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Best adverts ever?

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Answer # 1 #

On July 1st, 1941, viewers seen the world’s first TV commercial, a 20-second spot for Bulova watches. It isn’t on YouTube yet, but you’re not missing much: just a clock superimposed on a US map while an announcer says, “America runs on Bulova time.” Thankfully, commercials got a lot more interesting throughout the years, so here’s a look at some of the most unforgettable.

1959: The First Ever Barbie Commercial

Introducing a new type of doll for its time, this originally aired during the hottest show for kids at the time, The Mickey Mouse Club.

1965: The Oscar Mayer Wiener Jingle

How many of you know the words to this one? Oscar Mayer occasionally holds singing contests for kids based on this and its 1971 b-o-l-o-g-n-a song.

1970: Tootsie Roll Tootsie Roll Pop

How many licks does it take to get the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop? Mr. Owl is too impatient to find out. This simple line drawing animation still airs on TV after all these years. (But why isn’t that kid wearing clothes?)

1971: Coca-Cola “Hilltop”

It was a big year for ads, and Coca-Cola’s ode to world peace through soda later became a hit song by the New Seekers. (“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”) As a testament to its legacy, the company filmed a remake starring the original actors and their children in 1990. Today, the message “Teach the world to sing… please.” occasionally appears during commercial breaks on American Idol.

1971: Keep America Beautiful’s “Crying Indian”

A rare example of a memorable public service message that was put together well, it starred actor Iron Eyes Cody (Espera Oscar de Corti). He wasn’t of Native American descent, but his wife and their adopted children were.

1971: Life Cereal “Three Brothers”

Hey Mikey! If Mikey likes it, it has to be good. Don’t believe those rumors, the original Mikey (John Gilchrist) is alive and well, working as an advertising manager for a local radio station.

1979: Coca-Cola “Mean Joe Greene”

One of earliest big-time “Super Bowl commercials”, this is also one of the best. Viewers usually name it as their all-time favorite, while various remakes and spoofs have spawned from it.

1984: Apple Computer “1984”

Also showing up often in “best commercials of all time” lists, this ad for an early personal computer was inspired by George Orwell’s futuristic novel. Yeah, I don’t really get it, either.

1984: Wendy’s “Fluffy Bun”

Thanks to Clara Peller, “Where’s the Beef?” became an instant 1980’s catchphrase.

1986: California Raisins “Lunchbox”

Those claymation R&B raisins became popular enough to star in their own TV specials and series and sold a slew of official merchandise along the way.

1987: The Partnership for a Drug-Free America “Fried Egg”

The best anti-drug message is a simple anti-drug message. Why isn’t this still on TV? I can think of at least 20 celebrities that need to heed its words right now!

1993: California Milk Board “Aaron Burr”

Part of the ongoing “Got Milk?” campaign, this ad was directed by future Transformers director Michael Bay.

1996: Nissan “Toys”

Winner of many advertising awards, this Van Halen-soundtracked G.I. Joe meets Barbie caper led to a lawsuit from Mattel. I remembered this from when I was a kid, but I could have sworn it was an ad for batteries.

2000: EDS Cat Herders

The tradition of ridiculously expensive Super Bowl commercials continued with this funny sight gag. Ironically, most viewers didn’t have the slightest idea what was being advertised here.

2006: Geico “Cavemen”

Someone hoping to cash in on the next big thing later turned the amusing characters in these popular commercials into an uninspired TV series.

The worst part about this is that the real TV star of the company is obviously the adorable lizard! Who wouldn’t watch that?

2011: Aflac “Dancing Duck”

In what will probably be the biggest advertising news of the year, the company spokesduck received a new voice (Daniel McKeague) after actor Gilbert Gottfried was fired due to a really stupid joke he tweeted about the Japanese earthquake.

What did I miss? Tell me what your favorite commercials are below!

Jambulingam Ravikant
Answer # 2 #

But standing out in the digital landscape is becoming more and more difficult. We’re here to help by rounding up 33 of the best commercials of all time so you can draw inspiration from them and get fresh new ideas to create your next video ad. We’ve got you covered with examples from across genres including some of the most popular Super Bowl commercials.

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And if you stick around till the end, we will also dissect what kind of commercials seem to be the most effective and show you how you can very easily create your own video commercial for FREE, even if you’ve never edited a video before. Let’s get down to it.

Funniest commercialsCutest commercialsCatchy commercialsProduct commercialsWeird commercialsEmotional commercialsSuper Bowl commercialsWhat makes an effective commercial?How to make a commercial for free

Some of the best commercials are memorable because they make us laugh no matter how many times we watch them. Humour is a great way to instantly connect with your audience and create a positive impression for your brand. However, if not approached sensitively, it can lead to backlash, or create a scenario where your audience remembers the ad but not the product. Here are some of the funniest commercials that have struck a fine balance between being amusing and effective.

This ad for British canning company John West opens in a faux nature documentary style, complete with a David Attenbourgh-like voiceover. It takes a surreal turn when we see a John West employee fight a bear to snatch away fresh salmon. Bringing home the concept is the punchline that ties it all together: “John West endures the worst to bring you the best.” The ad, which was created by London-based agency Leo Burnett in 2000, went viral. According to marketing company The Viral Factory, it received 360 million views as of 2006.

Snappy dialogue and perfect delivery from towel-clad ex-American football star, Isaiah Mustafa makes this ad a winner. The concept is backed by sound reasoning—agency Weiden & Kennedy came up with the idea after it found that 60% of body wash purchases are made by women. The ad earned 5.9 million YouTube views on the first day alone, and bagged the prestigious Cannes Lions Film Grand Prix award. As a result, the legacy brand got a new lease on life, and by the end of the year, it had become the leading body wash brand for US men with sales up 125%.

The premise of this famous commercial is simple yet effective because of its universal appeal—just friends goofing off while watching a match over chilled beers. After it aired, parodies surfaced on the internet, talk show hosts and DJs began referencing it in their routines, and the ad’s now-iconic catchphrase “Whassup?” became popular even in countries where Budweiser wasn’t sold!

Featuring actor Anthony Anderson and his real-life mom Doris, this is a fine example of how to create a funny ad without compromising on the message you wish to convey. What makes this a great commercial is that it creates a positive brand association through light-hearted and relatable content that keeps you engaged while also driving home the key aspects of T Mobile’s 5G network.

Retail chain K-Mart used this irreverent commercial to promote their Ship to Home service that offers customers free delivery on any item they can’t find in stores. This is a great example of how wordplay and humour can be used without being offensive. Unsurprisingly, the video went viral, earning 4.2 million views in a week since it first aired in April 2013. It was so successful, K-Mart also released another hilarious ad based on the classic novel A Christmas Carol.

What happens when a snack-loving pet owner and his snack-loving goat butt heads? This funny commercial. It was one of the selections from Doritos' annual competition for fans to create an ad to be shown during the Super Bowl. Absurdity, slapstick humour, and an unexpected plot made this entry stand out.

Which is the best part of an Oreo? Cookie or cream? Oreo decided to try and solve this conundrum with a social media campaign that led to this commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. It's the only brand to have promoted their Instagram account in a Super Bowl ad, a move that gave their social media engagement a huge boost. A couple of seconds after the airing, the Oreo Instagram profile went from 2,200 followers to 15,000, and reached 35,000 by the end of the night.

A 2011 study found that using a cute baby or animal while issuing a survey increased response rates by 88% and 42% respectively. What makes adorable images so irresistible? According to research, pictures of babies trigger our nurturing instinct and cause the release of dopamine. Simply put, cute imagery makes us feel good and creates a personal connection, which is why it’s an effective marketing tool. Here are a few cute commercials that made us go “Awww…!”

Disney employed its superb storytelling skills to bring us this heartwarming tale of a fluffy little duck who becomes enamoured with Donald Duck after seeing him in a page from a comic book. Besides tugging at our hearts, this commercial beautifully captures the magic and childlike wonder that one experiences at Disneyland in just 75 seconds.

According to a study from TiVo, this is the most popular Super Bowl ad to have been aired. What's notable is that you don't realise it's a beer commercial until the very end. The brand employs emotive storytelling rather than heavy-handed marketing to capture viewers' attention. The agrarian setting offers imagery of classic Americana, evoking a sense of timelessness. Research suggests that Millennials are willing to pay more for experiences than physical things, which makes an ad that tells a good story a prudent marketing choice.

This poignant 60-second tale of a timid little boy and a grouchy football player, NFL star “Mean” Joe Greene was an instant hit when it aired in 1979. Thousands of viewers sent letters of admiration to Coca-Cola, which led the brand to replicate this concept with sports stars from other nations like Thailand, Italy and Brazil. It also did wonders for Greene's own reputation. After he appeared in the ad, fans began regularly approaching him to say hello and share their Cokes with him.

Whether you’re an Apple or Android fan, you’ll agree that this animated ad is adorable. With its cute anthropomorphic characters and a soaring soundtrack, it's a not so subtle message for Android smartphone makers to unite against ‘playground bully’ Apple, and a nod to Google’s anti-bullying messaging. What also stands out is the choice to rely on the story alone and not feature any phones in the entire ad.

We took a little help from the true stars of the internet—our feline friends—to create this cute ad that shows you just how easy it is to make a scroll-stopping advertisement of your own in under 15 minutes. None of the cats in our clip had any previous video editing experience, and you don’t need it either! Click here to get started.

