The Best Ads Campaigns in Recent Years: From Super Bowl to Cannes Lions "Best Ads 2023"
Advertising has become an integral part of the modern world. From Super Bowl to Cannes Lions, the advertising industry has delivered some of the most memorable and creative ad campaigns that have captured our attention and imagination. In recent years, we have seen a shift towards more impactful and socially conscious ads that resonate with people on a deeper level. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the best ad campaigns in recent years across various mediums including TV commercials, print ads, social media ads and explore what makes them so effective in capturing our hearts and minds. So buckle up for an exciting ride as we delve into the world of advertising! "Best Ads 2023"
The Most Memorable Super Bowl Ads "Best Ads 2023"
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, and it's also a platform for some of the most creative and memorable ad campaigns. From heartwarming to hilarious, here are some of the most iconic Super Bowl ads.
One unforgettable ad is Budweiser's "Puppy Love" commercial from 2014 which featured an adorable puppy who befriends one of Budweiser’s famous Clydesdale horses. The emotional connection between the two animals was enough to make viewers tear up.
Another standout Super Bowl ad came from Doritos with their controversial "Ultrasound" commercial where a baby in utero seems to react strongly when his father eats Doritos nearby. Although polarizing, this humorous spot certainly left an impression on viewers.
In 2015 Always created waves with its “Like A Girl” campaign that aimed at breaking gender stereotypes by challenging people to change perceptions about what it means to do things “like a girl”. The result was inspiring as women across the country started sharing stories about how they redefined what it meant to be female.
We can't forget Coca-Cola's classic "Mean Joe Greene" commercial from 1980 which showed football player Joe Greene reluctantly accepting a Coke from a young fan after a game. This sentimental ad became such an instant hit that it still resonates today as being part of American pop culture history.
The "Puppy Love" Budweiser Ad
The Budweiser ad campaign has been known for its heartwarming and touching commercials. One of the most memorable ads from their collection is "Puppy Love" that aired during the 2014 Super Bowl.
The commercial featured a beautiful friendship between a puppy and one of Budweiser's famous Clydesdale horses. The two animals develop an inseparable bond but are eventually separated when the horse is sold. Heartbroken, the puppy runs away to reunite with his friend, only for the Clydesdale to find him and bring him back home in one of the most emotional scenes ever seen on TV.
What made this ad so great was how it captured audiences' emotions without even needing any dialogue. The relationship between these loving animals tugged at our hearts as we watched them navigate through their separation anxiety.
It was a perfect example of how advertisers can use storytelling techniques to create memorable campaigns that resonate emotionally with viewers long after they've finished watching them.
The "Doritos Ultrasound" Ad
The "Doritos Ultrasound" Ad was a hit during the Super Bowl in 2016. The ad showcased a pregnant woman getting an ultrasound while her husband munches on some Doritos nearby. As he eats, the baby inside the womb seems to be reaching out for a chip, much to the surprise of his parents and the dismay of the medical staff.
This ad grabbed attention because it was funny and relatable. Who hasn't been guilty of indulging in their favorite snacks at inappropriate times? However, it also faced backlash from some who found it tasteless and offensive towards women.
Despite this controversy, the "Doritos Ultrasound" Ad succeeded in leaving a lasting impression on viewers. It showed that even something as simple as eating chips can become hilarious content that resonates with people all over the world.
Today more than ever, ads need to be memorable if they want to stand out among thousands of other campaigns clamoring for consumers' attention. The "Doritos Ultrasound" Ad is an example of how humor and relatability can make your product unforgettable - but should always be handled with care and sensitivity towards diverse audiences.
The "Always Like a Girl" Ad
One of the most impactful Super Bowl ads in recent years was Always' "Like a Girl" campaign. The ad sought to challenge and change the negative connotations associated with doing something "like a girl".
The ad starts by asking people, both young girls and boys, to demonstrate what it means to run, throw or fight like a girl. The result is an embarrassing caricature of feminine weakness and frailty.
