Xpectives News

2022 DTC Creative Assessment

October 31, 2022 by Adam Hessel0

I decided to use this forum to celebrate some of the bravest and boldest work I have seen over the course of the past year. By that, I mean those brands that continued to re-set the bar for what “excellent” looks like in the DTC space. Those that help remind us all why we are in this business in the first place The following are all examples of work that really stuck with me in 2022. They run the gamut from an out of home stunt to print to innovation and film. All different mediums, but all are crown jewels of bringing great insights to life with exquisite execution.

Image Source: Twitter @booneoakley

Agency: BooneOakley, Charlotte
Client: StarMed Healthcare
Title: “Wilmore Funeral Home”


I remember the first time I saw this striking, unconventional way StarMed Healthcare chose to generate COVID vaccine urgency. It was ballsy and poignant and atypical of how most vaccine awareness messaging was being promoted at the time. This sobering and raw campaign sneaks in with a message that’s seemingly unrelated to the “advertiser”—and it’s one that, once it hits you, is impossible to forget. The campaign was a local North Carolina push as the Delta variant surged. The mobile billboard in the image says it all with unbelievable stopping power that really makes you think. I believe the billboard also offered a quick way to help folks sign up for the COVID vaccine. Really well done.

Agency: Eversana Intouch, New York
Client: TheChrysalisInitiative.org
Title: “Erase the Line”


This campaign is an excellent use of print in its purist form. Creating such impactful awareness around an extremely important and under-shared fact: “Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.” Hats off to every detail in this campaign, from the core idea of ‘Erase the line’ and the unique visual depiction of the art direction, to even the painstaking craft of the typography. Every aspect of this work creates even more awareness that our systemically biased healthcare system needs. You can’t not notice this work. Nor should you.

Agency: Leith, Edinburgh
Client: Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation
Title “The Extra Time Badge”


If a person suffers a sudden cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR could be the difference between life and death. When most people think of industry innovation in this arena, they’d typically think of big partnerships with cutting edge tech companies, but this life-saving approach is the complete opposite. Ironed onto footballers’ shirts in the place where CPR should be performed, the badge contains key information to help people learn about giving CPR. What a remarkably straightforward and effective way to get information to people when and where they might need it. ‘The Extra Time Badge’ educates young footballers, coaches, and parents in the key steps of CPR, giving anyone and everyone the quick, on-the-spot education about how to resuscitate someone in need. It’s great how a Lo-Fi technology as simple as an ironed-on patch can save lives. Such a simple and clever idea.

Agency: Arch Film Studio
Client: Human Society International
Title “Save Ralph”


This may be my favorite piece of work this year. It touches on a topic we are all aware of, likely feel bad about, yet don’t do much to further awareness or change our habits to address… cosmetic testing on animals. ‘Save Ralph’ hits you in the gut by showing the daily routine of a rabbit tester, while humanizing the lead character with emotions and a relatable back story. Every aspect of this short video hits it out of the park—the casting, directing, voiceover—even the well-written, dark humor script is off the charts. After seeing this I have made a personal vow to only buy products that are free of animal testing.


Adam Hessel

Chief Creative Officer, NA, Ogilvy Health

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