Few things can drive a brand’s message home like a catchy advertisement. The right jingle can create memory triggers with just a few opening notes and result in a top-of-the-mind recall. The next time a listener sees a sign for your business, they will immediately associate your jingle and are more likely to choose your product. We’ve put together a few catchy commercials for you to check out, but be warned, they’re all earworms!

Here’s proof that even serious messages can be effectively delivered in a lively manner. Melbourne Metro decided to take the animated route to promote its 2012 rail safety campaign. The video features colourful blob-like characters and a hilarious song about dumb ways to die to underline the message that railway deaths are easily preventable. It was viewed 2.5 million times in 48 hours and 4.7 million times within 72 hours. The song was also separately launched via iTunes, radio, and YouTube, and reached the Top 10 chart on iTunes in just 24 hours.

Back in the 1960s, Alka Seltzer’s redhead, baby-faced mascot, Speedy, introduced viewers to the now-famous line, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh, what a relief it is!” Besides being an instant earworm, the tune was used to change the way consumers used the antacid and convey the message of using two doses (instead of one) at once to achieve quick relief from heartburn and acid indigestion.

If you’re not singing this jingle all day long, you have much better willpower than we do! While the song from this 1988 Kit Kat commercial is now iconic, it almost didn’t get made at all. According to its composer Michael A Levine, it was written only because the clients needed to be presented with two options. However, test audiences loved it so much that they did a second test round just to be sure before selecting the song for their ad campaign.

Though it's from the ‘70s, this ad seems like a viral video from the early days of the internet. It may only have one line, but this jingle is sure to get stuck in your head. In 2019, the brand gave the iconic song a modern upgrade and released an R&B mix along with a kitty-themed music video, plus country, metal, and Latin versions too.

As previous examples of famous advertisements have shown, a good product commercial is one that enables your audience to instantly connect with your brand while subtly relaying your brand’s messaging. These next few commercials prove that telling a good story can make all the difference.

Google relied on ’90s nostalgia for its 2018 ‘Make Google Do It’ campaign to promote its product Google Home. Not only did it get actor Macaulay Culkin to reprise his role as Kevin McCallister from the hit 1990 film Home Alone, it went as far as creating a near-perfect replica of the family’s mansion from the movie. The ad pays homage to a number of scenes from the film, except this time Kevin’s defence strategies are all deployed via Google Assistant.

Slapstick humour, a relatable premise, and timely pop culture references—Apple's 2016 ad for its online music service, Apple Music, checks the right boxes. Canadian pop star Drake is at his most macho, pumping iron at the gym. But when his trainer leaves the room for a moment, he indulges himself in his guilty pleasure—lip-synching to Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood". This has disastrous consequences as he loses his grip while doing a bench press and slides off the edge of the bench in defeat. Cue the tagline: “Distractingly good”.

A clever idea can elevate even the most basic product. This Leo Burnett product commercial for French toilet paper company Le Trefle pokes fun at the tech-obsessed world. The short clip about a man who has to suffer the consequences of pushing technology instead of paper onto his family humorously demonstrates how paper can never become obsolete.

This 2002 ad has become a classic of modern advertising. Its genius lies in establishing an emotional connection between the viewer and a lamp in less than a minute, only to pivot to a surprisingly hilarious ending. Don't feel too bad for the lamp though. He got his happy ending in Ikea's follow-up ad in 2018.

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While there are plenty of iconic ads that stay with us for their catchy jingles or hilarious premise, every so often you come across one that makes you go “Huh?” Today, marketers have to ensure their brand stands out against a barrage of content on television and the internet. How do you cut through that white noise? Oddvertising, i.e., using surprising or downright strange settings to grab your audience’s attention. Here are some examples.

In 2016, the Mountain Dew marketing team decided to combine three of the internet’s favourite things—puppies, monkeys, and babies—for its Super Bowl commercial. Though bizarre, the ad was hugely successful. The sheer oddness of its premise and catchy techno jingle resonated with its target audience—young men in their early twenties to mid-thirties. It generated 2.2 million online views and 300,000 social media interactions just after airing, and was rated the #1 Super Bowl commercial that night.

Directed by Spike Jonze, this ad opens with a bloody and battered patient in an emergency room. Doctors try to save him and as they pull off his mask, he begins singing as a beeping heart monitor and IV keep the beat. Soon the doctors join in, pausing only to jumpstart his heart. This weird commercial from iconic jeans brand Levis works because it employs techniques that appeal to a young target audience, including unexpected plots, humour, and retro music.

Calvin Klein's "Obsession" series of ads from the 1980s were influenced by art-house cinema and the films of Ingmar Bergman. The result is footage that's highly stylized and intriguing but incomprehensible. One could argue that this was an intentional reference to how the world of haute couture is perceived. However, if you do embrace the bizarre for your ad, be careful not to alienate your audience.

Emotions play a significant part in the choices that consumers make. A brand can boost sales by telling a story that connects to its audience in a personal and human way. So how do you create an advertisement with an emotional connection? Research your target customer base and identify their critical motivators and then leverage your findings. Here are a few emotional commercials that have tugged at our heartstrings.

This story of the unbreakable bond a young boy shares with his beloved pet dog will melt the hardest of hearts. The premise is something all animal lovers and pet owners can deeply relate too, and a perfect way to appeal to the pet food brand's target audience. According to IAMS, this was the strongest performing commercial in the brand's history.

Set to a haunting cover of Elvis Presley's classic hit "Can't Help Falling in Love With You", this ad is a masterclass on using emotional triggers to create a connection with consumers. It earned over 7 million YouTube views and more than 78 million Facebook views (with over 1.1 million shares) within a week of its digital release, even though it hit primetime TV only 10 days later.

A masterclass in emotional advertising from Ogilvy & Mather, this tearjerker tells us the tale of a young man who quietly performs good deeds. No one is able to understand why he does them until the end of the ad—cue the waterworks. Though targeted at Southeast Asia, the ad quickly went viral on the internet, earning over 6 million YouTube views, 800,000 Facebook shares, and 22,000 tweets in just a week.

This public service announcement from the '70s is one of the most iconic ads of all time. It features a Native American man who expresses his grief at the destruction of the environment caused by modern society. The camera zooms in on actor Iron Eyes Cody’s face to reveal a single tear falling down his cheek. For many Americans, Cody's face became synonymous with environmental idealism after the ad first aired.

Each of us has a story to tell. At InVideo, we give you the tools to help you tell your story the best way possible because your story matters. Here's a commercial we created that really touched our customers. We love to share our success with you, so we've turned it into a template as well! Check the Your Story Matters template and use it to share your story.

According to estimates, about 18% of viewers who tune into the annual Super Bowl are more interested in the catchy commercials that air during breaks. This bounty of consumers available during the event has brands shelling out top dollar for a coveted spot. In 2020, all but one 30-second Super Bowl spot cost advertisers between $5 million to $5.6 million. Not every ad lives up to the hype but some go on to become a cultural phenomenon. Check out some of the most popular Super Bowl commercials.

Beloved comedian Betty White won hearts at the 2010 Superbowl with a memorable Snickers ad. She plays the alter-ego of a man who is having the worst luck playing football. He transforms back into himself after he eats a Snickers bar, but not before White throws a few hilarious insults at his teammates. The ad does a great job eliciting laughs and bringing home its message: "You're not yourself when you're hungry."

This controversial Apple ad first aired at the Super Bowl in 1984 and took inspiration from George Orwell's eponymous novel. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Ridley Scott, the ad has an ominous, dystopian tone to it, an unusual choice even today. The twist at the end cements its reputation as one of the best ads of all time. The company sold 90% more Macs than projected in the first 90 days following the ad’s airing.

Pop culture references, a cute kid, and savvy marketing decisions turned this car ad into one of the best commercials of all time. Departing from convention, the car company decided to release a full-length version of the ad, which had been shortened for its pricey Super Bowl spot, on YouTube a few days earlier. The gamble paid off. By the next day, it had 1.8 million views on YouTube which went to 17 million before kickoff, according to figures by Deutsch. “The Force” is still the most shared Super Bowl ad of all time. Since its debut, other brands have also begun to expand their Super Bowl commercials into full-fledged marketing campaigns across platforms.

This 30-second black and white ad takes a dig at corporate America to convey its tagline: "There's a better job out there." It features kids talking about their career aspirations and appeals to its viewers' sense of nostalgia to remind them of the dreams they once had and push them to find something better—on-point branding for an online job portal.

This Western-themed Super Bowl ad brings to life the managerial metaphor "It's like herding cats" that refers to the difficulty of aligning team efforts. It successfully takes a dry concept like data management and puts it into context in a funny and unexpected manner. 21 years on, the award-winning commercial remains one of the best ads of all time.

Now that you've had plenty of inspiration, we're sure you're eager to try crafting your own advertisement. Before you get going, here are 8 tips to create an effective commercial that stands out from the crowd.

Remember, your commercial needs to paint a convincing picture that your audience can connect to. How do you do that? The first step is to know your target audience. Next, create a comprehensive storyboard with the characters and plot of your ad. Get started with our storyboard template here.

No matter the length of your ad, you have a few moments to grab your audience's attention. Make sure the first 3 seconds of your ad are compelling enough to convince a viewer to stick around till the end.