However, when asked about their personal definition of doing something "like a girl", all the young girls featured in the ad gave confident and athletic performances. This showcased how societal expectations can impact our self-esteem as we grow older.
The message behind this ad is powerful: words matter, especially those used towards young women. It's important that stereotypes are challenged so that every individual has equal access to opportunities regardless of gender identity.
The "Mean Joe Greene" Coca-Cola Ad
The "Mean Joe Greene" Coca-Cola ad is a classic example of emotional storytelling that resonated with audiences in the 1980s. The ad features NFL player Joe Greene limping off the field after a tough game, when he's approached by a young fan who offers him his Coke. At first gruff and unapproachable, Greene softens as he drinks the soda and tosses his jersey to the boy.
What makes this ad so memorable is its focus on human connection and vulnerability. Rather than relying on flashy graphics or clever slogans, it tells a simple story about two people sharing a moment of kindness. This approach was groundbreaking at the time and set a new standard for advertising authenticity.
Moreover, this commercial has stood the test of time because it taps into universal emotions like gratitude, generosity, and humility. Even viewers who aren't sports fans can appreciate the small acts of compassion that make us all feel more connected to one another.
In short, The "Mean Joe Greene" Coca-Cola ad is more than just an iconic piece of marketing history - it's an enduring reminder that sometimes the simplest messages are also the most powerful ones.
The Most Creative Cannes Lions Ads
The Cannes Lions Festival has always been a hub for creativity and innovation in advertising. Year after year, some of the most impactful campaigns are presented at this prestigious event. Here are just a few examples of the most creative ads from recent years.
State Street Global Advisors' "Fearless Girl" ad was one that received worldwide attention for its powerful message. The sculpture of a young girl standing defiantly in front of Wall Street's Charging Bull symbolized female empowerment and garnered praise as well as criticism.
Burger King's "Whopper Detour" ad utilized geolocation technology to lure customers away from competitors' locations and towards Burger King restaurants by offering them discounted Whoppers. This innovative approach led to an increase in sales for the fast food chain.
Tide's "It's a Tide Ad" campaign took viewers on a wild ride through various genres of commercials, all featuring clean clothes as the common thread. This clever approach kept audiences engaged throughout the Super Bowl commercial breaks.
Palau Legacy Project's "Palau Pledge" focused on promoting eco-tourism while preserving Palau’s natural beauty by having tourists pledge to protect it upon arrival into Palau itself before getting their passports stamped.
These ads demonstrate that creativity knows no bounds when it comes to advertising campaigns, and we can't wait to see what other groundbreaking ideas will be showcased at future Cannes Lions Festivals!
The "Fearless Girl" State Street Global Advisors Ad
The "Fearless Girl" State Street Global Advisors Ad is one of the most creative and impactful ad campaigns in recent years. The ad features a bronze statue of a young girl standing defiantly in front of Wall Street's Charging Bull, symbolizing the power and potential of women in leadership.
This ad was created to raise awareness about gender diversity within corporate America, particularly on boards of directors. It aims to challenge companies to add more women to their boards and encourages them to take action towards greater representation.
The "Fearless Girl" campaign quickly went viral on social media, with millions applauding its message. It even won multiple awards at Cannes Lions Festival, including four Grand Prix awards.
The impact this ad had on society is undeniable. Many companies have since added women to their boards or pledged to do so in the future. The "Fearless Girl" has become an icon for women's empowerment across all industries.
The "Fearless Girl" State Street Global Advisors Ad serves as a reminder that advertising can be used as a powerful tool for change and influence when executed effectively.
The "Whopper Detour" Burger King Ad
Burger King's "Whopper Detour" campaign was a clever marketing strategy that generated buzz and increased foot traffic to their restaurants. The fast-food chain offered customers a one-cent Whopper if they downloaded their mobile app while inside a McDonald's restaurant.
This bold move by Burger King not only poked fun at its biggest competitor but also showcased the convenience of using their mobile app for ordering food. By creating this unique promotion, BK successfully differentiated themselves from other fast-food chains and demonstrated the power of creative advertising.
