September 2018


Celebrating work that reflects the news as it happens.

Epica’s latest category celebrates the art of turning around an ad quickly to reflect the news.

As brand communications is now a 24-hour, “always on” affair, agencies and brands have to be as reactive as journalists. Whether it’s a tweet, a post, a viral video or even a print ad in a newspaper, an ad that cleverly refers to a current event can attract multiple shares and global fame.

Mark Tungate, Epica’s editorial director, said: “Topical and Real Team is a relatively new form of advertising that requires attention, risk-taking and close collaboration between agency and client. There’s no room for bureaucracy and triple-checking if you want to catch that wave at its peak. Some agencies have the equivalent of newsrooms, constantly tracking events that may become material for a branded post or tweet.”

Tungate said his favourite example was the “Brand Is Single” print ad from Norwegian Airlines, proposing cheap flights to Los Angeles I the wake of  a news story about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie splitting up. “This straightforward ad in a newspaper was shared online all over the world,” he remarked.

He added that brands occasionally attempt a reaction to an event and get the tone wrong, generating negative reactions. “This makes the form even more tricky. It’s also very relevant to us, with our jury of journalists who are well-versed in tackling stories as they break.”

The Epica Awards are open for entries until September 30.