Before you prepare your script, research your target audience. How do they usually speak? What phrases do they use? How would they describe your product? These insights will help you create a script that sounds natural. Check out our comprehensive, step-by-step guide to writing a video script.

Think of ads you've found iconic. Chances are they all have a catchy jingle or smart taglines that have stayed with you for years. These tools can make it easy for your viewers to remember what you do, especially if laced with humour or an unexpected twist.

Instead of making just one video ad, consider creating a series of videos or a larger advertising campaign that features recurring themes and characters. This can lead to greater brand recall.

The right voice can make or break your advertisement. When creating a voiceover for your ad, think about what the personality of your brand is, what voice represents that, and how it can be used to connect with your customers.

The best ads are those that are clear and concise in their messaging. When creating a storyboard, identify the main message you wish to convey and stick to it. Communicating more than one message in an ad will only confuse your viewers.

It's important to identify what you want your audience to do next after they watch your commercial. Next, be sure to include a call to action that is in line with your goal at the end of your video.

Inspiration? Check. Pro tips? Check. You're all set to make your own ad! And here's a secret: You don't need a huge budget or fancy equipment to craft an effective ad. With InVideo, you'll have access to tons of free templates, stock footage, and a super intuitive editor making it the easiest tool to create a video ad of any size, whether a short promo or a full-length advertisement. You can find and customise video ads from various categories to suit your brand.

Bernie Grovic
Engine Driver
Answer # 3 #

While print format is less hi-tech than newer advertising channels, the best print ads take just as much ingenuity to get right. An arresting image and clever copy are usually the keys to drawing us in long enough for us to receive the message the ad wants to communicate. And when they work, it can be highly memorable.

Below, we've gathered our favourite examples of print adverts from brands both big and small. Some are clever and creative, some made us laugh and others are hard-hitting or even controversial, but they also show how powerful the best print ads can still be to communicate a product.

For more inspiration, take a look at our pick of the best billboard advertising. And if you want to work on your own designs, see our pick of the best Adobe Illustrator tutorials.

Click on the icon in the top-right of each advert to see the full-size image.

The best print ads often grab our attention by playing with our recognition of certain well-known products. That's best achieved through a simple, clear idea. This 2012 Land Rover print ad features two things we immediately recognise: a heavily stamped passport and the distinctive shape of a Land Rover. The ad was the work of RKCR/Y&R (now VMLY&R (opens in new tab)). The collage cleverly communicates the Land Rover's all-terrain characteristics, suggesting that it's ready for the challenge of any destination you might visit next. Now if only Land Rover's could fly.

At first glance at Burger King's 2022 ad, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're staring at a macro close-up of some red meat. But no, those are peppers, beetroot and radicchio. This one is designed to make you double-take.

"Sorry for the confusion, meat lovers," reads the tagline – and indeed, you wouldn't know that's veg you're looking at. From the deep red colour to those thin fibres, the whole thing looks disconcertingly, well, meaty. This one was nominated for a CB at 10 Award as the best print ad of the decade.

This campaign from a German pencil brand (by Leo Burnett Hong Kong (opens in new tab)) might just have left the sharpest impression yet. The poster for Staedtler pencils shows what looks, at first glance, like a bunch of bizarrely sharpened pencils. But look a little closer, and it becomes clear that you're looking at a series of impossibly intricate buildings carved into the lead. Find out more here.

Every now and again a concept ad comes along that's so brilliantly done, it fools people into thinking it's an official design. Sam Hennig (opens in new tab) recently created this Kit-Kat ad, which plays on lockdown life so cleverly it's gained massive amounts of attention across the internet.

Made for the One Minute Briefs Twitter account, the advert shows a daily schedule, totally consumed by Zoom meetings, with a Kit-Kat duo blocking out two slots in the middle, at 3pm. It's simple, relevant and completely on-brand. In fact, it's so clever, many are praising Kit-Kat itself for the genius, before realising it actually has nothing to do with the brand, officially (though KitKat and Zoom have responded to it via Twitter). Read more about it here.

This ad resurfaced recently on the internet, with folk going wild for the genius concept, so we thought it worth including in this roundup. Originally created in 2015 by Stockholm-based agency M&C Saatchi (opens in new tab), the ad, titled Flag of Flags, highlights five hidden flags inside Norway's (including France, the Netherlands and Finland). The destinations (and, of course, prices) are listed inside the rectangles in a pleasingly clean sans-serif typeface.

When KFC opened a new restaurant in an area of Majorca known locally as "where Ikea is"), the fast food chain decided to lean in to the association. Madrid agency PS21 (opens in new tab) mimicked Ikea's colour scheme and typography for the ad, leading to some good old brand banter between the unlikely rivals.

There's nothing worse than trying to cut, well, anything with a blunt knife. And so Hamburg-based design agency KNSK (opens in new tab) have nailed this print advert for the WMF Grand Gourmet knife. We're not sure why you'd ever need a knife that sharp, but this eye-catching ad leaves us in no doubt that this is one kitchen utensil you shouldn't mess about with.

In 1960, VW (opens in new tab) sold its trustworthy design to the world by labelling a car a lemon, the word commonly used to describe production defects. It had a minor default, not noticeable to the eye but even so it was taken off the market.

Well, fast forward almost 60 years and a Beetle is, once more, taken off the market. This time it's not for any default but simply because tastes have changed. And so it is a 'lime', and worthy of our print adverts roundup.

Ad agency Yellow (opens in new tab) uses a series of wide-eyed animals to highlight the very real problem animals face during Diwali celebrations. With super-bold imagery and bright colours, the campaign keeps the festival spirit. Juxtaposed against this, however, are the terrified eyes and shocking face masks of beloved pets and animals.

The images, strong enough to make this one of the best print adverts of all time, show how the animals could protect themselves against the different types of pollution were they able to, highlighting how it is down to the humans around them to protect them.

Or as the ad presents it: it's down to 'U': hence why the key letters are missing.

The importance of safe sex can be a tricky topic to address,  but DDB Mozambique (opens in new tab) took a humorous route with this print ad for Lirandzo condoms. The designs feature famously terrifying youngsters from well-known horror stories, including the creepy twins from The Shining, and The Ring's goosebump-inducing Samara. Would you want one of these guys living in your house?

The previous model may have been likened to a trash can, but the when Apple unveiled its new Mac Pro in June 2019, the design drew unkind comparisons of its own: there was something decidedly cheese grater-ish about it. IKEA Bulgaria jumped on the discussion immediately, and within a few days it had released this killer ad. Created by advertising studio The Smarts (opens in new tab), the design takes a bite out of Apple with its cheeky tagline and clever lower-case 'i' on the product name.

We love a good optical illusion here at Creative Bloq, and we've seen them come in all forms, from still images that appear to move to images that appear to change colour but don't. They're great for insights into how our brains work, but sometimes an optical illusion can make a great print ad too. The designer Felipe Salazar (opens in new tab) created this ad to advertise the kitchen offerings of Colombia's Hiper Centro Corona chain. At first glance it looks like a page of classified ads, but it's been designed in such a way as to form the shape of a kitchen, complete with extractor fan and kitchen tops.

Popular yeasty spreadable, Marmite, has carved out an admirable little niche for itself as shorthand for anything that polarises opinion. And over the last couple of years there's been nothing quite so Marmitey in the UK as the result of a certain referendum, so this recent ad, created by Oliver (opens in new tab)'s in-house team at Unilever, feels kind of inevitable. Well played, Marmite. Too soon, but well played.

There's nothing particularly new about using pictograms to spell out a message in an advert, but we love the twist behind this one. It's a recruitment ad for a copywriter put out by RBH (opens in new tab), and the illustrated pictograms spell out 'Copywriter needed', with the ad going on to state that, 'The pictures people have taken over. We need a words person.'

The amount of plastic being dumped in the ocean is so far beyond what we can comprehend that it doesn't bear thinking about. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't, as the team at German advertising company Ogilvy (opens in new tab) highlight with this campaign for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) (opens in new tab), an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation. The print ad campaign depicts a number of different fish, misshapen by various plastic objects, with the tagline 'You eat what they eat'. The ad goes on to encourage viewers to help clean up our oceans by donating to Sea Shepherd.

Another great offering from McDonald's, this time from the team at Leo Burnett (opens in new tab), who followed the modern and minimal aesthetics of McDonald's communication with this striking visual. In a clever use of illustration, the iconic 'M' becomes lights in the night, sending viewers the message that no matter what time they want to visit, even in the middle of the night, McDonald's is open for business.

Boeker Public Health is a major pest management and food safety company based in the Middle East. JWT Dubai (opens in new tab) created these beautiful-but-gross print ads based on the idea that when it comes to pests, if there’s one, there will be more. The agency focused on replicated an authentic Russian Matryoshka doll aesthetic, first painting each design onto a wooden surface, then mapping these designs onto a 3D rendering of a doll. The project picked up multiple awards.

This long-running print ad campaign can be found on the streets and subway stations of Montreal, promoting an all-day electronic music festival that is held every Sunday in a park throughout the summer. The adverts feature bright, poppy photography combining fruits with musical equipment; a simple concept that effectively captures the idea of ‘fresh sounds’. Ethos (opens in new tab), the studio behind the campaign, created the images by photographing real objects that had been hand-painted in different colours.

