The ads of 2013 were captivating and clever, using visual storytelling to illustrate the brand’s message in a way that catches audiences off guard. I’ve scoured my memory, Ad Week, and the Internet for last year’s best ads, and now I present them to you.
Here’s my list of Top 10 Ads of 2013. Take a look and I’m sure you’ll agree that these ads are the crème de la crème. Enjoy.
10. Expedia’s Luggage Tag CampaignExpedia’s idea to create messages from checked luggage tags was creative, yet simple. In one example, they used the codes for airports in Kenya, Vietnam and New Caledonia to spell out “MUM DAD IOU” and accompanied it with the line “Plan your gap year with the world’s largest online travel agency”.
9. Oreo’s “Dunk in the Dark” AdNo one knew that Oreo had a 15-person social media team on standby to respond to online traffic on the day of the super bowl, until the 34-minute blackout prompted them to create a real-time marketing ad that ended up with more than 15,000 retweets. The Twitter post read “Power Out? No problem” and featured a spotlight on an Oreo in a dark room with the caption “You can still dunk in the dark.” Touchdown Oreo.
8. Volvo’s “Epic Split” CommercialWhat do you get when you combine two large trucks with stable and precise Volvo steering, Enya’s haunting voice and Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the most epic of splits? You get 60 million video views and a remarkably real stunt that begs for the disclaimer: “Do not try this at home.” See for yourself.
7. Mom’s for Better Gun Sense “Choose One” CampaignTo address a very controversial topic, Mom’s for Better Gun Sense created a compelling series of ads each featuring two children, one of which is holding a seemingly harmless item while the other holds a gun. The ad then asks viewers which object is banned in America. The answer will probably surprise you.
6. Geico’s Hump Day CommercialIf you weren’t familiar with “hump day” before, you probably are now thanks to Geico. The talking office camel was one of the most popular commercials of the year and took YouTube by storm with almost 20 million views (must be a good commercial if people go out of their way to watch it). But the real testimony to its catchiness was that Connecticut Middle School had to ban their students from referencing it, claiming that the never-ending quotations were disruptive.
5. National Agency for the Fight Against Illiteracy Campaign There’s more to these ads than first meets the eye. This deceptive campaign ran in France and highlights the continuous miscommunications that occur as a result of illiteracy.4. Apple’s iPad Air CommercialAlthough many people find Apple’s products to be somewhat repetitive, no one can deny that the company continually finds new ways to present them. This commercial for the iPad Air uses a number two pencil to highlight the ingenuity of their newest product.
3. Singapore’s Crisis Relief CampaignOn a heavier note, Publicis Ad Agency created an emotional campaign for Crisis Relief in Singapore. These powerful photos depicted children in desperate conditions surrounded by a crowd of thumbs up, with the single line “Liking isn’t helping”. The ad is a silent plea for more tangible support than simply clicking “like” on Facebook.
2. Dove’s Real Beauty SketchesIn an effort to prove that women are their own worst critics, Dove conducted an experiment comparing portraits of the same woman as described by herself versus described by a friend. The friends’ descriptions were more accurate… and more attractive, proving the campaign’s headline to be true: “You are more beautiful than you think”. They then created this awesome video, which Business Insider called “the most viral ad video of all time”.
1. TEDx’s “Ideas Change the World” CampaignTEDx is a program designed to stimulate discussions on a variety of topics ranging from business models to religious philosophies. This campaign featured statues of historically important figures and the effects their ideas had on society. This particular ad illustrates how Martin Luther King’s thoughts on racial equality transformed our world. Other figures included John Lennon and Evita.