These global ads offer a smörgåsbord of creativity from pre-roll ads that people actually watch, to a gum-wrapper love story, dancing skeletons and a tale on the high seas. These are the global ads that floated our boat in 2015 - do you agree?
1. 'Family: Unskippable' - Geico by the Martin Agency
A very clever agency tricked us into watching a pre-roll and hearing about insurance. And we really enjoyed it. Facing the ad-skipping trend straight on, the voiceover spells it out in the first five seconds: “You can’t skip this Geico ad because it’s already over.” We’ve been had so we might as well watch the rest of it to see where it goes. As the big dog munches its way through the family’s dinner, we’re mesmerised because it’s so wrong but then it’s so right. Who knows how these actors kept a straight face as the dog tramples over the table. This could be a layered freeze frame shoot but it isn’t - watch the eyeballs. Kudos to the actors for staying still and not cracking up, but perhaps it was the 99th take. A victory for pre-rolls.
2. 'Man on the Moon' - John Lewis by Adam&Eveddb London
While laced with a saccharin-sweet tune, having borrowed the set for the Apollo 11 moon landing, this ad’s punchline hits home. This ad delivers a very real message about the loneliness of people over the festive season, and the department store that always makes viewers cry has done it again.
3. 'This Girl Can' - Sport England by FCB Inferno, UK
From the opening shot of a very real backside, this ad kicks arse. A beat-driven soundtrack takes off with the snap of a bikini bottom. Girls and women of all ages, shapes, sizes show that they ‘can’ do all kinds of sports and feel good doing it. “I jiggle, therefore I am”. God save the queens of sport.
4. 'Imagine' - Lotto Powerball by DDB
Arrrgh me hearties, this ad tugs at the heart strings. “Do it more piratey” the child begs his story-telling grandfather. Dad’s away for days at a time earning a crust on the high seas while his son is missing him. Three generations of New Zealand men are doing it tough but Lotto makes it a whole lot better.
5. 'Band of Brands' - Newcastle Brown Ale by Droga5
Newcastle Brown Ale cleverly hijacked the most anticipated ad of the year for the Superbowl, jamming 37 small brands into 60 seconds of prime advertising real estate. An exhausting ripper of an ad crashes from paper towels to fridges, Jockey pants to flooring, all to the tune of a Mariachi band.
6. 'Sarah and Juan' - Wrigley's Extra Gum by Energy BBDO
The moral of the story is: the couple who chew together stay together. This ad follows the story of two lovers who meet in high school told through hand drawn sketches on gum wrappers. It’s beautifully shot, with a beautiful soundtrack. Who knew gum could be so romantic.
7. 'Brady Bunch' - Snickers by BBDO, New York
Three words: Marcia, Marcia, Marcia. This is a laugh-out loud merging of two post-modern icons: The Brady Bunch and Snickers. This clever ad is guaranteed to leave a sweet memory to chew over and share on social media. This is a good one, with the all-necessary poke at Jan thrown in.
8. 'The Nation's Hydration' - Mount Franklin Water by Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand
This isn’t just any old H2O, it’s anti-dry, pre-wetted, see-through water; so we can hydrate our way to glory. It shows what Australians are made of - 70% water. And tells us Mount Franklin is 100% water, and 100% Australian, so we should do the math. This very funny ad has it all sewn up, water-tight.
9. 'We Are Greater Than I' - Samsung by 72andSunny, UK
“Without you I’m nothing” Samsung Galaxy tells us. Truer words were never spoken. This surf epic is there to spruik Samsung’s waterproof phones, but it does it gloriously by instead focussing on the world of surfers - men, women, young and old, disabled surfers, women surfers in hijabs. Everyone’s in it.
10. 'Love Has No Labels' - Ad Council by R/GA
This poignant ad boils everything down to the bones. An X-ray is the great leveller and the ad shows different types of love between people: heterosexual, homosexual, young, old, able, disabled, friends, family, and all castes and creeds. For diversity and inclusion, this ad nails it.
The Influential Top Tens from The Annual were presented in partnership with The Newspaper Works.
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