Sanofi and Terri & Sandy

Listening in on TikTok, Aspercreme’s brand team made a startling discovery. This dusty brand, favored by baby boomer grandmas with arthritic fingers, had become a Gen Z favorite. Glamour gals used it to spray their feet, making high heels less painful as they rediscovered their post-COVID dancing shoes.

This was big news for a brand ranked at No. 5 in its category. Although its primary campaign, Kick Pain in the Aspercreme, was gaining traction, this TikTok trend represented an opportunity to leverage paid social at an entirely different level. It was a new use case for the product and the first time Gen Z interacted with it.

As the team learned more about Gen Z, it realized this age group’s open-mindedness presented terrific possibilities. It is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation, and these digital natives are much more likely to say they know someone who prefers to go by gender-neutral pronouns. Not only are they more likely to identify as LGBTQ+, they’re also eager to show support through their purchases.

Armed with that knowledge, all roads led to drag performers — the leading experts on extreme high heels. This campaign stars Nicky Doll, adored by Gen Z for starring in RuPaul’s Drag Race. 

Nicky’s presence in the ads brought glitz and glam to TikTok, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram in a series of videos. Nicky strutted her stuff and let the world know she keeps her queenly cool by slaying high-heel pain with Aspercreme, earning the title of the very first AsperQueen. 

“This is a great example of what can happen when brands truly listen to their audience,” raved one judge. “It’s an amazingly effective use of diversity.”


AstraZeneca and 21Grams
A Touch of Flu

This wonderfully gross effort started by painting school children with flu germs, turning them loose, then letting UV light show how quickly they can cover every surface with snot. Judges loved it: “Hats off to anyone who can make the invisible visible and do it in such a convincing way.” So did the U.K., where half the country engaged with the campaign. And it led parents to get flu vaccines for an extra 80,000 kids.