Creative Director’s Choice: RPA’s Sarah May Bates on ‘The Last Ever Issue’
Creative Director’s Choice allows creative directors to highlight the best work and highlight campaigns that make a difference.
In this week, Sarah May Bates, Vice President Creative Director / Copywriter at RPA advertisingtalks about taking risks and the award-winning Cannes Lions campaign “The Last Ever Issue”.
Sarah May Bates
I get excited when I see advertising taking risks – it’s pretty great when someone goes beyond a media purchase and changes the cultural landscape. For this reason I chose a campaign by VMLY & R Poland Warsaw, which was started by Gazeta.pl with the support of Mastercard and Bank BNP Paribas. This campaign really inspired me because the brands took concrete steps to make a statement and bring about social change. This wasn’t just an advertisement – it was an action.
Together, the three brands have retired one of the longest running porn magazines in Poland and turned it into a megaphone for empowering women. The insight that inspired it: Poland lags far behind other EU countries in terms of gender equality. Women are still seen and treated as the weaker, lesser sex. There is also no sex education in Polish schools, which means that the majority of children learn about sex through porn magazines like The Weekend. The idea of buying this magazine and using it as a soap box to promote women’s reality with real and brilliant (clothed) people moved me deeply. For a brand, buying a magazine is an incredible undertaking. The idea was also implemented wonderfully – Gazeta.pl took the existing content and presented it in a new context. The editorial was used to educate readers about topics such as sexism and promote various female ideals.
As a woman who’s had some very different (and much more sexist) times in advertising, this campaign felt very inspired and thoughtful. It’s like one of those rare experimental ideas that you believe could never happen in reality and that are carried out exactly as they should be. It is a power to quit a sexist magazine to encourage a new way of thinking – it shows an ethic. As a creative director who didn’t know anything about Gazeta.pl, I respect the brand for going the extra mile and thanks to this work I have a positive impression of who they are as a company.
Sarah May Bates is the Vice President, Creative Director / Copywriter at RPA Advertising in Los Angeles, working on the Honda brand.
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