For our final Ads of the Week, the whole ClickZ editorial team joined together for this one, each sharing one or two of our favorites from 2015.
Back in May, ClickZ started Tweets of the Week, a Friday feature that has since expanded to include Ads and Stats of the Week. Our team takes turns doing them and by now, you may have noticed some of our own personal preferences: Sophie loves NASA, while Mike will always figure out a way to work Denny’s in.
We decided to reflect that with our final edition of Ads of the Week of 2015. Everyone on our editorial team picked his or her (mostly her) favorite ad or two from the past year. Be sure to let us know what you think of our selections in the comments!
Wrigley’s Extra: The Story of Sarah and Juan
Ok, so I’ll admit it. While my team is pretty female-heavy, I’m probably the biggest ‘girly girl’ in the group. I love pretty pink flowers, anything and everything that comes in polka dots, and believe that every situation can be made better with my favorite chocolate biscuits (that’s cookies to the American folk!) in hand. But most of all, what I’m the biggest sucker for is a bit of romance. That’s why when I saw the Extra chewing gum ad, it pulled on so many of my I LOVE heart-strings.
The two-minute commercial is a love story of school sweethearts Sarah and Juan. Played out to a revamp of Elvis Presley’s ole classic Cant Help Falling In Love by Haley Reinhart, the tale depicts a young couple who met at high school and go through the trials and tribulations of any adolescent relationship, through to the brink of young adulthood. It even features their first kiss, completed with lots of minty chewing gum of course!
I’ve now watched this ad over 50-something times and it still makes me cry my eyes out every time. Yes, I might be a loser but it appears I’m not the only fan around. Since the commercial was posted on YouTube on October 7, it has been viewed over 15.5 million times. Wow, there’s a whole lot of romantics out there.
And it seems to have definitely done the trick in encouraging love-seeking viewers to purchase chewing gum. One person took to Twitter saying: “I just bought 50,000 packets; this s**t better work.” I wonder how that panned out for him…
Hyundai: A Message to Space
When your ad has been viewed almost 70 million times you know you are doing something right. This ad from Hyundai uses the timeless and winning formula that love has no boundaries – even when your dad lives and works in space.
It may be set in Houston, Texas, but its appeal – a daughter telling her father, “I love you,” is a global one.
A key marketing challenge for auto brands is communicating the intangible parts of the product. How do they explain complex engineering feats to everyday people like you and me? The remarkable accomplishment of writing Stephanie’s message to her astronaut dad across the Delamar Dry Lake bed in Nevada (an area the size of 1.5 Central Parks), clearly demonstrates the credentials of Hyundai’s Genesis in precision driving, vehicle endurance and agility.
As part of the campaign, the video linked to A Message to Space campaign website. Here viewers could watch a behind the scenes making of the ad and share messages to their loved ones via a #AMessagetoSpace social media campaign which ran between April and May.
Hyundai says its A Message to Space has resulted in more than 1,500 global press and media mentions, and a 50 percent to 300 percent increase in Hyundai YouTube search rankings in a number of global markets from Europe to the U.S., Australia and Mexico.
In addition, the ad has been formally recognized by the Guinness World Records as the largest tire track image, giving the brand additional marketing exposure.
Nissan Japan: Xtreme Pizza Delivery Service
I’m not a car fanatic so it’s funny that the two ads I’ve selected for our ads of the year come from the auto industry. But I loved this ad from Nissan Japan to promote the capabilities of its X-Trail four-wheel drive. (I also love skiing, so maybe that has something to do with it too.)
Did this skier send out a flair because he’s cold and lost and wants to be rescued? No, he’s having a pizza delivered of course!
For two weeks during February, Nissan delivered pizzas to skiers in the Japanese snowfields to promote the X-Trail’s difficult terrain capabilities. Initial buzz began long before the video was shot, using Japanese online recruitment websites and employment ads on Facebook to attract international snowboarders and winter athletes as delivery crew. Awareness for the video was then spread organically on Twitter, Line, blogs, and Yahoo Japan.
Online video is playing an increasingly important role for digital and social strategies across APAC, especially as an effective format for engagement on smartphones, and this is certainly the case in Japan.
