Every year, we come across hundreds of advertisements, on an average. However, many of these ads just shamelessly endorse products and are quickly forgotten. But then, there are advertisements that tap into our emotions, make us think, bring a smile to our lips, or perhaps a few tears to our eyes. These are advertisements that rise above their purposes and achieve something greater. In 2015, we came across 15 advertisements that pulled off this difficult task. Take a look:
They came up with the tagline – Dove is one quarter moisturising cream – forever changing the way we look at soaps. But what they did this year was something brands try to achieve, but seldom do – they made women feel better about themselves. The concept is simple – two doors stand side by side; one of them has “beautiful” written over it, while the other says “average”. Which door would a woman choose, if she wants to enter the building? Sadly, many of them chose “average”, while only a few decided to walk through the other one. This indicated a deep seated issue among women, and that’s many of them do not believe that they are beautiful. Trust Dove to explore such complex issues in the simplest manner. How can it not top our list of the best ads in 2015?
How do you turn something as boring as home insurance into something that makes viewers sit up and take notice? John Lewis’ Tiny Dancer managed to do just that, and make us smile, at the same time. The ad focuses on the constant danger of something going wrong around our homes, reminding us that accidents are just waiting to happen, no matter how careful we are. The part where she grabs the curtains, unfurling them with a fierce pull of her tiny hands, brought back memories from our childhoods, as did the part where she slides against the wall, leaving the photo frame swaying wildly. These are accidents that can happen in any home with children, and we feel that’s what John Lewis tried to remind us. Oh, and the mesmerising background score by Elton John was definitely a nice touch. https://www.youtube.com/embed/YqgoUWPx4eE
Remember the time, when our parents looked like superheroes to us, when we would dream to grow up and be just like them? Superhero, I Want To Be narrates the story of Pornchai, the son of a garbage sweeper who got hit by a car last year. His painting of a technologically advanced garbage man in the school competition, modeled after his own mother to save her from further accidents, brought a tear to our eyes. The way he runs after school to help his injured mother with her work made us think deeper into the most important concer of our lives – health of our loved ones. Not many ads can delve this deep into such emotional issues and display them in such a simplistic manner. And that’s why Thai Life Insurance deserves two thumbs up, way up!
A series of unlikely friendships – dog with orangutan, elephant with sheep, and duckling with kitten form the core of Droga5’s Friends Furever. Already shared more than 6.4 million times on social channels (which makes it the most viral video ever), the ad has struck a chord with viewers across the globe with its sheer simplicity and a hefty dose of positive emotions. And let’s not forget its subtle message – ad tech and ad agency joining hands to create success stories for customers, where one cannot thrive without love from the other. Intelligent, emotional and let’s not forget, very cute – are the reasons for this ad being on our list of viral ads for 2015. https://www.youtube.com/embed/vnVuqfXohxc
A brand with a tagline of “Have a break, have a KitKat” creating an ad celebrating breaks isn’t news. What’s news is that they created the perfect connection of the ad with the product and its packaging. Suggesting 72 different types in which a customer could enjoy his break with KitKat, and reminding viewers to join the global campaign on social networks with the hashtag #mybreak, KitKat made its name instantly relatable with a moment of respite between work. And of course, the packaging of the product carried instructions on getting the most out of one’s break and the product itself had the hashtag engraved on it.
Dog is certainly a man’s best friend, but if he’s pooping on the road, it is the owner’s job to clean it up! That’s what this simple ad seeks to remind dog owners all over Britain. The reason we love it is because we see this happening ourselves, every day. The ad, which features a pair of glaring eyes over a black background, reminds dog owners that they are being watched for transgressions. And how likely are people to commit social crimes, when they have a feeling they are being watched? We love the ad because of the way it handles a simple social issue and gives it an ominous feel, ensuring people think twice before walking away, leaving their dog’s poo on the roadside.
We have seen plenty of ads that deal with powerful social messages, but few that successfully use state-of-the-art technology to do so. Look At Me, developed by Women’s Aid, uses facial tracking software and a camera mounted on the top of an interactive billboard to deliver a powerful social message. The face of battered woman featured on the billboard heals visibly as people stand in front of the board and look directly at it, thereby delivering a powerful message on how social awareness and actions from sensible citizens can prevent violence against women. Impressive!
