AdNews picks the Top 10 ads of the year

15 December 2014

There's some laughs, some tears, some parody and some hard-hitting messages in the AdNews Top 10 list of the best Australian ads of 2014. So what made the list featured in The Annual? And more importantly, do you agree?

We also picked the Top 10 worst ads of the year, highlighted the top 10 tech moments, the best global ads, the top 10 buzzwords we love and hate and we found 10 of the weirdest complaints made to the ASB about ads this year.

You can see the full list of all the Top Tens in The Annual or you can get the issue on iPad right now.

In no particular order, here’s our pick:

Aldi – Like
It was remarked by a certain agency boss that in a category where there are a lot of shit ads, Aldi manages to rise above and create campaigns that cut through the noise. From the motivational speaker who is actually extolling the power-giving properties of cheese, the singing fish who is peering down upon his tinned relatives, to Fabio’s hirsute – Like Aldi pyjama-clad cousin who talks to his fireplace, it’s a retail ad – but not as you know it. Who would have thought that people would actually be looking up supermarket ads on YouTube? We commend you Aldi, and thank you for explaining to all that, of course bears use toilet paper. What do you think they are – animals?!

Bundaberg Rum – Men like us
What do pirates like to drink? Rum, obviously. Diageo went one further and combined the two, creating a song and dance in this brand campaign for Bundaberg Rum. It’s definitely a departure – literally and metaphorically – from previous brand messages and doing that with a song should be commended. Ahoy sailors.

St John Ambulance – Underwater
This ad makes you feel sick, and it should. In a time when audiences are bombarded with advertising, this campaign from St John Ambulance WA cuts through the noise with a very clear and powerful message. If you don’t know CPR, you should. It’s hard to watch but impossible to look away. Brilliant.

Qantas – Feels like home
In its first brand campaign for two years, Qantas chose to tap into the widely acknowledged fact that Australian people love to fly home on the proudly Australian airline. Whatever you make of the campaign, it fulfilled its objective to tug at the heart strings and boost positive conversation about the flying Kangaroo.

The Cancer Council – I touch myself
The Cancer Council, managed to not only pay homage to Australian vocalist Chrissy Amphlett, who passed away from breast cancer in 2013, but the organisation also created a campaign that makes a much wider audience sit up and take notice of breast cancer awareness and issues. Truly deserving.

Old Spice – Man Song, Bondi Hipsters
They’re on a horse. Not really, because hipsters don’t do that. But in the “mahn” or Man Song spot, the Bondi Hipsters for Old Spice put an Aussie and deliberately wanky spin on the much lauded US Old Spice man ads – and for that alone they get points. All they really wanted was a lift to Bondi.

GE Healthcare – Miracle Twins
“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.” Who knew branded content could be so beautiful. Yes, yes it’s not an ad, it’s branded content, but isn’t that where advertising is going? Regardless of what it is, this is brand messaging done right. It’s beautiful, compelling and even has a happy ending.

Origin Energy – Energy made fresh daily
This year Origin Energy changed the way we think about energy. The brand launched the ‘Energy Made Fresh Daily’ campaign to get people thinking differently about the category. It’s hard to get people to take notice of what they take for granted, but this may have been a lightbulb moment for the whole category.

Toyota Hiliux – Unbreakable drivers
You want to get your hands on a HiLux? Whatever you do, don’t cry. The spot separates the men from the boys and, more importantly, the good brand messaging from the bad. The ad puts potential drivers through tests to determine if they deserve to drive away with a HiLux. Luckily enough for this ad, it passed all our tests.

Coca-Cola – Coloured Cans
Moving away from the colour red was something few guessed Coca-Cola would ever do. But it refreshed its image with the Colour Your Summer campaign, bringing in different coloured cans which it hopes will attract teens back to the brand. No TV ads, but a very smart campaign. From the land that brought you Share a Coke.

We also picked the Top 10 worst ads of the year, highlighted the top 10 tech moments, the best global ads, the top 10 buzzwords we love and hate and we found 10 of the weirdest complaints made to the ASB about ads this year.

You can see the full list of all the Top Tens in The Annual or you can get the issue on iPad right now.

We've also got Media Rants from The Australian's Chris Mitchell, Sunrise's David Koch, Women's Weekly editor in chief Helen McCabe, radio talent Merrick Watts and Ross Stevenson and Gruen Transfer's Dan Gregory. 
In the Photo Essay CMOs, CIOs and data kings align: Woolies, Qantas, Quantium, Nestlé, Contiki, Telstra, NRL and more talk about the new frontier of marketing. Read an excerpt of Tony Phillips' and Tony Davis' take here.

Print copies will be landing on subscribers' desks over the next few days and we'll be sharing some of those insights online before the end of the year. You can also buy the iPad version immediately and check it out digitally.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at adnews@yaffa.com.au

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