In May, Sky Media launched SME100 – a scheme that offered 100 small and medium-sized enterprises across the UK with a collective £1m of free advertising via AdSmart. It was open to brands that were either new to TV or were returning after an absence of at least 12 months.
The level of interest last month led Sky to more than double the size of the scheme, increasing it to £2.5m of ad time across 250 brands.
The winning entries have now started to appear on TV and Campaign has compiled the best and boldest ads for your viewing pleasure.
With a focus on hectic city life, "luxury slow fashion" brand Avie uses Shuttterstock assest to urge fashion enthusiasts to "say no to fast fashion" and "be the change" needed to transform the landscape of consumerism. It was created by Liam Nathan Studios.
Plant-based food brand BOL was founded by Paul Brown, a former employee of Innocent, which previously offered its own similar veggie meal pots.
This spot, created by Obsession Pictures, juxtaposes clips of packed commutes and noises of a pre-Covid-19 cityscape with "how mother nature does it". Clips of rainbows and endless forests make it pretty hard to argue with BOL's dedication to "mother nature’s way".
Adopting the gung-ho attitude of Old Spice and Dollar Shave Club’s "Our blades are f***ing great", the ad follows a shutter-loving Californian (yes, a real Californian, roaming the streets of England) as he talks through just how easy the brand’s shutters are to install.
According to the unnamed man, even a "DIY novice" like drill-wielding Jane can do it – and that apparently means the process is pretty easy. It was created by Bristol’s Happy Hour Productions.
This alcohol-free spirit brand is one of several to have launched since the success of Seedlip, which is now owned by Diageo. The ad explores "what is wild" in an animated journey across Scotland’s mountains and coastlines.
"We owe a lot to the wild forces of nature for driving our values and creating our bold depth of flavour," a voiceover declares, encouraging drinkers to "live your own wild".
The brand behind the 2019 Product of the Year awards’ top protein bar, Grenade’s spot talks through the impact of Covid-19 on gym rats.
"We get it, it was gonna be your year," a voiceover declares as a man attempts push-ups at home with his daughter on his back.
Created by Equinox TV and demonstrating some outside-the-box methods of keeping active away from a gym, the ad encourages the public to "swap your ordinary for the extraordinary".
"Love is in the air", according to Muddy Matches – a dating app for "outdoors-loving singles who share a passion for country life and mud on their boots".
Featuring farmers, dog-walkers and "weekend walkers" found via Shutterstock, the spot depicts a handful of hetrosexual, white couples as they meander through the countryside. The work was created by JMS.
"Ugh, another van advert," a voiceover declares, before ripping apart the Maxus E-Deliver 3.
The van-savvy narrator goes through a brief spec for the model before deeming it "just a normal van".
However, the van’s fully electric machinery really blows this fella’s mind, promoting the vehicle from boring to the automotive equivalent of a flying pig. It was created by Brighton’s Picture Book Films.
Fintech brand RoosterMoney enlisted actual children to talk through its financial service for youngsters in this spot by Bristol-based Fable Studios, using assets from Shutterstock.
One particularly astute child reveals food can be used to "spend some, give some" or "save some", while another nods along for a few seconds, contributing nothing to the conversation whatsoever. Parents tempted by the brand's offer should note that it costs £24.99 a year unless cancelled during the free trial.
Wild Card Brewery
Following in the footsteps of Marmite’s "Mind control", East London's Wild Card Brewery gets absurd with a spot showcasing its admittedly very cool cans.
The cans speak for themselves, really, prompting the ad’s only copy: "Beer delivered to your door."
It was created by Nordic Neon – a very fitting name for a production company that made this colourful ad.