The capital of creativity: The best marketing campaigns by Ukrainian agencies

    The capital of creativity: The best marketing campaigns by Ukrainian agencies

    London is the capital of Great Britain. Paris is the capital of France. Washington DC is the capital of the United States of America. And Kyiv... Up ...

    London is the capital of Great Britain. Paris is the capital of France. Washington DC is the capital of the United States of America. And Kyiv… Up until recently, Kyiv has only been the capital of Ukraine. But three months into the outrageous war against Russian aggression, the world has learned that Kyiv isn’t only the capital of Ukraine, but also the capital of freedom and bravery.

    Today, we’ll stretch this statement even further and show you that Ukraine is the land of creativity, as much as it’s the land of bravery.

    Ukrainians are brimming with great ideas that drive entrepreneurial success. In this article, we recap some of the prominent marketing campaigns by Ukrainian agencies. We admire them and hope you will, too. Both Ukrainian and international businesses turn to Ukraine’s best creative agencies for branding, repositioning, comprehensive marketing, and advertising campaigns.

    This article would be too long if we decided to name all the great creative agencies and notable campaigns. To name a few, you will be most inspired by the works of Banda Agency, Fedoriv, Aimbulance, IAMIDEA Agency, GRA, MCCANN Kyiv, GRAPE, ISD Group, Twiga Ukraine, Drama Queen Agency and many, many more.

    Prepare yourself a good cup of coffee and get ready for some of the best marketing campaigns by Ukrainian agencies.

    Diia, Fedoriv Agency

    Remember the last time you wanted to get a public service — was the process smooth enough? For Ukrainians, getting in touch with governmental agencies was once no big pleasure: queues, untimely coffee breaks, bureaucracy. Say, to receive that one cherished certificate you had to spend three hours waiting to get another certificate, which would allow you to receive another one, and then another one… You get it. 

    With Diia, a brand developed by Fedoriv Agency for the Ministry of Digital Transformation, one can now receive tons of public services in a couple of clicks. Open a business, pay your taxes, or get a COVID-19 certificate — now there’s an app for that. 

    In the campaign video, the brand spoke to Ukrainian citizens, opening up a new, transparent digital country for them. From a taxi driver, who received his first top ranking; a local cafe owner, who could open their business in 10 minutes; to a girl who shouldn’t worry about the nuances of paying taxes anymore; and a couple, who could start their day busy with hugs, not certificates. Diia sought to digitize dozens of public services so every Ukrainian could feel what a new, digital country is like.

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    This was not a mere logo change. Fedoriv Agency created a brand that spoke to an average Ukrainian, offering a whole new way of state-citizen communication. Diia became a major relief for millions of Ukrainians receiving digital services. 

    Key takeaway: Make sure you do your target audience research well. Learn from customers’ pain points and aspirations — and build up creative ideas based on those insights.

    Chornobyl, Banda Agency

    The 1986 explosion at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant was a tragedy that still echoes for decades. Millions of people felt the effects of a single human mistake. The agency had to create strong branding for the Exclusion Zone, and show how Chornobyl is changing with time.

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    The agency offered hope that the power plant will eventually become decommissioned in 2064. That would mark a new milestone in history. Packed with a full-fledged visual system around it, the branding introduced the first vanishing logo in history. The campaign became one of the flagship projects by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources.

    Key takeaway: Even when it comes to topics that are hard to bear, being open and sincere with your audience always pays off.

    The Voice of the Water, ISD Group

    We will need your ears for this one. With this campaign for Morshynska, a Ukrainian water brand, ISD Group made a symphony out of water sounds. One of the aims was to draw attention to the importance of preserving the natural water we enjoy every day. Teaming up with Ukraine’s prominent artists — ONUKA, the Maneken, Dakha Brakha, and Katya Chilly — ISD Group adapted Ukrainian music instruments so that they could play in and with water. The campaign turned into a marvelous water symphony — just listen to it, it’s beautiful!

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    The execution, of course. Brilliant sounds that we play on repeat these days. Filmed in the Carpathian mountains, the campaign is also an ode to Ukraine’s beautiful nature and talents. Moreover, part of the money from the project was transferred to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for the Carpathians ecosystem conservation program.

    Key takeaway: Make sure your business has a strong stance on global issues. Be it climate change or human rights advocacy — have your say and do it in a creative way!

    Etnodim Brand Manifesto, Dramaqueen Agency

    Vyshyvanka is the name for an embroidered shirt in Ukraine. Most Ukrainians have at least one in their wardrobe. It’s usually worn for important occasions. The Drama Queen agency had to create a brand manifesto for Etnodim, the Ukrainian vyshyvanka brand. In this campaign, the agency narrated that vyshyvanka means something unique and touching to every Ukrainian. Be it tasty cookies in the school canteen, power places in Ukrainian Crimea, or childhood cartoons — something every Ukrainian can relate to. 

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    First and foremost, poetry. We could listen to it a couple of times throughout the day. Beautifully written, the lines are touching and sincere — and that’s what good marketing is essentially about. 

    Key takeaway: Experiment with the formats of your content. Like really, how about you write a poem about your business? We would listen to that!