The ad went viral on social media platforms, with many people sharing pictures and videos of themselves downloading the app at McDonald's to claim their discounted Whoppers. The campaign won numerous awards including Cannes Lions Grand Prix award in 2019.
Burger King's "Whopper Detour" ad was an excellent example of how companies can use innovative marketing strategies to increase brand awareness and drive sales. It demonstrates that sometimes taking risks can pay off big time in terms of capturing attention and gaining customer loyalty.
The "It's a Tide Ad" Tide Ad
The "It's a Tide Ad" campaign by Tide stood out among the cluttered advertising landscape with its clever and humorous approach. The ad was part of a larger campaign that played on other popular ads, making viewers question whether they were watching a commercial or not.
The campaign showcased various scenarios where the characters' clothes looked too clean to be true, ultimately revealing that they were all actually Tide commercials. This creative message is what made this ad stand out from others.
What made it even more effective was how well it resonated with the target audience – millennials who enjoy pop culture references and humor. By tapping into these elements, Tide successfully captured their attention and engaged them in a playful way.
The "It's a Tide Ad" campaign highlighted how brands can leverage creativity and humor to capture audiences' attention without resorting to hard selling tactics. It showed that sometimes being subtle can be just as effective in leaving an impact on consumers.
The "Palau Pledge" Palau Legacy Project Ad
The "Palau Pledge" ad campaign is a powerful example of how advertising can be used to convey an important social message. Created by the Palau Legacy Project, the goal was to promote responsible tourism in the small Pacific island nation of Palau.
What makes this campaign so unique is that it targets visitors before they even arrive on the island. Upon arrival at the airport, all visitors are required to sign a pledge promising to respect and protect Palau's natural environment and culture during their stay. The act of signing this pledge serves as a reminder that we all have a responsibility towards preserving our planet's natural wonders.
In addition to its impact on tourism, the "Palau Pledge" has also garnered international attention for its innovative approach to conservation messaging. It won numerous awards at Cannes Lions in 2018, including four Grand Prix awards across different categories.
What makes this ad campaign stand out is not just its effectiveness in promoting responsible tourism but also its ability to inspire people around the world with a positive message about sustainability and environmental protection.
The Best Print Ads
Print ads may not be as flashy or attention-grabbing as TV commercials, but that doesn't mean they can't pack a punch. In fact, some of the best ad campaigns in recent years have been print ads.
Ikea's "Accepts being second best" ad is a prime example of this. The ad features an image of a runner-up medal with the caption "It's okay to be second best at sleeping." It's a clever and humorous way for Ikea to promote their comfortable mattresses.
Kit-Kat's "Lockdown" ad also stands out for its timely message during the COVID-19 pandemic. The simple yet effective headline reads, "Have a break...from homeschooling," accompanied by an image of a Kit-Kat bar with individual fingers separated into different rooms.
KFC/Ikea's response to Balenciaga's $2,145 bag made entirely from blue KFC buckets was another memorable print campaign. The witty tagline read: “That’s right. We’re bucket hat famous now.” It shows how even fast food chains can respond creatively to current pop culture trends in advertising.
Delta Airlines' Delta Dating Wall is an innovative approach to promoting travel destinations through dating profiles. Delta painted colorful murals featuring nine popular vacation spots on Brooklyn walls and included each location in people’s Tinder profiles within miles surrounding them.
These creative print ads prove that sometimes less really is more when it comes to getting your message across effectively and memorably.
Ikea's "Accepts being second best" Ad
Ikea's "Accepts being second best" ad campaign was a refreshing take on traditional advertising. Instead of promoting their products as the best and most luxurious, Ikea embraced their position as an affordable option for consumers.
The ad featured a young couple who were given the opportunity to upgrade their furniture to more expensive options but instead chose to stick with their trusty Ikea pieces. The message was clear: it's okay not to have the most expensive or high-end items in your home.
