The new year has come. Before jumping into the routine of coming up with resolutions (and then not keeping up with them), let’s all look back on what 2019 taught us. Trending searches of 2019 were Thanos, iPhone 11 and Joker. Plenty has happened in the past year.

2019 also brought us plenty of creative advertising campaigns that we can’t stop thinking about. It’s time for us to learn a thing or two from these catchy, memorable and downright genius advertising gimmicks! Here’s our top 5 list of the best advertising campaigns of 2019!

Photo credit: Rojakdaily

McDonald’s has always been one of Malaysians’ favourite fast food. They have been notorious for all the creative marketing campaigns that they have executed throughout the years. In 2019, McDonald’s regional billboards put up along highways caught Malaysians attention and became viral on social media! This share worthy content did plenty to help boost McDonald’s social media stats over that period of time.

Spanning from cities and states, the localized slang written boldly across the massive billboards made people stop and stare. The shareworthy and witty billboard posters once again proved that McDonald’s will always have a special place in Malaysians’ hearts. Every poster adapted to the local culture in every state and made it so much more relatable for locals within those regions.

It also serves as a reminder to people travelling along the highway that they are entering the border of a different state. Furthermore, the placement of the billboards are just fitting seeing that people get hungry while travelling, and these gigantic billboards made it impossible for us to ignore McDonalds!

This was a clever way to instill brand awareness and strengthen the brand presence in every region. I mean, how can you not head to the nearest Drive Thru after seeing those delicious favourites!

Here’s our favourite one, since Penang has a close place in our hearts.

Photo credit:

2. CIMB First – AR Smiling Posters

What kinds of visuals do you usually see on banking advertisement posters and flyers? Someone smiling positively but you have absolutely no idea what they’re smiling about? What if we told you that you can ask them exactly that, what are you smiling about? CIMB First Singapore launched their first AR smiling posters to give you the satisfaction of knowing what is there to smile about. All you need to do is hold up your phone and scan the visual on the posters and it will activate the AR feature where the people in the posters come to live! How cool is that?

CIMB did not fail to jump on the bandwagon with the AR trend that has taken the world by storm, providing their customers and prospects the new interactive experience. This sort of ad goes to show that people love instant gratification and they like to feel like they have the information that others don’t.

This advertisement broke the norm of typical bank advertisements and made them come to life, literally!

Photo credits: CIMB Singapore

Photo credits: itunes

From the people who brought you the iconic I Will Follow You jingle, Digi has done it again, putting themselves as the people’s telecommunication network of choice. In conjunction with Malaysia’s 62nd Independence Day in 2019, they launched a campaign known as Digi Footbraille, yes, you’ve guessed it, football for the visually impaired!

They’ve developed a technology which allows those who are visually impaired to experience watching a football match. Before this, they could only rely on their listening and help from friends who would attempt to describe the movement of the football on the field. However, it never came close to watching a real life football match.

The Digi team came up with the technology which allows them to feel the movement of the ball on the field as the ball was in motion. They finally got to experience the feeling and the anticipation towards each goal scored. Watch this video below to see what we mean.

Photo credit: Marketing Magazine

Photo credit: Marketing Interactive

4. Friso – Augmented Reality Farm

How many times have you seen this situation? Parents using smartphones and tabs to distract their children while they are eating at a restaurant? Both the parents and the children are looking at separate gadgets while out and about, or even during family gatherings? It’s sad to see that technology, although has provided us plenty of convenience, is also creating a dilemma among family members who can’t seem to get enough of their screen time.

Friso attempted to curb this rampant issue with their Augmented Reality Farm campaign. They realised that since both parents and children love staring at their screens so much, why not let them stare at the same screen, together? This fun and interactive campaign garnered attention from parents across the country and boosted engagement on the Friso mobile application. Thousands of parents and children uploaded their creative and cheeky snapshots of the AR farm, straight from the comfort of their own home!

Not only was this a creative way to get people talking about the brand, it was also a way for Friso to lend their hand in tackling the rising issue among their target audience. Less time shared separately, more time spent together.

Photo source: Kancil Awards MY

Photo credits: Friso Gold MY

5. Shell – Hitting the bull’s-eye with SVP Dynamic OOH

Photo credit: Marketing in Asia

Alright, we’ve saved the best for last. Although it’s a little bit of a cheat seeing that this campaign came out in late 2018 but we just had to put it in the list! Shell hit home-run with their vehicle-personalized billboards which were put up around Kuala Lumpur. Yes, you’ve heard us, vehicle-personalized.

It was the first of its kind in Malaysia. (Although we believe it was inspired by British Airway’s 2014 #LookUp campaign at Trafalgar Square) By leveraging on data collected via traffic cameras, they’ve timed the visuals on the billboards precisely so that the highly targeted advertisements will appear at the right time, in front of the right audience (or in this case, the right car!).

The reason behind their innovative campaign was that different car owners have different priorities when it comes to maintaining their cars. Knowing what speaks to your consumers allows you to send them the right message so that the money you invested doesn’t go down the drain. Besides, highly personalized advertisements are all the rage now since there have been multiple findings that reveal most consumers like personalized content. Shell took billboard advertising to the next level and hit the bull’s-eye with their dynamic Out of Home advertisement!

There you have it. Our list of the best advertising campaigns in 2019. Based on the list, we can see that brands are taking billboards and interactive advertising to a whole new game by combining new digital features to create highly targeted advertisements that can help to strengthen and position their brands in the eyes of consumers. Marketing in today’s era requires brands to stay on top of the latest trends and strike while it’s still hot. We hope you’re inspired from these and come up with your own creative and out-of-the-box advertising campaigns.


All the photos are credited to the sources stated.
This article’s content is solely based on the author’s point-of-view only.


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