Created by Joe Public United (opens in new tab), this print campaign for a job portal (opens in new tab) aims to motivate people to stop slogging it out in a job they don’t like. Deftly retouched photos show bored workers at their desks, sat still for so long mould has started to grow on their bodies, or spiders have set up their webs on them.

If there's one thing we all know about KFC, it's that it's finger-lickin' good, and it's this irrefutable fact that's inspired this series of frankly unsettling print ads. In them, everyday objects suddenly sprout mouths wherever your fingers might touch them, in the hope of licking off a little of the Colonel's chickeny goodness. It's the work of Zane Zhou (opens in new tab), along with LamanoStudio (opens in new tab) in Chile. Thanks for tonight's nightmares, guys.

It's been over 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in England and Wales, but today it's still illegal in 72 countries around the world – and punishable by death in eight. To highlight this, Absolut, in collaboration with LGBTQ charity Stonewall (opens in new tab) and BBH London (opens in new tab), created this series featuring close-up shots of same-sex kisses, with many of the subjects coming from the countries where these kisses could land them in prison, or worse.

If these clever adverts for Heinz look kind of familiar, it's with good reason. They originally featured in an episode of Mad Men where Don Draper tried to pitch a series of ads showing food that goes great with ketchup, but without the ketchup itself visible. Draper argued that people would fill in the gaps for themselves and create a stronger association in their mind, but Heinz wasn't going for it. In real life, however, the company's on board with the idea, with DAVID Miami (opens in new tab), rolling out these near-exact reproductions of Draper's pitch.

Burger King prides itself on flame-grilling its burgers rather than frying them, but we all know how fire can misbehave if you don't keep a close eye on it, right? Burger King holds the record for the most restaurants that have burned down since 1954, and that's the brilliant angle seized by DAVID Miami (opens in new tab) in one of its many innovative campaigns for the company, using genuine photos of blazing BKs to emphasise how it cooks its burgers.

In spring 2018, the unthinkable happened. KFC ran out of chicken. Thanks to problems with a new distributors, the Colonel ended up temporarily closing most of its 900 UK restaurants. KFC handled it like a true pro, putting its hands up and accepting responsibility, and bringing in Mother London (opens in new tab) to create a print ad apology that instantly went viral. It even picked up a Wood D&AD Pencil in writing for advertising. Check out more companies that have mastered the art of saying sorry (or not) in our roundup of the good, the bad, and the WTF of brand apologies.

Usually, if someone wants to wee on your advert, it's not a good sign. However, Ikea actively encouraged it in this crib advert, which doubles up as a pregnancy test. If the result was positive, the retailer would offer the mum-to-be a half-price crib, shaving pounds off the several thousand they'll be shelling out for their upcoming bundle of joy. To create this ad, agency Åkestam Holst (opens in new tab) worked in partnership with material technology company Mercene Labs (opens in new tab).

According to Delta, world travellers are more likely to attract right swipes on Tinder, but what if you can't afford to go away to snap that perfect profile pic? That's what Delta – along with Wieden+Kennedy (opens in new tab) New York and Colossal Media (opens in new tab) – addresses with the Delta Dating Wall, an epic print advert in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, featuring exotic backdrops that you can stand against for a selfie, instantly making you a lot more windswept and interesting.

Wieden+Kennedy London was tasked with raising the profile of Chambord among a target audience of women aged 24-35. It used the campaign to push back against the pressure on women to conform to certain rules with its 'Because No Reason' tagline that encourages people to do what they like, just because they like it.

You never know what you'll find when you go shopping in TK Maxx, and the spontaneous, surprising nature of the shopping experience in this designer discount shop is brought to the fore by this campaign emphasising the 'ridiculous possibilities' that lie inside. It's the work of Wieden+Kennedy, with other examples highlighted including smartly dressed women scaling the side of a building on a rope made of silk scarves, and a biker doing ballet.

This print ad campaign was created by Leo Burnett France (opens in new tab), and plays on the idea that with Jeep, you can go wherever you like and 'see what you want to see'. Each ad features an image of an animal, which, when turned upside down, turns into another creature from the other side of the world: the giraffe becomes a penguin, the elephant a swan and the doe a sea-lion.

It's a bold move for a company that has built itself on selling paper books. When Penguin needed to push its audiobook offering, Miami Ad School (opens in new tab) decided to tackle the eco issues of paper production head-on. The intricate illustration in the bark is a lovely touch.

Ogilvy once again proves itself as a print advertisement master, this time in a campaign for allergy medicine. Simple yet effective colours and a smart illustration trick – using the silhouette of common allergens to 'block' the figure's nose – make this an ad that pops from the page.

Ogilvy is known for creating some of the best print advertisements around the world. This is just another example of its brilliant work. Created for Fevikwik Instant Adhesive, it's one of a three-part print advertisement series that uses clever illustration and a monochrome colour scheme to its fullest potential.

Created by DLV BBDO (opens in new tab) in Milan, Italy, the simple execution of this print advertisement works wonders for music magazine Rolling Stone. A cool image paired with a brilliant tag line ('We are made of rock') capture the brand's attitudes, product and ethos effortlessly. Using a signature-like handwriting font also ties in with the rock star aesthetic.

Ion Frolova
Answer # 4 #

So it was a little difficult for me to come up with just one "best" advertisement of all time—which is why there are 18 in this post instead.

But why are these some of the best ads of all time?

Because of the impact they had on brand growth and because they hit on some universal truth that makes them memorable years after they first began. In fact, some of us might not have even been alive when these campaigns first aired.

But to know what makes an advertisement great, you must first understand what an advertisement is.

The Best Advertising Campaigns of All Time (And What Made Them Successful)

Nike: Just Do It.

Coke: Share a Coke

Absolut Vodka: The Absolut Bottle

Anheuser-Busch: Whassup (1999)

Miller Lite: Great Taste, Less Filling (1974)

Always: #LikeaGirl (2015)

Volkswagen: Think Small (1960)

Google: Year in Search (2017)

Dos Equis: The Most Interesting Man in the World (2006)

California Milk Processor Board: Got Milk? (1993)

Metro Trains: Dumb Ways to Die (2012)

Apple: Get a Mac (2006)

Clairol: Does She or Doesn't She? (1957)

De Beers: A Diamond is Forever (1999)

Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (2010)

Wendy's: Where's the Beef? (1984)

Procter & Gamble: Thank You, Mom (2012)

KFC: "FCK" (2018)

Use These Advertisement Examples to Inspire Your Own Ads

As you can imagine, there are many types of advertisements—all of which run in different mediums, on different channels, and have different goals in mind for their business. People can advertise anywhere, and today's best type of ad might not be the best type tomorrow.

Here are four basic examples of advertising from the past few centuries (yikes), from earliest to latest.

The first print ad ran in England in 1472, according to Infolinks. Since then, this type of advertising has become available in newspapers, magazines, brochures, billboards, flyers, and similarly portable methods of carrying a brand's message to its ideal end user. In this ad method, the advertiser pays the publisher to place their ad in the publication.

United States radio stations launched their first commercial broadcasts in 1920. And while we might all drive around with our iPhones plugged in for music these days, don't let that fool you.

Radio is still a viable marketing and advertising platform today for expanding the reach of sponsored events and new products. In this ad method, the advertiser pays the radio station to play their ad during designated breaks between music or a radio show.

Television ads originated in the 1940s with the promotion of practical items and political campaigns. Advertisers can now use television to promote food, toys, stores, business services, and more—both to local TV channels and to national broadcast networks. In this ad method, the advertiser pays the TV network to show their ad during designated breaks in the network's regular programming.

Internet advertising took root in the mid-1990s with the launch of "banner" advertisements for various telecommunications companies.

Marketers place these ads in interstitial spots on a webpage. Basically, advertisers pay the website owner to place their ads in exposed spaces peripheral to the website's own content.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Internet advertising has gone on to include video, search engine marketing, sponsored social media posts, and more.

In essence, the advertising types listed above have evolved dramatically since their inception. What were once quite one-dimensional messages now carry clever, funny, or profound undertones that make the ads memorable years after they first ran.

So how do you create an advertising strategy that resonates? Well, this post should help with that as we explore how we can learn from ads and campaigns.

But, first, an important distinction:

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Use HubSpot's free Advertising Campaign Kit to plan out your advertising project and learn more about which advertising type is the best for your project.

Without further do, here they are in no particular order: 18 of the best advertisements of all time and the lessons we can learn from them.

Did you know that once upon a time, Nike's product catered almost exclusively to marathon runners? Then, a fitness craze emerged, and the folks in Nike's marketing department knew they needed to take advantage of it to surpass their main competitor, Reebok. (At the time, Reebok was selling more shoes than Nike). And so, in the late 1980s, Nike created the "Just Do It." campaign.

It was a hit.

In 1988, Nike sales were at $800 million; by 1998, sales exceeded $9.2 billion. "Just Do It" was short and sweet yet encapsulated everything people felt when exercising—and people still feel that feeling today. Don't want to run five miles? Just Do It. Don't want to walk up four flights of stairs? Just Do It. It's a slogan we can all relate to: the drive to push ourselves beyond our limits.

When you're trying to decide the best way to present your brand, ask yourself: what problem are you solving for your customers? What solution does your product or service provide? By hitting on that core issue in all of your messaging, you'll connect with consumers on an emotional level that is hard to ignore.

