My first article of 2020, no pressure right? During my break over christmas I wanted to get a head start on my new years resolution of writing more. So I thought I’d rank my top 11 ads of 2019, because why not? So here they are in no particular order.
1: Glenlivet – “Original by tradition”
An ad I felt was somewhat overlooked last year but I really enjoyed. What I think made it stick with me was the fact they’ve taken a traditional idea, telling a brand’s story and history, but then combined it with fast stylized visuals and a tight script to create a fun, memorable ad. Well done to the minds behind it, proving you can take an idea that’s been done and still make it original.
2: Burger King “Burn that ad”
Going from something more traditional to something completely outrageous, it’s Burger King’s AR campaign which captured not only the attention of burger buyers but also the whole advertising community. I don’t think anyone had seen anything like this before which makes it even better, by far one of the most original as well as edgy campaigns of 2019.
3: Argos – “The book of dreams”
One of my favourite things about Christmas every year, other than the obvious, are the Christmas ads. It seems like every year agencies and brands aren’t just trying to beat the competition but also their own ads from last year. Argos really did it for me in 2019 with a funny idea, executed really well, and a classic soundtrack. What more could you want?
4: Starling Bank – “Start feeling good about money”
Now some might say I’m biased for putting this on my list as we conceptualised and produced it but I genuinely love the look of this ad. Not only that but being part of the shoot I have a lot of memories attached to it. The one that sticks with me is carrying two 20kg camera batteries up a mountain to get one of the shots. Good times.
5: PlayStation – “PlayStation Now”
Sometimes an idea for an ad is amazing, but it doesn’t happen because people say it can’t be done. Playstation made it happen. All your favourite video game characters falling from the sky, you have my attention, before landing in people’s homes showing how PlayStation Now can bring all these worlds right into your living room. This is just one of the ads playstation knocked out of the park last year.
6: Hinge – “The Dating App Designed to Be Deleted”
I love this ad because it’s just such a great and relatable idea. Not only this but it can be shown in a very visual and funny way. It only takes one look in the comment section to see I’m not the only one who likes this ad with many people saying it’s the first ad they didn’t skip through. It also worked very well in print making this a very effective campaign as well as fun.
7: Lego – “Rebuild the world”
This ad is fantastic for how it takes their product and combines it with the real world to create this completely unique place. I see things throughout this ad and feel instantly nostalgic, as I’m sure many people did, making it work through the generations. There’s definitely a je ne sais quoi to this ad.
8: Bosch – “Like a Bosch”
This ad made me laugh out loud, on purpose, while learning the details of a product. Now that’s impressive. Taking what could have been made into a very run of the mill product film and turning into a great parody which not only is hilarious but also tells you all the ins and outs of their product. How cool is that?
9: Sipsmith Gin – “We make Gin not compromises”
Imagine it, going into a pitch meeting and suggesting making a stop motion video of a quirky swan talking you through the Gin making process. Sometimes we have ideas that are so bizarre they just work. Like this one. A great looking video, a witty script, and it’s all coming from a swan? Sign me up.
10: Apple – “Airpods – Bounce”
While this ad looks absolutely awesome, and does actually capture how it feels to wear Airpods (yes I really did just say that) what I think makes it so cool is the fact everything in the video are practical effects. Yes you heard me right, all of it was done in real life.
11: Renault – “30 years in the making”
I absolutely loved this ad, it almost feels like its own short film. While a lot of the ads I liked this year were comedic, charming or visually stunning this is pure storytelling, filling it’s two minute run time with as many twists and turns as most features. I think it’s a great story, literally 30 years in the making.
What I love about advertising is the same thing I love about films, books, and most things in life, it’s the fact that it’s subjective. An ad I love could be an ad you hate and vice versa. If you think something should have been on this list, or shouldn’t, let me know in the comments, I love explaining why people are wrong. Just kidding, I love a chat and I’d love to hear your opinions. Now let’s see what 2020 brings!
Writer – Travis Usher – Creative Manager @ Ekstasy