Top 10 poster ads

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1. Lynx, ‘Anarchy’

The narrative tells the time-old tale of boy meets girl, but each image is loaded with a potentially catastrophic twist, such as a strimmer converging on a Chihuahua, or a blowtorch dangerously close to a bag of fireworks. These witty executions, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty and designed to appeal to girls as much as boys, were a key part in selling the brand’s most successful variant.
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty; creatives: Daniel Schaefer, Szymon Rose

2. The Sunday Times, ‘Rich List’

The campaign, which took a sizeist view of the rich, was a big hit at Cannes this year. The simple brilliance of this work deservedly bagged four gold Lions. One particularly striking poster made the wealth accrued by Harry Potter himself, the actor Daniel Radcliffe, look positively piddling compared with that of his maker, the author JK Rowling.
Agency: CHI & Partners; creatives: Daniel Fisher, Richard Brim

3. Channel 4, ‘Homeland’

Secrecy, plotting, paranoia… this poster campaign ably captures the dramatic intensity of the second series of the award-winning political thriller Homeland. The arresting work shows a shredded image of the face of the lead character, Nicholas Brody, highlighting the threat he poses to US national security. Agency: 4Creative; creative: Matt Fee

4. Lurpak, ‘rainbow’

Wieden & Kennedy wanted to ditch healthy food’s boring, worthy image once and for all and instead celebrate its vibrant colours and textures. What better way than creating a giant rainbow made up of grains and vegetables? This particular rainbow was hard to miss, appearing at the Imax and Clapham Colossus sites, as well as all over its parent company Arla’s HQ.
Agency: Wieden & Kennedy London; creatives: Dan Norris, Ray Shaughnessy

5. Harvey Nichols, ‘summer sale excitement’

Urine stains and designer clothes formed an unlikely alliance for Harvey Nichols. We can only hope that never the twain shall meet again. But love them or hate them, these ads stopped people in their tracks and caused quite a stir. They also picked up gold at the Campaign Big Awards.
Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB; creatives: Nikki Lindman, Toby Brewer

6. Marmite, ‘corgis’

Of the slew of tactical ads around the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year, Marmite’s poster campaign was one of wittiest and the most charming. This irreverent work struck just the right tone, raised smiles and endeared the nation to one of its most loved (and hated) brands.
Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB; creatives: Jonathan John, David Mackersey

7. Nike, ‘find your greatness’

Nike tried to undercut the Olympics sponsor Adidas at every opportunity and did a fine job of it with this powerful and engaging outdoor work. The brand turned the focus away from the athletes to trumpet the sporting achievements of ordinary people. One of the strongest executions was simply a mirror urging the viewer to find their greatness within themselves.
Agency: In-house; creative: In-house

8. Channel 4, ‘thanks for the warm-up’

One caustic line managed to cut through the cacophony of noise surrounding London 2012. "Thanks for the warm-up", which ran as the Olympics closed, unapologetically set out the stall of the Paralympics camp. The outdoor work also featured raw, atmospheric shots of Paralympians in action.
Agency: 4Creative; creatives: Claire Watson, Pablo Gonzalez

9. Guinness, ‘made of more’

The TV spot "the cloud" may have been polarising, but the visually arresting poster ads in the campaign, shot by the photographer Nadav Kander, left little to debate. The executions illustrated the brand’s "made of more" positioning by showing some of the populace of the natural world displaying extraordinary behaviour.
Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO; creatives: Mike Sutherland, Ant Nelson

10 Volkswagen, ‘CLVRLY CMPCT’

The copy on the ads live up to the title by dropping a few vowels to describe the small on the outside, large in the inside Volkswagen Up!. Simple and sophisticated, the campaign continues the inspiring VW tradition.
Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB; creatives: Patrick McClelland, Feargal Ballance