It’s been a truly incredible year for video content – and not only the branded stuff. Who could have predicted the success of ‘Chewbacca Mom’, viewed millions of times and ending up on countless chat shows, including The Late Late Show with James Corden? Or the clip from the BBC’s Planet Earth II, ‘Iguana chased by snakes’, that had us all transfixed and rooting for the little guy. Speaking of which, we kick off with that very theme.


We predict that this will be the trend in storytelling for 2017. You heard it here first folks.

SickKids – VS: Undeniable

It’s only right that this ‘punch-in-the-gut’ video is first on our list. As one of our regular producers Elle Diamond reflects: “It’s a really unique approach to a film about people in tough situations. In this case sick children. But this could apply right across the charity sector. While people who’ve had to endure a lot tend to be incredibly strong, this message is rarely presented by charities/NGOs in their advertising.”


Adidas – Break Free 

As the editor of this article, I’ve been inundated with suggestions, but I felt I had to include this inspiring spec ad. It has everybody in the industry talking – and quite rightly. Made by German film student Eugen Merher and set in a care home that seems to be based on One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, it may have ended the year by starting a new trend. We believe we’re going to be seeing a lot more of the seemingly hopeless protagonist taking on an authoritarian regime and winning.


These two events brought not only a combined total of 91 Gold Medals for the UK, but an unprecedented amount of outstanding branded content, notably these two.

We’re The Superhumans / Rio Paralympics 2016

Senior Motion Graphics Designer Stuart Humphrey reveals: “It still blows my mind. The edit, the positive message, the humour, everything! It’s one of the only adverts I can remember looking forward to seeing during an ad break. When it first came on I can remember just stopping what I was doing, totally captivated. Over and above that it normalises disability in a society where integration is a constant struggle, while reminding us that sometimes just brushing your teeth for someone with no arms can be as great a challenge as leaping off an enormous ramp if you’re in a wheel chair. That rare mix of comedy and a powerful message.”

Samsung School of Rio

Perhaps slightly less glossy, but certainly no less fun or popular, we were treated with Samsung’s Olympic campaign, starring Jack Whitehall. As Creative Director Tom Carroll observes: “I thought this was great. Brave, bold and, unusually for a big brand-commissioned commercial, there was lots of creative freedom. Many of the lines and reactions that made the final cuts of these adverts were also unscripted.”


Music videos have had to work a lot harder over recent years to stand out, forcing them to become innovators among branded content producers. And this year they’ve continued to over deliver.

OK Go – The One Moment

Senior Creative Katie Freestone writes: “Always love OK Go’s music videos (in the past we’ve seen optical illusions and zero gravity) so I couldn’t wait to watch the latest…and it didn’t fail to impress. Fun and beautiful, they not only managed to create a mind-blowing video, but they synched in to the music track. The exploding paint bucket opening scene only took 4.2 seconds to shoot. Best music video this year.”

Coldplay – Up&Up

Senior Motion Graphics Designer Rob Swansbury-Hogg unashamedly gushes: “Artistically inspiring and technically unique. Clearly inspired by photo-bashing stock imagery in Photoshop, it’s hard to envision how such a thing could be possible to be put to film. Yet it’s executed flawlessly. It’s particularly enjoyable how the fantastic is created by simply combining what would normally be considered two quite mundane images. Made even more fascinating when you understand the process of how they created the shots. An enjoyable visual spectacle.”


These are the ones that seem to somehow appeal to all your senses at once. Eyes dilated. Hairs raised. Mind blown.

Casper Balslev Royal Danish Theatre

As Editor / self-confessed Dancing Queen Helena Garcia puts it: “I like it because theatre is in itself live at the time of performance, so to capture that organic, tangible feeling through insanely brilliant editing and sound design techniques is using video for the artistic medium it is. The beautiful variety of images makes me think they hold very creative shows in there too.”

Audi – Duel


As producers, owners and sponsors of content, TV channels have to show viewers that they know what ‘good’ looks like. Channel 4 and Canal have achieved that goal. With bells on.

Honda and Channel 4 – The Evolution of Stunts

Senior Editor Chris Urmston chirps up: “For a whizz banger, this wins for me. Great production, performance, projection mapping, film references and edit handled deftly by Mark Whelan of The Quarry.”

Canal – Kitchen

As Senior Motion Graphics Designer Adam Monk considers: “This is a very slick piece of work. Really nice integration of a range of animation styles in this live action promo that I think reflects the Canal group’s style and high-end production values very well.”