8 most creative, inventive American adverts of 2015
Between the growing number of television cord-cutters, the rise of ad blockers and the ongoing struggle to effectively connect with people on their mobile devices, there’s no longer a guarantee that anyone will look at the things advertisers make.
The captive audience they once enjoyed in America’s living rooms is fading fast — a victim to all-consuming changes in the ways people watch television, read the news and browse the web.
Luckily for everyone else, the resulting twinge of panic has emboldened some ad agencies to push to imaginative new heights in an attempt stand apart from the fray.
As such, advertisers went to maniacal lengths to grab your attention this year.
They built a giant glass cubical garden on a frozen Canadian peak, dreamt up bindis that treated iodine deficiencies in India and concocted a reflective spray that made cyclists more visible at night. They staged powerful guerrilla stunts that made people think deeply about gun violence, implicit biases and white privilege.
They even traced out a massive message in the sand to get the attention of the astronauts in the International Space Station.
The most innovative commercials this year surpassed the usual branded gimmicks and contrived viral stunts with clever or moving conceits that sometimes packed a powerful punch.
Here are our subjective picks for the ten most inventive commercials of the year, in no particular order:
States United to Prevent Gun Violence- “Gun Store”
In one of the most hauntingly provocative guerrilla marketing stunts in recent memory, the ad agency Grey set up a convincingly real-looking gun shop that was open to the public in Manhattan’s lower east side. The twist: Each model of weapon was tagged with a mass shooting, household accident, murder or suicide for which it was used.
The shocked and bewildered looks on the customers’ faces alone is enough to give the ad a uniquely authentic emotional gravity.
Hyundai- “A message to space”
What’s the best way for a 13-year-old girl to communicate with her astronaut dad while he’s away for long stretches of time on the International Space Station? Naturally, you round up a fleet of luxury sedans and drive them through the dessert to form miles-wide letters that can be read from the stratosphere.
Well at least what the method lacks in practicality, it makes up for in spectacle. Hyundai scored a viral hit cataloging this ambitious endeavor and even broke a Guinness world record in the process.
Ad Council- “Love has no labels”
Beauty is, of course, only skin deep, and it turns out there’s no more moving way to remind people of that than in the most literal sense.
The Ad Council’s moving three-minute PSA video, filmed on Valentine’s Day, shows a gathered crowd watching as couples, friends and families show affection for one another behind an X-Ray screen that renders them as dancing, hugging and kissing skeletons. When they emerge, some are gay or lesbian, some are different races and others are different religions.
The underlying message: Put aside your implicit biases over superficial qualities and embrace our collective humanity.
Advertisers tasked with making the pre-roll ads before YouTube videos are up against massive odds — research shows that only a tiny fraction of people actually watch through the whole thing once the “skip” button appears.
But Geico was able to crack the code with witty, entertaining ads that manage to capture your attention within seconds. The “Unskippable” campaign, created by the Martin Agency, crammed all of the action in each ad into the first five seconds before viewers get a chance to shoot it down. Absurdity ensues for the remainder of the 30 seconds as the actors try to stay frozen in place and the scene falls apart around them.
Atlantic Group- “37 Days”
The European heating company Atlantic Group put its product through what was probably one of the most extreme tests an electric heater can undergo in this Leo-Burnett-produced ad.
A glass cube was placed on an isolated British Columbia mountaintop 8,000 above sea level and outfitted with two electric heaters. There, among temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius, the appliances manage to provide enough energy to sustain a lush garden 37 days later.
It’s essentially a massively scaled-up, more elegant version of one of those infomercials where a pitch man tries to jam a knife through a shoe to show its strength under duress, but the sheer ambition and visual quality make the ad striking.
Comcast Xfinity- “Emily’s Oz”
A 7-year-old blind girl’s vision of the land of Oz is transformed into a beautiful, elaborate dreamscape with the help of a team of talented puppeteers, set designers and makeup artists in this visually stunning Comcast Xfinity ad.
The company asked the girl, named Emily, to talk through what she saw in the place somewhere over a rainbow, and the team matches her every sentence with a spot-on recreation. The spot, created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, promotes Comcast’s “talking guide” feature for people with visual disabilities.
Talwar Bindi- “Life-Saving Dot”
Iodine deficiency, a condition that can lead to many other illnesses, is a big problem for millions of women in rural India. With this in mind, the philanthropic arm of Grey Singapore teamed up with Talwar Bindi to fuse a treatment into something the majority of these women use everyday.
The result was the “Life Saving Dot,” a bindi that delivers a daily dose of iodine, which was then handed out in medical camps across the country.
It’s one example of how thoughtful and imaginative advertising can work towards solving a very real plight.
Volvo- “Life Paint”
Volvo took aim at cutting down the number of night-time cyclist-car crashes with a water-based glow-in-the-dark spray that bikers can paint onto their clothes and bicycles.
While the campaign drew some criticism from cycling advocates who accused it of putting the onus to avoid crashes on cyclists and pedestrians instead of motorists, the product flew off the shelves and the ad landed a huge amount of buzz.
If the creativity of the sell interests you and these adverts have you captivated, then take a look at our Marketing qualifications on offer to you today!