This approach resonated with many consumers who are looking for practical and functional solutions without breaking the bank. By acknowledging that they aren't always going to be first choice, Ikea positioned themselves as a humble yet reliable option.
This ad campaign showed that honesty and transparency can be just as effective in advertising as flashy promotions and big claims.
Kit-Kat's "Lockdown" Ad
Kit-Kat's "Lockdown" ad is a creative take on the COVID-19 pandemic and how people have been coping with being stuck at home. The ad features various individuals performing mundane tasks during lockdown, such as cleaning or working from home, while also taking breaks to enjoy a Kit-Kat chocolate bar.
What makes this ad stand out is its humorous approach to the situation. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of lockdown, it highlights the small moments of joy that can be found even in difficult times.
The use of Kit-Kat as a symbol for these moments is clever and effective. It reinforces the idea that taking a break and enjoying something simple like a chocolate bar can provide much-needed relief during stressful situations.
Overall, "Lockdown" is an example of how creativity and humor can be used to address serious issues in advertising. By acknowledging the struggles people have faced during the pandemic while also providing a lighthearted escape, Kit-Kat has created an ad that resonates with viewers and leaves them feeling uplifted.
KFC/Ikea's "Response to Balenciaga" Ad
In 2018, KFC and Ikea teamed up to create a hilarious response to Balenciaga's $2,000 "Ikea bag." The ad featured a model carrying an oversized bucket of chicken with the caption "When you want Balenciaga but also need to save money."
The ad was a hit on social media, with many people praising the brands for their witty response. It also highlighted the importance of being able to laugh at yourself in advertising.
KFC and Ikea showed that they weren't afraid to poke fun at themselves while still promoting their brand. This type of lighthearted approach can be effective in creating positive associations with consumers.
This ad was a great example of how creativity and humor can make for successful advertising campaigns. By taking risks and thinking outside the box, brands like KFC and Ikea were able to stand out from their competitors and connect with consumers in a memorable way.
Delta's "Delta Dating Wall" Ad
Delta Airlines came up with a unique way to help New York singles find love while promoting their brand. The Delta Dating Wall was an interactive mural in Brooklyn featuring iconic destinations from all over the world. The wall allowed visitors to take selfies in front of the different backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to make it look like they were traveling.
The campaign aimed at showing how travel can broaden your horizons and lead you to meet new people. By incorporating social media into their strategy, Delta managed to create buzz around their brand and give people a reason to engage with them online.
The results were impressive, with the campaign receiving widespread media coverage and over 5 million online impressions within weeks of its launch. This goes on to show that innovative ad campaigns that offer something valuable or entertaining can leave a lasting impression on audiences worth remembering.
The Most Impactful Social Media Ads
Social media has become a powerful tool for advertisers to reach their target audience. Some of the most impactful ads in recent years have been on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
One of the most talked-about social media campaigns was Pepsi's "Live For Now" ad featuring Kendall Jenner. The ad drew criticism for trivializing political protests and sparked a huge backlash online. Despite its controversial reception, it opened up conversations about activism in advertising and showed how important it is to consider the impact your message can have.
Nike's "Believe in Something" campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick also made waves on social media. The ad highlighted Kaepernick's role as an activist and sparked debates about patriotism, race relations, and free speech. It ultimately became one of Nike's most successful marketing campaigns with positive feedback from audiences who appreciated the brand taking a stance on important issues.
Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign focused on body positivity by showing real women with diverse body types instead of models or actresses. This approach resonated with many people who felt that traditional beauty standards were unrealistic and damaging to self-esteem.
Wendy's also created buzz on social media with their humorous "clapback" tweets aimed at rival fast-food chains like McDonalds and Burger King. Their witty responses to customer inquiries helped create a loyal following among younger demographics looking for brands that connect with them through humor.
These ads demonstrate how impactful advertising can be when executed well on social media platforms where consumers are highly engaged.
Pepsi's "Live For Now" Ad
Pepsi's "Live For Now" ad campaign aimed to connect with younger generations by promoting a carefree and spontaneous attitude towards life. The campaign featured various celebrities, including Kendall Jenner, who was at the center of backlash for her involvement in the commercial.