Big brands are often hard-pressed to do something ground-breaking when they're already so big. So, what did Coca-Cola do to appeal to the masses? They appealed to individuals by putting their names on each bottle.

The Share a Coke campaign began in Australia in 2011 when Coca-Cola personalized each bottle with the 150 most popular names in the country. Since then, the U.S. has followed suit, printing first names across the front of its bottles and cans in Coke's branded font. You can even order custom bottles on Coke's website to request things like nicknames and college logos.

This was a breaking story across the marketing and advertising industry. It enchanted many consumers, but it confused others. Why make something temporary so personal?

Either way, Coke received immediate attention for this campaign. Pepsi even released some sassy counter-ads shortly after the campaign launched. Theirs focused on mocking the bottle names, questioning how people truly felt when they got the wrong name.

Coke fans are regular buyers, and the company fully leaned into that sense of individual ownership. Wondering what name you'll get out of the vending machine was a fun thrill in and of itself—even if it isn't yours, it encourages you to "share a Coke" with whoever's name is on the front.

Despite having an ambiguous shape, Absolut made its bottle the most recognizable bottle in the world. Its campaign, which featured print ads showing bottles "in the wild," was so successful that it didn't stop running for 25 years. It's the longest uninterrupted ad campaign ever and comprises over 1,500 separate ads. So, as the saying goes, “If it ain't broke, don't fix it.”

When the campaign started, Absolut had a measly 2.5% of the vodka market. When it ended in the late 2000s, Absolut was importing 4.5 million cases per year or half of all imported vodka in the U.S.

No matter how boring your product looks, you can still tell your story in an interesting way. Let me repeat: Absolut created 1500 ads for one bottle. So, don’t feel afraid to be determined and differentiate your product in the same way.

When's the last time an advertisement literally changed the way we talk to one another? Allow me to answer that question with another question: "Whassup?!"

This series of commercials, which first appeared in late 1999, features a group of friends connecting on a group phone call (not very common anymore, huh?) while drinking beer and "watching the game" on TV.

It starts gently: "What are you doin'?" Someone asks. "Watching the game, havin' a Bud" (a Budweiser), someone replies. As more friends pick up the phone, hilarity ensues: "WHASSUP!?" is yelled back and forth, becoming a classic catchphrase and an icon of beer-drinking culture that constantly ran on sports networks over the next few years.

The ad took pop culture by storm during the Super Bowl in 2000, and you can still hear its echoes today. Why? Anheuser-Busch showed us just how silly and informal an ad can be without ruffling feathers or going off-brand. Dare to celebrate your audience's absurdities. The more genuine your ad is, the more valuable your product is.

Source: BuildingPharmaBrands blog

Think it's easy to create a whole new market for your product? The Miller Brewing Company (now MillerCoors) did just that with the light beer market—and dominated it. The goal of the "Great Taste, Less Filling" campaign was getting "real men" to drink light beer, but they were battling the common misconception that light beer can never actually taste good.

Taking the debate head-on, Miller featured masculine models drinking their light beer and declaring it great tasting.

For decades after this campaign aired, Miller Lite dominated the light beer market it had essentially created. What's the lesson marketers can learn? Strive to be different. If people tell you there isn't room for a product, create your own category so you can quickly become the leader.

Always, the feminine product brand, hit a home run with this advertisement, not because it went viral after the commercial ran in the 2015 Super Bowl, but because it was a groundbreaking message that hundreds of millions of people repeated long after the campaign was over.

The campaign began as a commercial explaining the stigma behind playing sports "like a girl"—implying that the boy's way is better or correct. By the end of the ad, the message is both clear and inspiring: girls are just as fit and capable as boys are, particularly during puberty—a stage of life that’s extremely important to Always and its women's products.

The message is now a holistic initiative by Always and a hashtag that's still used on social media today.

Acknowledge not just your audience but the challenges they face—especially the ones that reflect your time or culture. Not every societal issue is off-limits to marketers and advertisers. Take a stand on the ones you know your audience supports, and you'll access a customer base that identifies with your passion.

Source: design shack

Many marketing and advertising professionals like to call Volkswagen's "Think Small" campaign the gold standard. Created in 1960 by a legendary advertising group at Doyle Dane & Bernbach (DDB), the campaign set out to answer one question: how do you change people's perceptions not only about a product but also about an entire group of people?

See, Americans always had the propensity to buy big American cars—and even 15 years after WWII ended, most Americans were still not buying small German cars. So what did this Volkswagen advertisement do? It played right into the audience's expectations. You think I'm small? Yeah, I am. They never tried to be something they weren’t.

That's the most important takeaway from this campaign: don't sell your company, product, or service as something it's not. Consumers recognize and appreciate honesty.

This isn't the oldest or most well-known advertisement on our list, but it's become the most powerful over its nine-year (and still going) existence. So powerful and so true you forget it's an advertisement.

Year in Search began in 2009 as "Zeitgeist," a written report of the public's most common Google searches over the previous 12 months. The following year, Google adapted it for a three-minute video. Since then, it's been a bold, yearly reminder of how much we depend on Google for information on the news and events that give the entire world pause. Check out the company's latest video from 2021 above.

Remind your customers how much you care that they care. These stories elicit a variety of emotions but ultimately unite everyone—no matter what Google products they might like—through an uplifting message of how our usage of the company reflects the best in all of us.

Source: The Open Field

You know who he is. The man smokes Cuban cigars, surrounds himself with beautiful women, and drinks Dos Equis beer.

Cooling down indulgent vices, such as beer, desserts, or luxury items, is key to creating a successful campaign. And The Most Interesting Man in the World is one of the coolest commercial guys out there.

At the end of every commercial, he says: "I don't always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friends."

The hilarious hyperbole employed in this campaign makes it memorable the next time viewers head out to buy some beer. And even though Dos Equis recently replaced The Most Interesting Man with a new actor, the original actor’s popularity in meme culture will never decline because of his short, sweet, and memorable tagline—and the cool dude vibe it makes viewers harken back to.

Source: Broward Palm Beach New Times

Thanks to the California Milk Processor Board's "Got Milk?" campaign, milk sales in California rose 7% in just one year. But the impact ran across state borders, and to this day, you still can't escape the millions of “Got [Fill-in-the-Blank]?” parodies.

Note, though, that the ad didn't target people who weren't drinking milk; it instead focused on the consumers who already were.

It's not always about getting a brand-new audience to use your products or services. Sometimes, it's about getting your current audience to appreciate and use your product more often. Turn your audience into advocates, and use marketing and ad content to tell them why they should continue enjoying the product or service you’re already providing.

Yes, you read that right: Dumb Ways to Die.

In Melbourne, Australia, Metro Trains wanted to convey a simple message: no horsing near train tracks. Disorderly conduct could lead to injuries or even death. Still, instead of typical warning signs or announcements inside train stations, Metro Trains came up with Dumb Ways to Die, a song that has garnered 157 million YouTube views since it debuted in 2012.

The song is, unsurprisingly, about dumb ways to die. For example, poking a grizzly bear with a stick or taking your helmet off in outer space.

Frankly, it features a catchy little chorus you won't be able to stop humming to yourself (because singing it is a little morbid): "Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to die."

At the end of the video, after you've watched adorable cartoon characters dying in the dumbest of ways, you get to the moral of the story: there are many dumb ways to die, but the dumbest possible way would be if you died while standing on the edge of a train platform, drove through a railroad sign, or tried to cross over a train track.

The video ad went viral on YouTube. The song was available on iTunes and even played over the radio with an accompanying ad.

This beloved, now-famous campaign communicates a simple idea in a creative and memorable way—and you don't feel you're being nagged the way some public service announcements do. Consider using creativity to convey your message if your subject matter is grim or boring.

While there have been many great Apple campaigns, this one takes the cake. The video above is just one of a series of iterations of this campaign, and the Mac vs. PC debate ended up being one of the most successful campaigns ever for Apple. The company experienced 42% market share growth in its first year with its help. These commercials tell Apple's audience everything they need to know about the product without being overt.

Just because your product does some pretty amazing things doesn't mean you need to hit your audience over the head with it. Instead, explain your product's benefits in a relatable way, so consumers can see themselves using it.

Source: Current360

The first time Clairol asked this question in 1957, the answer was 1 to 15—as in, only 1 in 15 people were using artificial hair color. Just 11 years later, the answer was 1 of 2, according to TIME Magazine. The ad was apparently so successful that some states stopped requiring women to denote hair color on their driver's license. You know you've hit a nerve when your ad campaign changes things at the DMV.

Clairol did the opposite of what most marketers would do: they didn't want every woman on the street running around saying they were using their product. They wanted women to understand that their product was so good that people couldn't tell if they were using it or not.

Sometimes, simply conveying how and why your product works is enough for consumers. Showing becomes more effective than telling.

Source: BBC News

In 1999, AdAge declared De Beers' "A Diamond is Forever" the most memorable slogan of the twentieth century. But the campaign, which proposed (pun very much intended) the idea that no marriage would be complete without a diamond ring, wasn't just riding on the coattails of an existing industry. De Beers actually built the industry. It presented the idea that a diamond ring was a necessary luxury.

According to the New York Times, N. W. Ayer's game plan was to "create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring."

Advertising can make a relatively inexpensive product seem luxurious and essential.

