Top 10 regional press ads of 2015

Campaign rounds up the best regional press ads over the past year.

1. Operation Black Vote  ‘if you don’t register…’

Reducing the sense of cynicism and powerlessness among Britain’s black and Asian communities by encouraging them to use their votes was never going to be easy. But Saatchi & Saatchi chose to tackle the challenge head-on by having prominent black celebrities including the Homeland actor David Harewood and the former footballer Sol Campbell "white up" and be photographed by Rankin to illustrate the consequences of not making their voices heard. 

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Creatives: Rob Potts, Andy Jex

2. Tesco ‘celebrate the nations’

Can Bartle Bogle Hegarty bring some of its old Waitrose magic to the troubled supermarket Tesco? While the agency’s disappointing debut TV work for the retailer in October attracted the most attention, this was complemented by some stylishly simple regional press ads capitalising on the Rugby World Cup that aimed to inspire customers to discover new dishes and toast their favourite teams with wines and beers from around the world.

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Creatives: Freddie Wood, Ric Hooley 

3. Scottish Government ‘don’t spoil summer’

With Scotland’s drink-drive laws now the toughest in the UK, this Scottish Government campaign draws on the bright imagery of the seaside poster to warn drivers that they are just as likely to be caught during the warmer months as at Christmas. Police in Scotland reckon a driver was stopped and breath-tested every two minutes this summer. But they suggest the advertising is working, with a 17 per cent reduction in drink-drive offences between January and March, compared with the same period in 2014.

Agency: Leith
Creatives: Chris Watson, Rufus Wedderburn

4. Being Family ‘your path to adoption’

It’s nice to see that the art of long copy remains alive with this set of ads for Being Family, a consortium of local authority and voluntary adoption agencies from the Yorkshire and Humber region. Based on real stories, the ads are directed at potential parents who unnecessarily rule themselves out of adoption. One is about a woman who fears she is too old to adopt. Another features a couple worried that a disorganised home would be a problem.

Agency: BJL
Creatives: Woody Woods, Lou Shipley

5. RNLI ‘the RNLI fish supper’

A poignant piece of work that tackles what at first might have seemed the most banal of briefs: encourage local communities to host fundraising fish suppers on behalf of the RNLI. The resulting ad, which appeared in regional daily and weekly titles across the UK, is an impactful reminder of how the organisation’s volunteer crews often have to leave their families at a moment’s notice and put their lives at risk during rescue missions.

Agency: Proximity London
Creatives: Rebecca Bell, Clare Trepleton 

6. Aldi Ireland  ‘don’t cry for me Argentina’

A good try by Aldi Ireland to ride the tide of patriotic fervour ahead of the national team’s battle with Argentina in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Alas, it was the Irish shedding the tears as the Pumas sealed an emphatic 43-20 win, perpetuating the Irish record of never having reached an RWC semi-final.

Agency: McCann Manchester
Creatives: Sean Carey, Lydia Booth

7. Harvey Nichols  ‘style fanatics wanted’

Harvey Nichols ads may not be everybody’s cup of tea but the retailer’s edgy work has shaken up a sector where much of the output is unremarkable. This ad, which backed the opening of its Birmingham store in July, sustains the run. It asks "style fanatics" what would be their biggest fear of being jailed – a thuggish cellmate, open-plan showers or prison garb you wouldn’t want to be seen dead in, darling.

Agency: Adam & Eve/DDB
Creatives: Ben Stilitz, Colin Booth

8. Dreams ‘the day after Valentine’s Day’

A naughty-but-nice take on the aftermath of overexuberant Valentine’s Day celebrations from the bed specialist Dreams. The brand says it wanted to break from the perpetual sale ads of rival brands and do standout work around the annual lovefest. Press work augmented by social media activity resulted in what Dreams claims was the best-performing Facebook page in its sector.

Agency: Cheetham Bell
Creatives: Andy Huntingdon, Martin Smith

9. O2 ‘shake heads’

With its 4G network now covering more than half the UK population, O2 has been busy making its case locally with a series of press executions. This one has the telecom brand’s ubiquitous cat with its head spinning at what’s on offer to Glaswegians. This includes Wi-Fi city centre hotspots where customers can browse the internet without using their their monthly data allowance, and the TU Go app that enables calls via Wi-Fi from a range of supported devices.

Agency: VCCP
Creatives: Dan Hamer, Elias Toress

10. Sofa.com ‘do re mi so fa.com’

There is a touch of the Monty Python about this surreal work to promote the opening of a new Sofa.com outlet in Edinburgh. Established in 2005 with the aim of beating high-street rivals on quality and price, the sofa-maker uses a contemporary collage illustration to evoke the emotive power of owning or buying one of its products.

Agency: M&C Saatchi
Creatives: Liam Campbell, Thom Farrell