The ad starts with Jenner leaving a photoshoot to join a protest where she hands a police officer a can of Pepsi as an act of unity. Many criticized the ad for trivializing social justice movements and exploiting activism for corporate gain.
Despite its controversy, the "Live For Now" campaign reinforced Pepsi's brand identity as youthful and fun-loving. However, it also highlighted the importance of authenticity in advertising. In today's world where consumers are more socially conscious than ever before, brands need to make sure their ads align with their values.
While Pepsi's "Live For Now" campaign may have missed the mark on social consciousness, it serves as an important reminder that successful advertising requires careful consideration of audience perception and values alignment.
Nike's "Believe in Something" Ad
Nike's "Believe in Something" ad was a bold and powerful move for the brand. The ad featured NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who famously kneeled during the national anthem as a protest against police brutality and racial injustice. The ad features Kaepernick with the tagline "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything."
The ad sparked controversy and backlash from some consumers who disagreed with Kaepernick's actions and message. However, it also garnered support from many who saw it as an important statement on social justice issues.
Despite the backlash, Nike stood by their decision to feature Kaepernick in their campaign. The move ultimately paid off for them, with sales increasing after the release of the ad.
This ad was not only a marketing strategy but also a statement that brands can use their platform to make statements about social issues they believe in. It showed that taking risks can pay off both financially and socially.
Nike's "Believe in Something" campaign demonstrated that standing up for what you believe in is just as important as any business objective – if not more so – especially when you have such an influential audience listening to your message.
Dove's "Real Beauty" Ad
"Dove's "Real Beauty" Ad" is one of the most iconic and impactful ad campaigns in recent years. The campaign was launched to challenge traditional beauty standards set by the media, which often lead to unrealistic and unhealthy body expectations for women.
The campaign featured real women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities instead of using airbrushed models. It aimed to highlight the beauty in every individual regardless of their appearance or background.
The ad received widespread praise from audiences worldwide for its powerful message promoting diversity and inclusivity in beauty standards. It sparked an important conversation about the impact that advertising can have on society’s perception of self-image.
Moreover, Dove continued this initiative through various social media platforms as well as seminars designed to empower young girls with confidence-building skills.
Dove's "Real Beauty" Ad has been a groundbreaking example within the advertising industry promoting inclusion, representation, and acceptance towards different body types- which is crucial especially now when more people are becoming aware of how harmful it can be when only certain bodies are seen as acceptable or desirable while others are marginalized or excluded altogether from mainstream culture.
Wendy's "Clapback" Ad
Wendy's "Clapback" ad is a prime example of how social media can be used to create memorable and effective advertising. The fast-food chain's Twitter account has become known for its witty responses to customers, and the "Clapback" ad takes this approach to a new level.
The ad features Wendy's roasting other fast-food chains for their lackluster ingredients and quality. It plays on the idea that Wendy's is not afraid to call out its competitors, which resonates with consumers who appreciate authenticity in advertising.
This bold approach paid off for Wendy's, as the video quickly went viral on social media. By tapping into current trends such as meme culture and internet slang, they were able to capture the attention of younger audiences who are typically harder to reach through traditional advertising methods.
Wendy's "Clapback" ad was a clever use of social media marketing that successfully positioned the brand as edgy and unafraid to speak their mind.
The Future of Ad Campaigns
The future of ad campaigns is exciting and constantly evolving. As technology continues to advance, advertisers are finding new ways to reach consumers in more personalized and engaging ways.
One trend that's gaining momentum is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in advertising. AI algorithms can analyze consumer data to predict their behavior and preferences, allowing companies to tailor their ads accordingly. This not only creates a better user experience but also increases the effectiveness of ad campaigns.
Another emerging technology is virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). These immersive experiences provide an opportunity for brands to showcase their products or services in a whole new way, creating a memorable experience for consumers.