Source: Coloribus

The very first part of Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign, created by Wieden + Kennedy and launched in February 2010, was the following commercial. It became a viral success practically overnight:

That video has over 51 million views as of this writing. Several months later, in June 2010, Old Spice followed up with a second commercial featuring the same actor, Isaiah Mustafa. Mustafa quickly became "Old Spice Guy," a nickname Wieden + Kennedy capitalized on with an interactive video campaign in which Mustafa responded to fans' comments on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites with short, personalized videos.

In about two days, the company had churned out 186 personalized, scripted, and quite funny video responses featuring Mustafa responding to fans online. According to Inc, these videos saw almost 11 million views, and Old Spice gained about 29,000 Facebook fans and 58,000 new Twitter followers.

"We were creating and sending miniature TV commercials back to individual consumers that were personalized, and we were doing it on a rapid-fire basis," Jason Bagley, former creative director at Wieden + Kennedy and a writer for the campaign, told Inc. "No one expects to ask a question and then be responded to. I think that's where we broke through."

If you find your campaign's gained momentum with your fans and followers, do everything you can to keep them engaged while keeping your messaging true to your brand's voice and image.

Source: AdSoft Direct

Is it enough to say this campaign was successful because it featured a giant hamburger bun and a cute set of old ladies? No? I didn't think so.

Wendy's took a more daring approach in this advertising campaign: it targeted its competitors. The simple phrase "Where's the beef?" was used to point out the lack of beef in competitors' burgers—and it quickly became a catchphrase that encapsulated all that was missing in their audience's lives.

While you can't predict when a catchphrase will catch on and when it won't, Wendy's (wisely) didn't over-promote their hit phrase. The campaign only ran for a year, allowing it to gently run its course.

Be careful with your campaign successes and failures. Just because you find something that works doesn't mean you should keep doing it repeatedly to the point it's played out. Allow your company to change and grow, and you may find that you can have even greater success in the future by trying something new.

Seriously, you wouldn't expect a household and cleaning products company commercial to pull at the heartstrings like that, would you? Lately, though, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has launched some of the best ads we've ever seen from the consumer goods industry.

That's because P&G identified the story behind the story of Olympic athletes—the stories of the supportive moms who pushed these world-class athletes throughout their entire lives leading up to that crowning moment. And yes, they probably had to do a lot of laundry and cleanup along the way (presumably using P&G products).

Make your audience cry (just kidding). The season or time period of your ad is important. But even if you run an ad during the Olympic Games, like P&G did, make sure it has longevity and a message that can influence people no matter when or where they see it.

Emotional and nostalgia marketing are powerful tactics to get people to make buying choices, so if there's a bigger, more universal story behind your product or story, tap into it—and showcase it front and center.

The ad above isn't just an empty bucket of KFC with the company's letters jumbled around. It's also not a normal, unprompted promotion of fried chicken.

This ad is an apology and perhaps the most creative one of all time.

In February 2018, KFC's business in the U.K. ran out of chicken. You read that right: a poultry company ran out of poultry. It's not every day that a business stumbles upon the most ironic PR crisis in company history, so when it happens, all eyes are on the business's response. Well, we're happy to report that KFC stuck the landing.

With the help of the creative agency Mother London, KFC took out a full-page ad in Metro, the U.K.'s newspaper, rearranging its three famous initials to create a hilarious, albeit explicit, response to its product shortage. The ad depicts a KFC bucket that reads, "FCK"—as if to say, "FCK, this is embarrassing." (You can fill in the missing letter...)

Beneath this design, the company apologizes for what it realizes is an inexcusable, if not slightly funny, failure.

No business is above a good old-fashioned sorry. And if you can laugh at yourself in the process, you'll only make it better. KFC's ad shows how to combine humility, class, humor, and ultimately company pride in a message that can help you bounce back from the bad press—and even come out the other side with a net-positive result for your brand.

Advertising is one of the most important aspects of any business, and it can be a make-or-break factor in terms of success.

Shahzad mqit Hostnetindia
Answer # 5 #

Let’s face it.

Most ads aren’t that great.

They get skipped. They get forgotten about. They get ignored.

And then there are those ads that transcend their industry. They become more than just an ad.

They become a much loved part of pop culture.

That’s the kind of ad you want for your brand, product, or service.

But first you need some inspiration.

Here are the 50 best commercial ads of all time…

As an animated explainer video company, animated ads have a special place in our heart.

Animation is a great way to make a memorable and timeless ad that appeals to a wide audience.

It’s also surprisingly inexpensive because you don’t have to worry about hiring locations, actors, or expensive equipment.

Let’s take a look at some of the best animated ads...

Just look at the view count on that ad – over 200 million and counting. Most can only dream of that kind of exposure!

This ad – showing cutesy, colourful characters experiencing horrifically over-the-top deaths while singing along to a very catchy song – is brilliant for many reasons.

Not only is it delightful and funny, it also suckerpunches viewers at the end with a very real safety message: Be safe around trains.

It’s the exact opposite of what you’d expect from a public service announcement about train safety, and maybe that’s why it’s so memorable and still enjoyed today.

This beloved ad first aired in 1989 and was remastered by Toys R Us decades later to celebrate their 25th year of trading in the UK.

Mike Coogan, marketing director at Toys R Us said at the time: “The Magical Place TV commercial has become synonymous with the success of Toys R Us. We’re delighted to bring back this iconic commercial.”

This is another ad that can place a lot of its success down to a catchy soundtrack, and it’s probably not a coincidence.

Scientists have found that music stimulates almost every part of the brain, particularly the limbic system – responsible for emotion and memory.

This could be why some advertising jingles are so successful and catchy, and why we’re able to look back on them with fondness even decades later.

This beautiful 3D animated commercial from Nike was released to coincide with the 2014 world cup.

At just over 5 minutes long it’s probably considered a little lengthy for an ad, but when you have a gripping storyline, famous characters, and incredible visuals, length doesn’t really matter anymore.

In fact, this ad feels and looks more like a short film. It took over 7 months for a team of over 300 people to complete, including 101 artists and 25 animators.

This ad by Lyft is also a beautiful short film, directed by Academy Award winning animator, John Kahrs.

While telling an engaging and – in places – emotional story, the video also showcases different use cases for the service and builds trust in Lyft.

According to Ricardo Viramontes, the creative director for Lyft at the time, “The film was inspired by the Lyft drivers and passengers who make it more than just a ride…there’s a strong common theme of people coming together through the Lyft experience.”

Another nice touch about this ad (and an additional nod to the sense of community that the film explores) is the original song “Moving” by Sir the Baptist, who was a Lyft driver for two years while pursuing his dream of becoming a hip hop artist.

This touching animated ad from Chipotle shows the company’s commitment to sustainable farming.

It stands out from the crowd when it comes to similar ads on this topic that tend to focus on shock value and upsetting imagery – and perhaps that’s why it was so successful.

The song that drives the story is a country cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” by Willie Nelson. After the success of the ad, the song was downloaded thousands of times and (true to the message of the ad) the proceeds went to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation which encourages sustainable farming methods.

This ad sparked many conversations and was featured across several news sites when it was banned from TV for being “too political.”

According to the BBC, this was because of the connection to a body whose objects are wholly or mainly of a political nature – that body being Greenpeace.

Still, the ad was very successful online and it’s easy to see why. It looks great, it spreads an important message, and it tugs at the heartstrings of viewers.

In this public service announcement about sepsis, a loyal dog is used as a metaphor for the body’s immune system.

The 2D animation, cel animation, and textures help to tell this story in a dramatic and compelling way. Plus, the video cleverly uses colours and sounds to evoke emotion.

Animation is perfect for telling stories with a metaphor – a boy and his dog become a person and their immune system. This video was received very well and won 2 Emmys!

Some of the best commercial ads ever are those that make us laugh every single time we watch them.

Funny ads are also successful because they’re extremely shareable. Whenever people see something funny on the internet, the knee-jerk reaction is to send it to their friends.

And, according to our Video Marketing Statistics report, people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends than any other type of content.

At first glance, there’s nothing funny about this ad. But the punchline is definitely worth the short wait.

This ad for Berlitz – a language learning company – gets its point across in a unique and funny way. And then ends on a serious call to action: Improve your English.

This ad is funny because it’s relatable and unexpected. It’s exactly the kind of ad people like to watch again and again, and even share with their friends.

The rivalry between England and Scotland is no secret. This IRN-BRU ad cleverly plays on that fact to demonstrate their famous “IRN-BRU gets you through” tagline.

Every time the father in the sketch is frustrated by the Englishness of his daughter’s new boyfriend, he takes a sip of IRN-BRU and feels a little bit better.

There are many ads in this series, all following different funny scenarios that characters handle by drinking IRN-BRU. Here’s another one (consider it a bonus video!):

As the best-selling candy bar in the entire world, Snickers could probably get away with simple, straight-forward ads. Or even no ads at all.

Insteads, Snickers goes all out with crazy, unpredictable ads like this one from 2007, featuring the A-Team’s very own Mr T.

With Mr T exploding onto a football pitch in a tank to yell and throw a Snickers bar at a footballer feigning injury, you can’t help but pick your jaw up off the floor, laugh, and grab a Snickers.

From one celebrity spokesperson to another, Terry Crews was the face of Old Spice for ten years and featured in several hilarious video ads like the one above.

