A SUCCESSFUL campaign has the power to become one with the company it advertises, to end up as iconic as the brand it represents.

The final shortlist for City A.M.’s marketing campaign of the year award attempts to portray a snapshot of advertising in the last year, showcasing a range of themes, designs, products and platforms.

The nominees range from national household favourite John Lewis to Danish online investment house Saxo Bank, covering global conglomerate General Electric, New York-based Citigroup and classic watch designer Omega in between.

From the commemorative to the forward-looking, the informative to the emotive, the campaigns focus on an array of achievements and implement a variety of advertising media to take their messages to the masses.

Despite having seen these adverts hundreds of times, our hearts still leap when Saxo Bank’s base jumper takes off, our minds still marvel at Citi’s long history and GE’s global stretch, our eyes still mist at John Lewis’ family portrait and our feet still tap to Omega’s Olympic countdown.

Anniversary campaign: 200 years

Successful banking in any form is no mean feat in this day and age, let alone 200 years of it. So when Citi hit its bicentenary this year, the bank plastered Tube stations and newspapers in a splash of self back-patting. Mapping its route from its New York origin in 1812, Citi celebrated two centuries of involvement in era-changing innovations such as the transatlantic cable, the Panama Canal and the ATM. Hand in hand with ad agency CBS Outdoor, Citi used its history as a launch pad for its new brand image.

General Electric
First UK advertising campaign

General Electric, one of the world’s largest companies, rolled out its first ever British advertising campaign earlier this year to mark its sponsorship of the London Olympic Games. Extolling its contribution to the UK over the years through its businesses in the healthcare, transportation and manufacturing industries, GE uploaded videos to YouTube and ran print adverts in a range of newspapers. The campaign, created by AMV BBDO, made the US conglomerate accessible for the UK consumer.

John Lewis
Christmas campaign: The Long Wait

John Lewis reduced the nation to tears when it brought a little boy, impatient for Christmas, to our telly screens. The £6m campaign, created by Adam & Eve, saw seven year old Lewis McGowan drum his fingers and stare at the clock as he waited for Christmas Day – not so he could rip the wrapping off his pile of gifts but so he could proudly hand his own present to his parents. Set to a soothing cover of The Smiths’ Please Please Please, it has over 4m hits on YouTube. It gets us every time.

Saxo Bank
Mobile campaign: base jumping forex trading

Saxo Bank went to great lengths – around 1,400m actually – to show off its new iPhone and Android foreign exchange trading app, in an advert thought up by Hello Group. Executing what is believed, understandably, to be the first ever FX trade at terminal velocity, Swedish stuntman Martin Rosén showcased the app while base jumping. After leaping from a high peak in South Africa, but before releasing his parachute, Rosén put through a 1m euro-dollar buy order at a price of $1.26969. Forex trading has never been so thrilling.

Olympic Games campaign: Start Me Up

Helping the nation count down to the London Olympics, watch maker Omega celebrated 80 years of timing the Games and London’s third time as host with a head-banging commercial, created and produced in-house. Timed to exactly one minute and set to classic Eighties track Start Me Up by the Rolling Stones, Omega showed the preparation routines of a host of Olympic giants, mere moments before the starting gun. The watch maker is understood to have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the song. Quite rightly, too. It’s spot on.