Interactive and personalized ads are also becoming more popular as they allow users to engage with the content on a deeper level. By incorporating gamification elements or offering customized recommendations based on user data, these types of ads can increase engagement rates significantly.
It's important for ad campaigns to prioritize diversity and inclusivity. Consumers want authentic representations that reflect our diverse society, so brands should strive towards creating inclusive messaging that resonates with all audiences.
The Impact of AI on Advertising
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the advertising industry by providing marketers with a wealth of data to personalize their campaigns. With AI, advertisers can use predictive analytics to identify consumer patterns and tailor messages for specific audiences. This technology also enables them to optimize ad placement across various platforms in real-time.
One way that AI is transforming advertising is through chatbots, which allow brands to engage with customers in real-time using natural language processing technology. Chatbots provide personalized recommendations based on customer preferences, past behavior, and other data points collected from social media channels.
Another application of AI in advertising is programmatic buying, which automates the process of purchasing digital ads across different platforms and channels. By leveraging machine learning algorithms, programmatic buying helps advertisers reach their target audience at the right time and place while minimizing waste.
AI has had a significant impact on the advertising industry by helping advertisers create more effective campaigns that resonate with their target audience. As this technology continues to evolve and improve over time, we can expect even more innovative applications that will transform how companies approach marketing and advertising.
Virtual and Augmented Reality in Ads
Virtual and augmented reality have been making waves in the ad industry, providing new and innovative ways for brands to connect with consumers. Virtual reality allows users to fully immerse themselves in a brand's message, while augmented reality overlays digital elements onto the real world.
One example of successful use of virtual and augmented reality in ads is IKEA’s "Place" app which allows customers to virtually place furniture items into their own homes before purchasing them. This not only makes the shopping experience more convenient but also provides potential buyers with a better idea of how furniture would fit within their living space.
Another example is Pepsi Max’s "Unbelievable Bus Shelter" campaign, where commuters waiting at bus stops were astonished by unbelievable events occurring around them thanks to an AR screen installed on the shelter wall. The campaign was highly successful in grabbing people's attention and generating buzz online.
As technology advances and becomes more accessible, we can expect to see even more creative uses of virtual and augmented reality in advertising campaigns. These technologies provide an opportunity for brands to create immersive experiences that not only engage consumers but also leave lasting impressions on them.
Interactive and Personalized Ads
Interactive and personalized ads are changing the way we perceive advertising. Instead of being passive viewers, consumers can now interact with ads in real-time, making the experience more engaging and memorable.
Personalized ads use data to target specific audiences based on their browsing history or demographic information. This allows brands to tailor their messaging and offer products or services that are relevant to each individual consumer.
Interactive ads take it a step further by allowing consumers to actively participate in the ad experience. For example, some interactive ads allow users to play games, explore virtual stores or create custom content.
These types of ads not only capture attention but also provide valuable insights into consumer behavior. Brands can track how users interact with their campaigns and adjust their strategies accordingly.
However, there is a fine line between effective interaction and annoying interruption when it comes to these types of advertisements. It is important for brands to use them judiciously without overwhelming potential customers.
Interactive and personalized ads have revolutionized advertising by creating a more personalized approach while also providing an immersive experience for consumers who seek something unique from advertisers out there.
The Importance of Diversity and Inclusivity in Ads
As we move forward into the future of advertising, it's important to remember that diversity and inclusivity should be at the forefront of every ad campaign. Brands have a responsibility to represent all individuals and communities accurately and respectfully. By including diverse voices in the creation process, companies can ensure that their campaigns are not only more authentic but also resonate with a wider audience.
There have been countless memorable ads over the years that have left an indelible mark on viewers. From Super Bowl classics like "Mean Joe Greene" to groundbreaking Cannes Lions winners like "Fearless Girl," these ads prove that creativity knows no bounds when it comes to advertising. As technology continues to advance, we can only imagine what innovative new campaigns will emerge in the coming years. But one thing is for sure: if brands continue to prioritize authenticity, creativity, and inclusivity in their ads, they are sure to make a lasting impact on audiences around the world.