Our Favorite Ads

Laptop sitting on a sofa

For an ad to be effective, it should:

  • Be memorable
  • Resonate with consumers by ringing true and delivering a personal, meaningful message
  • Communicate how the product makes your life better, more productive and happier
  • Stand for values above and beyond the product itself
  • And be inextricably linked to the brand

Great campaigns help brands avoid being a commodity and instead push the view in to an experience that combines powerful, meaningful and inspirational messages that touch the audience. While it’s not an easy task, especially for larger brands, here are some companies we think are doing it right.

Here are a few of our favorite video ads:

For their latest series of ads, Johnsonville asks their non-marketing employees to dream up a commercial that they then produce. The writing is subpar, the jokes are bad, and talking animals even make an appearance, but the result is good for a chuckle and it highlights some unlikely, lovable heroes. The ads put faces to the name of Johnsonville: friendly, down-to-earth, neighborly faces. The guy could be my uncle. He could be your uncle. By the end of the ad, the viewer knows that “The Johnsonville Way” values its employee family (and creates delicious, woodland critter-approved sausage). You just might want a side of that for breakfast.

A father cleans out the family’s old Subaru Forester as he prepares to pass it on to his 16-year-old daughter. Each artifact he finds in the car triggers a memory of a moment he’s shared with his daughter— which then magically appears on the lawn. As the daughter drives off in the old Subaru, we’re reminded that you can fit a lot of memories into a Subaru, but there’s always room for more. It leaves you with a sense of value, reliability, safety and durability.

This ad is a master class in the art of restraint. There is not an extraneous word, graphic or sound. The sudden shift from an increasing crescendo of voices to both auditory and visual silence simply and powerfully underscores the ad’s message of the difficulty of finding the truth amongst the noise.

This ad is a pleasant reminder that marketing has the capacity to do more than provide positive light to a product. By taking a neutral stance and implementing an appropriate platform for civil discussion, it shuns the argumentative disposition of conversations on differences within echo chambers (and how widespread they’ve become) without even acknowledging them. While it could be seen as a bit exploitative, Heineken proudly states their position of consideration for all people. No two people are the same. Celebrate and understand the distinctions over a beer.

“June” is a power of one story that paints a beautiful picture of the sharing economy for the brand Lyft. One day June, a lonely widow, is out on an errand and her car, full of so many memories, is totaled in an accident. As a result she rediscovers her community and that life really is better when you share the ride. The story is moving and relatable, the art direction is incredible, and it illuminates the current interest in the sharing economy.

This ad echoes back a parent’s experience in a pitch-perfect parody. It touches on every parent’s sense that important moments are getting lost in the busyness of normal life. You feel that you have a duty to your children to preserve some memories of their childhood, but you don’t have time to do that well because you’re surrounded by children all day. It also addresses the tensions and frustrations of parenting without being overly negative. “So if you love your children, or think you someday might, try Chatbooks.” It’s funny, charming, and rings true with parents.

Share your favorite ads below, or find us on Facebook and let us know what you think. @mjmexperience