Copyranter: The 5 best ads you didn’t see this year

Mark Duffy has written the Copyranter blog for 10 years and is a freelancing copywriter with 20-plus years of experience. His hockey wrist shot is better than yours.

Everybody’s already published their “Top 10 Ads Of The Year” post, and most of them just lazily grabbed all or part of YouTube’s 2015 top 10 viewed ads like the frightened lemmings they are because they all don’t know their ads from a hole in the ground.

Yes, I’ve said that line many times before, and I will keep using it because it is a perfect put-down of all those people who review advertising who’ve never created a single ad — good or otherwise — in their entire lives.

Every year, I look at more ads than anyone at Adage, Adweek or any other Ad-blah-blah website. This is a not way to live a life, believe me. I do it for you, for love.

Samdex (Slovakia)
The “Gotcha” ending is becoming a lost art in TV/video, even though it’s been proven to make both the ad and the brand more memorable. Done right, and it’s the kind of ad that people share by good old-fashioned word-of-mouth and yes, digitally, with the usual “wait for it…” caveat.

So yes … wait for it. See the other two spots in the Bronze Lion winning campaign here.

Agency: Jandl, Bratislava, who in 2011, created the most grotesque self-promo ad I’ve ever seen.

Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Costa Rica)
The ridiculously simple yet completely unexpected visual: It is still the most powerful creative linchpin in advertising. It’s the magic of advertising. And this is the kind of visual you, as a CW or AD, look at, shake your head, and just say, “Well, shit.”


Agency: Garnier BBDO

H&R Block (USA)
I’m a bit biased with this spot; I took four years of German in high school (The whole “Ich” pronunciation thing, oy).

But you are captivated by the spot, by the asshole instructor, by trying to figure out WTF is going on. This is one of the best “deal” ads I’ve ever seen — they are not easy to execute entertainingly.

Agency: Fallon Worldwide

s.Oliver (Germany)

Fashion ads are all terrible. Diesel thinks its ads are cool. They’re dumb. Calvin Klein thinks his ads are “edgy.” They’re boring. Marc Jacobs thinks his ads are smart. They’re lazy.

But s.Oliver, a family-owned fashion company founded in 1969, produced (internally) some spots for its jeans called “Pants Dance.” They were fairly well covered and praised by fashion-industry sites. But since then, the videos have been pulled from everywhere except the company’s Facebook page.

PANTS DANCE: #1Langweilig kann jeder!

Posted by s.Oliver on Thursday, September 3, 2015

It’s just a nice, different yet unpretentious way to advertise comfortable jeans. Bravo.

Clorox (USA)

Fifteen seconds later, and I’ve just seen the best, funniest bleach commercial ever produced. Period. You can see two more spots from the campaign here, but this one is the clear winner. Brilliant.

Agency: DDB California.

More in Marketing

In the marketing world, anime is following in the footsteps of gaming

As marketers look to take advantage of anime’s entry into the zeitgeist, they might be wise to observe the parallels between the evolution of anime as a marketing channel and the ways brands have learned to better leverage gaming in recent years. 

With the introduction of video ads and e-commerce, Roblox looks to attain platform status

Roblox is expanding into more areas than just ads in 2024. Much like platforms such as Amazon and Facebook have transcended their origins to evolve from their origins as online marketplaces and social media channels, Roblox is in the midst of a transformation into a platform for all elements of users’ virtual lives.