My favourite ads of the decade, number 3: Shot on iPhone.

OK, so I’m a little biased. This campaign originated from my former agency, TBWA/Media Arts Lab, and I was one of many people who had the privilege of working on it (actually, one of the things I love about Shot on iPhone is the way in which it has allowed so many people to contribute to it. Big shout out to all my MAL brothers and sisters and aunties and cousins etc.).

Each year’s theme requires some conceptual thinking, but the original idea of displaying some of the photos shot by iPhone users didn’t exactly feel Earth-shattering. In fact it had been discussed at various points for a couple of years leading up to its actual launch, and I don’t recall anyone ready to die for it. It wasn’t an obvious winner like Mac vs PC or Think Different, but it soon became apparent that it would be a classic so long as we were prepared to exercise a different discipline: having the courage and confidence to get out of the way of something that was already brilliant.

So when it was finally framed as a ‘World Gallery’, it had the strength and substance to allow something apparently simple to get on its feet, head out into the wild blue yonder and spread its wings across the world. You’ve probably noticed that it’s still running several years later, and there’s been no drop in quality (some of my favourites are from this year’s ‘On Tour’ campaign).

So a campaign for the biggest company in the world has run for half a decade (so far), creating hundreds of executions, in dozens of countries, using the whole range of emotions, and will always be supplied with fresh material, and isn’t even limited to the still image:

And I haven’t even mentioned what I like best about it.

The number one reason I love this campaign is that when its foremost creatives were collecting their Cannes Grand Prix, I was hundreds of miles away, smiling at one of the stunning executions on a grim, rainy day in Shepherd’s Bush.

Yes, it runs for real, and improves any environment it graces, from Seoul to Southwark to San Francisco. How many poster campaigns can you say that about?