I used to think of myself as ‘in check’ with my emotions but for the past couple of years, the internet has thrown that balance WAY off. If I don’t blub when checking Fbook first thing in the morning then it will probably happen at one point during the day when a colleague shares something heartfelt on our #inspiring_ideas Slack channel. 

Warc and the Cannes Lions winners from the past year or two, clearly show that there has been a shift to brands using strong emotional advertising which tells a story. There is always room for poking fun and pure unadulterated comedy to make us focus our gold internet time to, but if a brand can tug our heart strings, you know they are probably on to a winner.

I decided to have a bit of a review of some of the things, be it memes, gifs, viral vids right through to ad campaigns which have turned our heads, made us laugh, made us cry and more importantly, made us share. Here’s a round up of who won some of Material’s internet in 2015:

To kick off: I just wondered if America knew we were openly chuckling at them, because of Trump? We just can’t. quite. believe. it. Every time he bashes another religion or social group because he thinks it’s funny and we are all being ‘too PC’ (surely the POTUS is the one person who should be POLITICALLY correct), we all stare open mouthed in confused bewilderment at the devastation of what he is doing to America and its image. Then our mouths gape even wider when we realise, with utter horror, that he is being voted for and could be the next President. For reals? Kudos to the person who created this gif in response to Trump doing an impression of journalist Serge Kovaleski:

Donald Trump being electrocuted.

*(if only)

I cannot wait for this day:

Hipster Mullet

Women, and their empowerment, has been a focus from all corners in 2015. At Material we love women. Men, they are ok. But we really love women. Have a look at Amy Schumer’s monologue on SNL on October. We love her. Then Jennifer Lawrence wrote about the Hollywood wage gap for the Lenny Newsletter (an excellent new source of inspiring content from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner). We love Jennifer, Lena and Jenni.

And #BeyonceAlwaysOnBeat only further cements the unbridled affection we have for this queen. We really love her.

We applaud Pirelli for wising up and creating a kick ass 2016 calendar with the help of one of our all-time idols Annie Leibovitz. We love her. And Pirelli aren’t the only ones who turned their usual brand strategy on its head. I never thought I’d say this but I think Barbie nailed their major campaign this year.

Yes Barbie, I will #ImagineThePossibilities. And I vow to encourage all young girls to live an unrestricted life.

Always kicked it out the park, with their #LikeAGirl campaign on the same theme. I am sure every woman who saw it could relate, and hopefully it has changed what has unfortunately become an ingrained behaviour and the language associated.

We have already touched on Hipsters and Barbies. My thoughts are muddled about both of these anomalies. Can’t help but be enraged by Barbie yet they go and pull off the above ad campaign and impress me, and Hipsters are ridiculous but I can’t help but be attracted to them. Darn my brain.

So to appease my confused brain I am just gonna enjoy mocking both. And here is where Socality Barbie fits perfectly. The first Instagram fuelled Hipster Barbie. What an excellent bit of mockery. #liveauthentic #coffee

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 16.38.19

And for all those poor suffering Instagram Husbands, of which there are definitely a few here in the Material office, The Mystery Hour gave those brave mens plight, a voice. Pray for them.

The Syrian refugee crisis has engaged hundreds of charities, the public and brands. We will never be able to forget the sad, sad footage we have seen this year of families fleeing for safety. Strangely and sadly it took the images of little Alan Kurdi to kick start a whole lot of caring.

One of those brands elevating some truths, which need heard, is HONY. The The Humans of New York Facebook has been focussing on the families affected and their struggles.

Then there is the wonderful initiative by Social Bite. Last year they raised enough money at Christmas to feed all of their homeless staff for the whole of 2015. This year they are extending those caring arms to the refugee’s spread throughout Europe.

“We know how many of you have seen the news footage of refugees across Europe and wanted to find a way to help. As well as helping those in need in Scotland, we’re also giving you the chance to help refugees in Europe. A donation of £5 will allow Social Bite to feed men, women and children who have been forced to leave their homes because of war. Not only that, the lovely people at Trespass will donate a hat and gloves to go with every food pack donated, as well as essentials like rain coats and tents.

Social Bite will be loading up vans on Boxing Day and travelling to Calais, Lesbos and the Crotia-Serbia border to meet with charity partners working on the ground to distribute the packs and help those in need. By donating today, you can help families bring in the New Year with hope that things will get better and the knowledge that the people of Scotland care about them.”

At the time of writing there were 43510 deals bought which equals £217,550 raised. Nice one. You can donate here.

Particularly around this time of year we should be sure to remember those grannies and grandpas who are oft forgot. The story of 94 year old Bill Palmer phoning in to Radio Solent pulled heavy on the hearstrings. And John Lewis reminded us to show someone they’re loved this Christmas by focussing on the elderly #ManOnTheMoon in their christmas ad.

Maybe you didn’t see it at the time but isn’t this story from The Netherlands amazing? I heard it in April. Students live alongside pensioners for free as long as they donate some time to being a “good neighbour”. Ingenious.

Obviously we have to mention Star Wars as there has been so much chatter and brand pairings due to the build up to the release of The Force Awakens in cinemas this week. But one of my favourite brands using Star Wars to tell a beautiful little story is Campbell’s Soup.

2015 was the year of The Dress. Queue the collective exasperated groan of boredom… ok, ok. But when the Salvation Army of South Africa turned things on their head and put that ‘black and blue or gold and white’ viral phenomenon to good use for International Women’s Day. Well done for drawing attention so effectively to the under funded and under acknowledged issue of domestic violence.


I didn’t want this blog to get really heavy, one more then I’ll stop, I promise…

I wonder if anyone didn’t get goosebumps when watching Obama sing Amazing Grace during the funeral of Clementa Pinckney who died during the Charleston massacre in June. The issue of gun control in America has been a big talking point in 2015.

For outsiders, it is difficult to comprehend this back and forth, especially after countries like the UK, Australia and Canada tightened gun laws after mass murder nightmares. It seems obvious to us, so it is difficult to watch what must be a terribly frustrated Obama after the Umpqua Community College shooting in October.

In March Grey New York opened a gun shop in the centre of New York to open some people’s eyes. I’m glad it changed some opinions.

We have had cats and cucumbers (not endorsed cause apparently it causes anxiety in the wee petals), some amazing baw jokes from Bonds Australia… check out parts 1 (below) and part 2 and part 3... All amazing.

But our favourite viral moment of 2015 has to be FRED at T in the Park. Dancing as if no-one is watching, when everyone was watching. We have learnt a few things from this awesome guy. What. A. Legend.

Roll on 2016! WOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo!

Danni x

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