Top 10 Aussie ads of 2016

By AdNews | 13 December 2016
A still from OPSM's 2016 campaign

This is the AdNews pick of the best Australian ads in 2016. Some are shocking, some controversial, some absurd. But all are brilliant.

1. Australia Day Lamb 2016. Operation Boomerang - MLA by The Monkeys

This year’s controversial MLA Australia Day ad lived up to its hype as Lee Lin Chin hatched Project Boomerang to bring overseas Aussies home for Australia Day, reminding them that ‘lamb brings people together’ on the national holiday. Led by ‘Lambassador’ Sam Kekovich, Project Boomerang rounds up an army of Aussie icons, including Fitzy & Wippa, Wallabies captain Stephen Moore, cricketer Mitchell Johnson and a vegan, returning them just in time for an Australia Day BBQ.

2. Rethink Role Models: The Netball Diamonds - Samsung by Iris Sydney

Samsung’s ‘Rethink Role Models’ takes us on the inspirational journey of a young girl who overcomes doubters and naysayers to become an Australian Netball Diamond. It beautifully illustrates the self-belief, graft, sacrifice and pain the sporting elite face to make it to the top. This ad showcases the remarkable athleticism and toughness of netball with a powerful message that will inspire young athletes to thrive in any sport.

3. The Magic of Technology - Telstra by The Monkeys

Telstra rolled out a major new brand campaign in July which evoked the “magic of technology” and introduced a new tagline of ‘thrive on’. The ad﷯ opens with a quote from sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke and talks about the magic connections technology brings and the possibilities the network offers. An incredible example of long-form copywriting and narration.

4. Spring Lamb 2016. You Never Lamb Alone - MLA by The Monkeys

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) was at it again in September with a much-talked about push for spring lamb. The part piss-take, part serious message is about diversity and stemmed from the idea many Australian’s felt they weren’t being represented in mass media. Shot in one take, the ad features indigenous Australians, an Olympian, Rugby League player Greg Inglis and model Samantha Harris. Other Aussies present include Greek-transgender comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, television presenter Luke Jacobz, Bengali-Australian actor Arka Das and a long list of Australian extras.

5. Meet Graham - Transport Accident Commission by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne

In this confronting concept The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) highlights how susceptible the human body is to a crash by creating a human evolved to survive one. A Royal Melbourne Hospital trauma surgeon and Monash University Accident Research Centre crash investigator worked with Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini to develop Graham. Australians were also able to see Graham using augmented reality technology Google Tango.

6. Roll home with a Chiko - Chiko Roll by Cummins&Partners

The Chiko Roll is a mysterious thing. This retro-style ad, developed by Cummins&Partners, aimed to revive the classic snack. The two-minute jingle is a bizarre showing of inspired copywriting and out of the box thinking for a product that has languished. Without a doubt, this was one of the best ads all year. Clever and hilarious. There’s nothing else to do but roll home with a Chiko.

7. Pocket money - ANZ bank by TBWA

ANZ bank has been pushing the equality agenda in its Equal Futures work, which is more than a campaign. To coincide with International Women’s Day 2016, it launched Pocket Money, which shows kids’ reactions to girls earning less pocket money for the same chores than boys do. It’s adorable – but also punchy.

8. Land cruiser network - Toyota by Saatchi & Saatchi

Saatchi & Saatchi worked with Flinders University and Toyota to trial a new technology that could provide an emergency mobile network deep in the Australian outback. It’s an incredible initiative that uses Toyota’s presence in the o﷯utback to solve what is a huge problem, and can cost lives. It uses wifi and delay tolerant networking technology to turn a network of roving Toyota Land Cruisers into a mobile network.

9. How do you grow a champion? - Woolworths by M&C Saatchi

Woolworths threw its support behind the Australian Olympic team this year and its ads are beautifully crafted and based on a simple concept that links Woolworths to the Olympics via its fresh food concept. It crafted a feel-good message likening growing and harvesting the best fresh food to nurturing a sports superstar from their youth to go on to represent the country at the Games. Could be a little twee, but the execution makes up for it.

10. There's no style without substance - OPSM by Marcel

OPSM's latest ad has no score. There is not a bar of music throughout the 60-second film, which is unusual and powerful. The brand relaunch campaign is looking to reposition the brand as more stylish, and more accessible than many people think at the same time as justifying its price point. It adopts long-form narrative that tells a philosophical story about style being more than aesthetic. It claims there is no style without substance - this ad has both.

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