The ad, created by TBWA\HAKUHODO, generated 1 million views on YouTube, and was played almost 500,000 times on Nissan’s Facebook page in the first week of its release. It forms part of Nissan Japan’s annual Xtreme Pizza Delivery Service campaign started in 2014. What do they have in store for us in 2016? I’m looking forward to finding out.
Diageo: My Tales of Whisky
I’m a huge fan of Nick Offerman, so when Diageo Whisky partnered with him to make content series “My Tales of Whisky,” I was excited.
In December, the brand released ‘Nick Offerman’s Yule Log’, a 45-minute long uninterrupted video of Offerman sitting by a fire in silence, drinking Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky. It’s perfect. Content at Christmas is always so loaded and over the top – this wins with its simplicity.
Snickers: The Brady Bunch
When I wrote about the winners and losers of the Super Bowl, that was based more on public sentiment than anything else. Everyone on social media liked Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” ad because of the cute dog and the inspirational “Like a Girl” message from Procter & Gamble’s feminine hygeine brand Always.
If that article were based on my own opinions, Snickers would have been named the winner. “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” is a campaign with strong potential to get stale given that it’s been going on for five years. But I thought this Super Bowl ad was a brilliant twist, showing Danny Trejo in all his terrifying hatchet-wielding glory in The Brady Bunch house.
After subtly promising to kill someone as he slammed a hatchet into a coffee table, Trejo was given a Snickers, dissipating his hostility and transforming him back to Marcia Brady. And if that’s not enough for you, well, Steve Buscemi as Jan Brady.
Hefty: Worth It
Earlier this year, Hefty launched a series of videos promoting its easy-to-grip, crack-resistant cups. Since the cups will inevitably be a staple of parties, the ads featured middle-aged women in cardigans engaging in stereotypical mom activities while recapping their partying anecdotes with lots of millennial slang.
The party connection isn’t that strong since the product ultimately has nothing to do with the ads, something that tends to be frowned upon. But in Hefty’s case, the videos are so funny and well-done that eh, who cares? Kendall and her girls weren’t supposed to hop over the neighbors’ fence to use the hot tub, either. Rules are meant to be broken.
Worth It is my favorite, although #SaturBaes is also amazing. Of the various party moms, the blond laundry-folder does the best job with the slang, nailing the concept of trying too hard without trying too hard to try too hard. When she chortled and said, “Literally dying,” I literally died, too. RIP me.
Emirates: A380 featuring Jennifer Aniston
This Emirates commercial went viral, gathering more than 800 thousand official views on YouTube in the first 24 hours after its release. Although some think that it is one of the snobbiest ads ever, I really love this ad (even if I’m always stuck in coach).
The commercial features Aniston having a dream about flying on a domestic carrier that does not offer showers or bar service in their first class cabins. You may feel that Aniston is spoiled rotten in this ad because regular people like you and me do not ask for such amenities. However, I can really resonate with Aniston when the flight crew mocks her for her over-the-top requests.
Of course, I’m not saying that I need aircraft showers, decent snacks or the stand-up bar. But my personal experience tells me that there’s a big difference between flight services in the U.S. and at least, my home country, China, where travellers don’t need to pay for checked baggage and cabin food.
I think the main message Emirates wants to deliver in this ad is the airline can provide top-notch services that other carriers cannot compete with. On the creative side, I see less of “rich people’s problems” in this commercial. Instead, I think Emirates has chosen wisely with Aniston. The goofy funny Rachel from the TV show Friends comes back in this ad.
Haters gonna hate. But I like an airline that has a sense of humor.
GoldieBlox: Worth It
This December, toy company GoldieBlox debuted an ad called “Worth It” for its “Fast Forward Girls 2015” campaign. In this new digital ad, the brand lets some little girls slip into the shoes of their female role models.
“Worth It” is one of my favorite ads because it empowers girls and pays tribute to many cultural moments this year, such as Amy Schumer’s “Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” sketch, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Misty Copeland becoming the first African-American principal ballerina at the American Ballet Theatre.
This new ad proves that GoldieBlox has lost none of its overall mission which is to inspire girls to become engineers. And it reminds me of another GoldieBlox ad, “Princess Machine,” released two years ago, which subverts a few dumb gender stereotypes in the Beastie Boys’ song “Girls.”
The three smart girls in “Princess Machine” use a collection of toys and household items to assemble a huge Rube Goldberg machine, showing that girls deserve more choices than Barbie Dolls and girls have the ability to innovate.
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