The ads are memorable for the funny and bizarre scenarios that Terry Crews finds himself in, and also for his energetic and loud delivery.

This Amazon ad featuring a star-studded cast was originally shown during the 2017 Super Bowl.

The premise itself (Alexa losing her voice) is original and funny, but the celebrity guests make it even funnier.

With a classic insult from Gordon Ramsey, Antony Hopkins reprising his role as Hannibal Lector, and even Jeff Bezos himself featured in the video, this has got to be one of the best commercials of all time.

Before this ad launched, Dollar Shave Club was a tiny, virtually unknown start up. Almost 30 million views, 4 million subscribers, and a $1 billion acquisition later, and it’s safe to say this video put Dollar Shave Club on the map.

Every second of this video includes an element of humour – from the unpredictable dialogue to the strange props – and the most amazing thing?

It only cost $4,500 to make.

The mark of a successful ad is that it helps your brand stand out from the crowd and achieve your goal.

When asked the question:

What’s the best way to stand out?

Some brands have answered with: Get Weird.

This theme of advertising has grown in recent years, and has actually now got its own name: “Oddvertising.”

Let’s take a look at some of the most weird and wonderful ads of all time…

This is one of the most well known ads of all time. In fact, it was actually voted the nation’s favourite ad by the British public.

It’s a man in a gorilla suit playing “In the air tonight” by Phil Collins. It has nothing to do with chocolate! And yet, people adored it (and still do today) so much that it boosted Cadbury’s sales by 9% and helped the brand come back from a salmonella scare.

Phil Rumbol, Cadbury’s newly-appointed marketing director at the time, said that it was “the hardest thing I’ve had to sell in my career.”

But now, Rumbol says, since the great success of the ad, “I hear of brands who go into agencies today and say ‘Give me a gorilla’.”

This ad for Mountain Dew is, without a doubt, the weirdest on this list (maybe the weirdest in the world). It first aired during Super Bowl 50, and it was the brand’s first in-game ad spot in 15 years.

They wanted to stand out and Puppy Monkey Baby definitely achieved that. It’s a polarising ad with some people thinking it’s weird and creepy, and others thinking it’s brilliant. But it’s this polarity that drummed up so much attention for the ad.

It was easily the most talked about ad that year and the Puppy Monkey Baby hashtag continued trending long after the game was over.

You may be pleased to find out that the ad isn’t completely devoid of logic. According to the creators, Monty Pera and Don Marshall Wilhelmi, the idea came from a running gag in the ad world that the most popular Super Bowl ads feature puppies, monkeys, or babies. So they went for all three!

Just like “Maybe it’s Maybelline” or Nike’s “Just do it”, Skittles has a long-running, famous tagline: “Taste the rainbow.”

This has been the Skittles tagline since the early nineties, but in recent years the brand has been experimenting with ‘oddvertising’ to see how far they can really stretch it.

The treadmill ad is one of their more weird ventures, in which we see a character sweating Skittles while another character collects and eats them.

It’s quirky. It’s strange. And it definitely gets people talking about Skittles.

When your product is called Poo Pourri, you’re already starting from quite a weird place. It only makes sense to take that weirdness into your video marketing campaigns.

The “Girls Don’t Poop” video ad went viral quickly. Viewers loved the bizarre contrast between the elegantly dressed and well-spoken main character, and the subject matter she was talking about.

The video is currently creeping its way towards 50 million views and the brand has gone on to create a series of videos with the same character and toilet humour (pun intended!).

A primate. A musical instrument. We’ve been here before, haven’t we?

It’s clear that this weird ad from Jammie Dodgers shares similarities with the Cadbury “Gorilla” ad. And it could also be argued that perhaps it influenced Mountain Dew’s “Puppy Monkey Baby”.

The cheesy music video set up adds to the humour of this video, and the catchy (yet strange) song makes it memorable.

In the era of skippable ads, this idea from Geico is genius – and, yes, a little bit weird.

It presents viewers with all of the information upfront – before they can skip – and then halts to a freeze frame for the rest of the video.

The great thing about this is that it keeps us watching – even though what we’re watching has really nothing more to do with Geico. We’re just watching two guys staring at each other.

Pretty weird, but also pretty mesmerising – and memorable!

If you can’t make them laugh, make them cry.

That’s definitely not a saying. But in the advertising world, sometimes it works.


People make decisions based on their emotions. So the goal of a great ad is just to make us feel something – whether that’s humour, weirded out, or a tug on the heartstrings.

This sentimental ad by John Lewis (the first of several John Lewis ads on this list!) tugs on the heartstrings by showing us significant and relatable life events in a woman’s life.

The ad pairs smart camera movement – that makes the video appear as though everything is unfolding in one fluid motion – with a recognisable soundtrack, and manages to foster brand loyalty in the process.

There’s no doubt this ad is impactful, but it did cost a cool £6 million to create!

This ad cleverly plays with the emotions of viewers. It lulls us into a false sense of security with an adorable montage of precious moments that all dog owners will be familiar with, and then ends with a punch in the gut.

A perfect way to spread such an important message and ensure that message lingers long after the ad is over.

Sadly, the lonely older relative is a much used trope in Christmas ads. And it was beginning to get a little predictable, until this ad from EDEKA subverted all expectations.

The German supermarket gained international attention when they released this ad in 2015 – and it created quite a divisive reaction among viewers and news outlets.

USA Today called the ad a tearjerker, while Buzzfeed wrote an article about how it enraged people.

However you feel about the ad, it got people talking. And it definitely has the power to make you want to call a loved one immediately.

This is another ad that subverts expectations. It begins with scenarios that would perhaps be deemed “funny” if seen in a cartoon. The ad even features an accompanying laugh track to exaggerate this, which makes the 180 degree turn the ad takes at the end all the more shocking.

The final image is harrowing and the ad did receive several complaints from viewers. However, the independent television commission (ITC) decided not to uphold the complaints, stating that the imagery was:

“an effective means of communicating the seriousness of the issue and moving people to take action if they were concerned about a child.”

While upsetting, there’s no denying that the message of this ad is clear and memorable.

Released to coincide with the 2010 winter olympics, this ad – which feels almost like a short film – showcases the sacrifices and hard work that mothers do every single day of their children’s lives.

On watching, it releases a whole wave of emotions and it’s a video that everyone can feel connected to, whether you’re someone’s parent or someone’s child.

From a commercial point of view, this ad helped P&G to leverage their global scale and it actually became the most successful global campaign in the company’s 175-year history.

It resulted in $500 million in global incremental P&G sales, with 76 billion impressions, over 74 million views, and an incredible 370,000,000 Twitter interactions!

One shot. That’s it. Just one long take of someone running, a powerful voiceover, and a whole lot of emotion.

Nike could easily have gone for a campaign that focused on superstar athletes (and in the past, they have), but with this ad they focused on the rest of us. The everyday people that want to start moving their bodies more and improving their health.

And that’s what makes this ad so great, so memorable, and so inspiring.

This ad is just 30 seconds long, but in that short time it really packs a punch and delivers its message with long-lasting effect.

The milkman is an interesting device that allows the NHS to tell the story in a way that people can easily relate to, and the image of a young pregnant woman is powerful too – it really makes the viewer stop and think about the importance of donating blood.

From a practical point of view, the inclusion of subtitles (that tell us the UK needs 700 new donors every day) is a great move, considering 50% of viewers say they watch videos with the sound off and 80% of people are more likely to watch a video if captions are available.

This is another ad that makes you feel like you’re watching a short film – and what an emotional rollercoaster it is.

The love story runs parallel to Clio’s own history over the past thirty years, with different cars being featured throughout.

Although it’s a celebration of the company’s history, they made the smart decision to have the cars take a backseat (another intentional pun – sorry!) and make the love story the focus – and it’s this that captured the heart of viewers.

When making an ad – especially in today’s competitive video marketing world – the more creative and different you can be, the more you’re going to stand out.

Here are some ads that we think are the most creative…

In this short film, Bodyform takes the stories that are often never told – womb stories – and tells them all in beautiful, creative, and memorable ways.

Bodyform has always been a brand that isn’t afraid to go where other brands won’t, and this video is no different.

Endometriosis, menopausal hot flashes, and miscarriage are all handled very delicately here, with an eclectic mix of animation styles, in a way that speaks directly to Bodyform’s target audience: women.

Burger King’s marketing team are revered in the marketing world for their ability to consistently come up with creative and inventive ideas that often make tongue-in-cheek jibes towards their main competitor: McDonalds.

This ad, featuring a terrifying clown that looks suspiciously similar to Ronald McDonald, is no exception.

And the promotion is really creative too! The call-to-action asks viewers to come to Burger King dressed as a clown and in return they’ll get a free Whopper.

It’s the only ad on this list that actually offers the viewer something. This is definitely something to consider replicating if you want to increase the success of your campaign.

Adorable animal videos. It’s what the internet was made for, right?

Lots of people browse the internet looking for videos just like the ones featured in this ad. By collating them all together, Android created an experience that felt less like watching an ad and more like a genuine perusal of the internet.

But it still manages to get the point across perfectly – we don’t all need to have the same tech and the same gadgets.

This hints at Apple (Android’s main competitor) in a similar way that the Burger King ad alludes to McDonalds, but Android does this in a slightly more covert way.