Does society hold girls back, preventing them from realising their own potential? As per a survey conducted by Always, 72% of participants said yes. In this ad, Always sought to challenge those issues by asking girls to jot down negative expressions that they were told by others, including the stereotypical “Girls can’t be brave” and “Girls should be perfect”. Then they were encouraged to stack those boxes and break them down, essentially delivering a message that was at once powerful and sensitive. Always also encouraged women across the world to share their stories of courage on social networks with the hashtag #LikeAGirl, effectively creating a global movement likely to leave a lasting positive impact on the lives of many. Way to go, P&G! https://www.youtube.com/embed/VhB3l1gCz2E
With its popularity, Amazon Prime could simply have shot an HD ad showing customers using its various services and people would say it. But you never really expect the ordinary from a brand like that, do you? That’s why, when Amazon released this ad film titled “Little Horse”, we simply had to see it. And what a treat it was! A series of short stories, showing how people are using Amazon Prime to save the day helps customers connect with the brand. Also, the owner of the horse, who happens to be the hero of the ad, is decidedly hilarious. And let’s not forget the beautiful music score, which makes the ad more memorable than the usual stuff we come across every day. https://www.youtube.com/embed/CVelso6JZlc
Racial injustice in America is an issue discussed worldwide, but have shown the courage to blow it sky high and subject it to biting wit and satire the way MTV did, in this stellar satirical ad. While many Americans found it controversial, we believe it was a bold step for MTV to bring up a cause that is spoken about only in whispers in most social circles. Besides, if you have to make a point, isn’t it prudent to make it in the boldest way you can? We feel it is one of the best ads on social issues that we have seen in recent years, and that grants it a prominent position on our A-list.
John Lewis appears on our list a second time, with its heart-touching Man on the Moon commercial. At face value, it shows a little girl reaching out to her grandfather, making him feel loved on Christmas night. But beneath the surface, the ad delves into a much deeper social issue – that of senior citizens living far away from their family, in isolation from the families they have cherished for ages. Hats off to John Lewis for alerting us to a social issue that so few of us even stop to think about. https://www.youtube.com/embed/wuz2ILq4UeA
Alex, a 7 year old boy born with a partially developed right arm, had always loved superheroes. However, we doubt he ever imagined Iron Man himself to turn up at his home carrying a bionic arm. That’s what Microsoft Collective Project Agency pulled off in 2015, when Robert Downey Jr., in his Tony Stark avatar, showed up at Alex’s home and gifted him an arm that would help him ride the bike, which he loves to much, all the better. The wonderful concept and Downey Jr’s incredible sensitivity and sense of humour are what make the ad memorable. https://www.youtube.com/embed/oEx5lmbCKtY
Simply put – dogs rule the ad world. We are yet to see a dog video that doesn’t look good. However, few could match the cuteness of Purina’s Puppyhood, which shows a man finding his soulmate in a cute looking puppy. The part where he speaks to the charming canine while he keeps gnawing on his sofa cushions, his fingers, and even his nose with impunity is just hilarious. This is one ad that got on our list simply because it made us go, “aww”!
How different are we from one another? Irrespective of our skin colour, race, language, gender, sexuality and disability – aren’t we all just humans? That’s the question Ad Council seeks to raise with this wonderful ad film. Stressing on the point of how similar human beings look when viewed under X-ray, Love Has No Labels inspires viewers to remember that prejudice against others is the biggest obstacle that can be overcome with love. The simplicity of the ad is striking, as is the power of the message it delivers. And that’s why it is on our list of the most powerful ads in 2015. https://www.youtube.com/embed/pXV7_d92gNk
Domestic violence has been a problem in Italy for a very long time. Fanpage.It decided to do something about it with their 2015 ad. Titled “Slap her”, the ad asks kids of various ages to touch, caress and make a funny face at a girl close to their age. Then comes the ominous command – “slap her”! They freeze. Some refuse to do it straightaway, while others seem to contemplate the situation for a while, before delivering the same response. While the ad may be blamed for being a little sexist, its way of dealing with a powerful social issue has nevertheless brought results – in the form of more than 31 million shares on YouTube already.
What do you think of our selection? Got something you would like to add? Tell us in the comments.