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Renee Sutherland
December 23, 2016
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Whichever way you look at it, 2016 has been full of surprises, giving us plenty to think and talk about.


As we gear up to wind down, Hub has been casting back through the best of the year’s branded content, to offer up a worthy diversion from all your to-do lists.  These films strive to move us, comfort us, make us laugh and build on insights to understand just how to do all three. Enjoy!


Video profiles like this one, of celebrities - or ‘ceWEBrities’ - have been popping up a lot in brand content strategies recently.  This short film about The Oatmeal’s Matthew Inman is a great example of content that feels totally authentic and relatable and is part of a series from Saucony of “seeker stories” taking an irreverent look at our varied relationships with exercise. Inman himself is dry and charming and his own animations play a key role in the ad, giving it an even more personal and confessional feel. 


SodaStream – Heavy Bubbles (Uncut)


A bold April Fools’ prank from Soda Stream; who grabbed attention with this spoof ad starring Thor ‘The Mountain’, Bjornsson (of Game of Thrones fame). The original ad, which never once name-checks SodaStream, introduces a ‘new brand’ of sparkling bottled water, designed as dumbbells, allowing you to pump muscle on the way home from the supermarket. The fake product seemed so plausible, and was so successful online, that SodaStream decided to follow up quickly with this uncut version, revealing that their brand was behind the gag, as well as an eco-friendly sales pitch.

The Green Party Election Broadcast

Political parties are starting to realise the potential of using brand tactics to get their message heard - often in very disruptive ways (exhibit A: Donald Trump). This Green Party ad may have produced the most-viewed, most-shared piece of political branding of all time. Reducing British politics to a series of playground sats, featuring pint-sized players instead of fully-grown politicans, aimed to set them apart from their peers ‘childish’ antics.  Using comedy to frame and amplify the core message that ‘we do politics – and election broadcasts – differently’, The Green Party built on their successful 2015 boy band spoof campaign, proving there’s nothing quite like humour to get straight to the truth. Donald Trump take note.  

Hyundai – First Date


2016 has been the year of Kevin Hart; he has made it his business to be everywhere you look and his mammoth social community makes him a particularly attractive partner for brands. Hyundai took full advantage, as part of its wider Superbowl 50 campaign, with this funny ad - which sees Hart cast as a concerned father using latest technology to spy on his daughter’s first date. A truly light-hearted way to update anyone who hadn’t yet cottoned on to Hyundai’s tech-savvy, and a refreshing take on the well-trodden car ad cliché.
And finally, as 2016 comes to a close and brands present their Christmas offerings, Hub’s favourite festive surprise is

H&M – Come Together

A ride on Wes Anderson’s Winter Express for H&M invites us to ‘come together’, whatever the weather, and whatever the adversity. A kookily charming ad with Anderson’s stylised cinematic appeal, H&M puts the spotlight on the warmth of its core message rather than any product – in keeping with the latest tradition of Christmas ads - but in a world “five degrees removed from reality”, as Anderson puts it. What better proposition for a four-minute diversion, or indeed, a four-minute shopping spree?
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Renee Sutherland.pngHub’s Chief Creative Officer, Renee Vaughan Sutherland has been responsible for some of Hub’s largest social video campaigns.  She leads on Hub’s creative direction and client briefs. 

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