John Lewis takes video marketing very seriously. Their ads are always unique, and they never fail to make an impact on viewers.

This video – their 2015 Christmas ad – tells the story of a young girl who spots a lonely old man on the moon. She can’t stop thinking about him so she decides to gift him with a telescope for Christmas so that they can see each other.

It’s a touching story and it gets the message across clearly: show someone they’re loved this Christmas.

The reason we’ve put this in the “creative” category instead of the “emotional” or “Christmas” sections (even though it would fit perfectly into either) is because it’s a very unique way to highlight the power of giving.

You may be noticing a pattern here. This is the third “competitor dig” ad in our list. Spoofs like this one are so creative because they connect with the audience on a different level, and they have the power to get people talking.

This ad (along with Burger King and Android) has an instant competitive advantage because it’s like the video is sharing a private joke with viewers.

This video gets extra props because it was released so quickly after the ad that it parodies. If you can keep your finger on the pulse like this, your video marketing efforts will likely have an increased chance of success.

When Volvo wanted to demonstrate the stability and precision of the dynamic steering in their trucks, they probably thought of many different ways they could do this.

But there’s surely no better way than to show Jean-Claude Van Damme carrying out his famous splits while giving a motivational speech as Enya plays in the background.

This is close to video marketing perfection! And that’s why this video has over one hundred million views!

These days, people are bombarded with ads. They’re busy. They have the opportunity to skip. So just how do you keep them watching?

Honda’s answer to this: challenge them.

This video cleverly challenges viewers from the first second and it kind of makes it impossible to stop watching!

The brand even released a faster version so that viewers could challenge themselves even more:

Most people own a television, so it’s easy to assume that marketing and selling televisions is easy. But the question becomes: how do you differentiate your product?

Sony decided to hone in on colour. And they did it in a unique and creative way that generated a lot of buzz and attention for their brand.

It took 1 hill in San Francisco, 250,000 bouncy balls, 6 takes and 23 camera people over 4 days to capture the mesmerising footage.

This inventive ad by IKEA shows someone using their products as ingredients to make the perfect kitchen.

This is a fun way to highlight the freedom that people have when they build their kitchen with IKEA, and it’s also memorable because it’s such a different way to showcase their products.

Is there a more coveted video ad spot than the Super Bowl?

Probably not!

The cost of a commercial slot increases every year, reaching $5.6 million for a 30 second slot in 2020.

So, it should come as no surprise that the brands who snag a Super Bowl spot put in a whole lot of effort.

Here are some of the best from over the years…

Before Space Jam, there was Hare Jordan. This 60 second Super Bowl ad by Nike was no doubt the catalyst for the cult classic film.

At the time it was fun, different, and spoke to parents and children alike. The use of classic Looney Tunes props, scenarios, and lines (“That’s all folks!”) hooked the kids, and legendary sportsman, Michael Jordan hooked the grown ups – a win-win for Nike.

Cute kid? Check. Humorous storyline? Check. Star Wars reference? Check. Everything you need to make a memorable Super Bowl ad.

This ad was VW’s first Super Bowl spot in over a decade, and they knew they were competing for attention with other large automakers with more ad dollars to spend than they did. So they did something slightly controversial to try and help them stand out:

They released the ad online first.

This move was a huge success and has changed the way brands distribute their Super Bowl ads today. According to Tim Ellis, head of marketing for Volkswagen North America, “I thought if everything goes right, this thing will catch fire and go viral.”

And everything did go right. The ad racked up an incredible 17 million views before kickoff – paying for itself before the Super Bowl even started!

George Orwell’s novel 1984 has embedded itself into pop culture. It almost acts like a manual for “what not to do” as society advances, and this Apple ad – released in 1984 – dares to show viewers a glimpse of how dark life would be if the fictional novel had become a reality.

The ad doesn’t show the product itself, but creates intrigue by ending on a bold statement.

Running during the 2020 Super Bowl, Loretta touched a lot of people’s hearts. And, according to Google’s chief marketing officer, the ad was based on a true story from a Google employee’s grandfather.

And that’s actually his voice in the ad.

The simplicity of this ad is genius. It’s a love story told through Google’s products, and it really shows potential customers how these products can help them in their lives.

The stakes are SO high with a Super Bowl ad. It’s a spot that brands wait for every year, it costs so much money, and the competition is huge.

You could have what you consider to be the best ad ever and all it takes is for another brand’s  video to be funnier, more emotional, more unique – and yours is left in the dust.

One way to avoid that happening, as Tide discovered, is to mock every possible type of ad there is.

This hilarious ad goes through all of the tropes we’ve seen before: the laughing with your friends beer commercial, the suave car commercial, the what-am-I-watching-here perfume commercial.

And the result is a memorable ad for Tide. It’s a Tide ad.

One thing everyone in the entire world knows for certain: 2020 wasn’t exactly planet earth’s best year.

This 2021 Super Bowl ad for Budweiser puts a clever spin on “when life hands you lemons” (referencing the 2020 pandemic) to market their new lemonade.

The result is funny, relatable, and topical.

Christmas ads have become a category all their own. Ever since John Lewis released their 2007 Christmas ad, “Shadows”, brands have been in friendly competition with one another to create the best Christmas ad of the year.

It could be described as the UK’s answer to the Super Bowl, in terms of commercials. And every year the anticipation is greater!

Let’s take a look at some of the best…

Long before the hype of Christmas ads, there was one to rule them all.

Here in England, where Wyzowl is based, there’s a saying: “It’s not Christmas until the Coca Cola ad is on TV.”

The success of this ad now largely relies on nostalgia, but it’s a great lesson that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Even as recently as 2020, the “Holidays are Coming” ad was crowned the most effective Christmas ad of the year.

Similar to how England views the Coca Cola ad, there’s also a saying in Scotland: “It’s not Christmas until the IRN-BRU ad is on TV.”

So I guess we can easily determine each country’s favourite soft drink!

This ad is a parody of the well-known Christmas movie The Snowman, and it not only checks the nostalgia box, it’s also pretty funny!

This is yet another ad that uses nostalgia to strike a chord with viewers. The visual style and storytelling here matches the timeless series of Christmas stories from author Raymond Briggs. He’s also the genius behind ‘The Snowman’ used in the IRN-BRU ad – if you spotted a similarity!

However, this ad goes deeper than nostalgia. Based on a true story, the ad demonstrates Barbour’s brand values and lets viewers know that they make jackets to last.

This beautiful animated ad, featuring an original song performed by James Cordon, tells a heartwarming story about the importance of spending Christmas with your loved ones. It’s also sprinkled with some great humour and scenarios everyone can relate to.

James Cordon isn’t the only famous contributor to this ad. The song was composed by Oscar-winner Bret McKenzie, and the ad was directed by award-winning director Sam Fell, with stop-frame animation techniques and laser-printed puppets made by the company behind Fantastic Mr Fox.

Quite a production!

John Lewis is back again! This video has everything you need for a great Christmas ad: a heartwarming story, an emotional cover of a well-known song, and amazing visuals.

Telling the tale of an unlikely friendship, The Bear and the Hare really captures the magic of Christmas. The bear, who usually hibernates through Christmas, is given the perfect gift from the hare – an alarm clock – and is able to enjoy the festivities with his friends.

The ad is also extremely impressive from a technical point of view. It was made by placing 2D cutouts of the characters into real sets and then animating in-camera – techniques that had never been tried on this scale before.

This ad still holds up today. As recent as 2019, it was voted as the most emotionally engaging John Lewis Christmas ad.

One year after The Bear and the Hare, John Lewis struck gold again with Monty the Penguin.

And they recycled a lot of the same elements. This ad also features an unlikely friendship, an emotional cover of a well-known song, and a heartwarming story about the true meaning of Christmas.

John Lewis proved that they found a recipe for success when it comes to Christmas ads. Monty the Penguin generated 349 million impressions and delivered a profit ROI of £7.44 for every pound spent!

This ad is so great because it’s got many of the elements we recognise from the Christmas films we watch every single year: mad-dash shopping, music from The Nutcracker, and, of course, a Christmas miracle.

With now close to 50 million views, this ad is still going strong and has no doubt fostered a huge increase in loyalty for the brand.

Okay, one final entry, and of course it has to be from John Lewis.

Once again, it’s easy to pick up on the pattern of an unlikely friendship paired with a cover of a well-known song, all wrapped up together with a touching story that makes viewers think about what Christmas is really all about: showing your loved ones that you care.

But it’s not all about storytelling for John Lewis. They also sell products directly related to their ads. Both Monty the Penguin and Edgar the Dragon were available to purchase as limited edition plushies after the ad aired, driving sales in the run up to Christmas – and this is why the John Lewis ads are some of the best of all time.

What a ride that was.

50 very different ads, all amazing in their own ways.

We hope you’ve gathered some inspiration and are feeling ready to make the next best commercial of all time!

Answer # 6 #
  • Coca-Cola – “Meet Joe Greene” (1979) .
  • Budweiser – “Whassup?!” (1999) .
  • McDonald's – “The Showdown” (1993) .
  • M&M's – “They Do Exist” (1996) .
  • Old Spice – “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” (2010) .
  • Always – “Like a Girl” (2015) .
  • Life Cereal – “Mikey Likes It” (1978) .
  • Nike – Hare Jordan (1993)
Mohna, Gunaji