergent brand became a household name, passed on from generation to generation, and the go-to brand for washing clothes. (Adweek)

Pregnant women shake their bellies for Kmart Following the release of the Jingle Bellies spot, Kmart and Joe Boxer released another festive holiday ad, but this time they used a group of dancing pregnant women. (Adweek)

Inside Old Navy’s marketing strategy The company’s CMO, Ivan Wicksteed, shared how Old Navy creates “snackable content” and the strategy behind the brand’s TV spots featuring Amy Poehler. (Adweek)

Black Friday sales drop This season, retailers unleashed big sales throughout November, which caused Black Friday sales to drop roughly 11 percent from last year. (Adweek)

Airbnb creates another magical ad The new spot for the apartment rental company features a miniature, handmade world with a number of different apartment styles, filmed entirely in one shot. (Adweek)

Around the Web:

Car brands pass on Super Bowl ads So far Volkswagen, Jaguar and Lincoln have all announced they will not run pricey Super Bowl ads this year. (Forbes)

The future of Hulu Hulu’s svp of ad sales Peter Naylor discussed how the ad-supported video streaming service plans to make a greater push for its own original video content. (Ad Exchanger)

Serial podcast case goes to court A 15-year-old murder case highlighted in the wildly popular podcast Serial, with over 1.5 million listeners each week, has people buzzing as the case enters into its final stages of appeal in January. (Huffington Post)

Malaysia Airlines apologizes for tweet The airline, which has had more than a few problems in the past year, including the disappearance of Flight 370, tweeted about wanting to fly somewhere but not knowing where. (The New York Times)

Arby’s forgot about Pepsi The fast food chain released an apology ad to Pepsi for not following through on a deal that says Arby’s will feature Pepsi in two of its TV ads every year. (The Wall Street Journal)

Cards Against Humanity hates Black Friday The popular card game pulled all of its online inventory on Black Friday in protest of the shopping day and replaced it with boxes of “Bullshit,” filled with actual bull feces for the low price of $6. (Jezebel)

Police will tweet the names of drunk drivers In the U.K., police in Surrey and Sussex announced they will tweet the names of those caught driving drunk to combat reckless driving during the holiday season. (The Drum)

Tumblr and Pinterest are growing faster than Facebook The two social media sites might not be the most widely used platforms when compared with Facebook, but Tumblr and Pinterest are growing their active users and members at a faster rate. (Marketing Land)

U.K. ad spending grows Group M projects that ad spending in the U.K. will grow by 6.3 percent in 2014, up to $23.3 billion from $21.9 billion last year. (Brand Republic)

Industry Shake-Ups:

Rentrak closes deal with WPP Rentrak closed a deal to buy Kantar, a TV measurement company, from holding agency WPP in a $128 million deal. (Media Post)

AOL buys Vidible The company continues to bulk up its programmatic offerings with its most recent $50 million acquisition of Vidible, a video advertising startup. (Re/code)