    Celebrate Diversity, Banda Agency + Republique

    In 2017, Ukraine hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. For each contest, the host country traditionally prepares new branding, packing it with national or traditional elements. The challenge at hand: to create branding that speaks to millions across Europe, yet encompasses the values of the contest.

    Banda Agency and Republique came up with the Ukrainian Namysto, or traditional necklace modernized to become a basis for the visual branding. Powered with vivid colors and different shapes, it had huge success among both Ukrainians and foreigners at the contest.

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    The Namysto! We loved the impeccable design. And not only us — the campaign was repeatedly praised at creative contests, such as the Red Dot Award.

    Key takeaway: Inspiration is everywhere. Just look around — sometimes you can draw your next big idea from common or special items, rethought. Once you find the one, try showcasing it in a new light so it’s relatable to lots of people.

    Foxtrot, Fedoriv Agency

    Foxtrot is one the largest chains of electronics and home appliance stores in Ukraine. With 159 stores, it is the main supplier of refrigerators and washing machines to Ukrainian homes. But there was one issue: the brand was too conservative. So the agency decided to rejuvenate the company. In the campaign, Foxtrot spoke to people having allergies, claiming it often comes from using old tech, such as TVs, air conditioners, or refrigerators. The agency also introduced its new branding and motto.

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    We totally loved the mascot of the campaign, a witty fox, which is now part of the company’s visual communication both online and offline.

    Key takeaway: Consider using mascots for your brand — we’re sure your audience will love this approach.

    RizniRivni, ISD Group 

    The capital of creativity: The best marketing campaigns by Ukrainian agencies
    The capital of creativity: The best marketing campaigns by Ukrainian agencies

    According to 2021 research, LGBTQ+ acceptance was not high among Ukrainians. The agency, teaming up with non-governmental organizations, aimed to increase overall support for the LGBTQ+ community. To do that, ISD Group created an interactive map of LGBTQ+ supporters. 

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    ISD group combined the idea with great tech performance, allowing people to speak up. It works as simple as offline rallies, but digitally. Just open the website, raise your hand, and join the movement to support LGBTQ+ people. Take a stance and join a community of over 35k LGBTQ+ supporters.

    Key takeaway: Аdd some tech to your creative aspirations.

    Uklon rebranding, IAMIDEA Agency

    Uklon is a Ukrainian IT company, a taxi app to be more specific, that millions of people enjoy on a daily basis. Uklon operates in a highly competitive market — so there was a need to elevate the company’s communication. It sought to become closer to its target audience — quite a task when there are dozens of alternative apps or taxis you could call. 

    While researching, IAMIDEA Agency found an insightful truth: people often think they need a special occasion to get a taxi. “I’ll be picking up groceries/friends/delivery — so I’ll order a car.” Uklon aimed to change that, proposing this unique message: “Your way — your rules.” People, they claimed, could order a taxi anytime they want. And there is no need to go to great lengths. Everything’s simple.

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    We loved the execution: a girl, dancing and calling for rain, thinking it would be a good occasion to order a taxi. Plus, the friendly tone of communication was enjoyable.

    Key takeaway: Base campaigns on insights, but don’t forget to be relatable for the people that use your product. Leverage a simple idea, and you’ve got a hit.

    Be Brave Like Ukraine, Banda Agency

    On February 24th, Russia started a full-scale war on Ukraine’s territory. People resisted as one, canceling Russia’s plans to overtake the capital in three days. The fight for freedom is occurring in many cities, and Ukrainian people are showing themselves to be brave and immensely fierce.

    With millions volunteering, covering humanitarian needs, and advocating for Ukraine, the agency had to introduce a solid symbol of Ukrainian resistance. One word that would symbolize people’s greatness and boldness. Bravery became the one and only. 

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    Banda claimed bravery is Ukraine’s national resource — and people agreed. The campaign evolved with tons of user-generated content. It eventually appeared in social media posts, videos, offline rallies, and billboards in the USA, Germany, France, and more. For instance, the hashtag #braveukraine now accounts for over 10k posts on Instagram only.

    Key takeaway: Try to feel what’s in the air. For Ukraine, bravery became the core idea of resistance, one word with powerful meaning. And, of course, be brave like Ukraine.

    National Police of Ukraine, a safe driving playlist, Grisha Nesmashnyi

    In 2020, the National Police of Ukraine released a playlist for safer driving. The Police wanted to decrease the skyrocketing number of car accidents in Ukraine. They found that drivers often speed up just because the music they listen to is too quick in tempo. Together with an independent creator, they offered drivers to ride to Tame Impala, Foals, Bonobo, and others. 

    What’s great about this campaign? 

    The tempo of the music in the playlist made drivers slow down subconsciously. The campaign had an overall positive impact on both the National Police and road safety. The playlist got 50k+ listeners, and mentions from numerous media — all with zero budget spending.

    Key takeaway: Creativity can be lifesaving and many creators use it to battle real problems. Do you research properly, get some good insights, and base your campaigns on them. And also — team up with independent creators or become one.

    Ukrainian creativity is all about bravery and openness. At VistaCreate, we admire these and dozens of other marketing campaigns driving business change in Ukraine. We hope you’re now inspired and open to new challenges — why not design an ad right now? 

    Mariia Shnyrkova

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