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A successful advertisement makes you feel something. Joy, nostalgia, desire – sometimes even anger. The 10 best ads of 2014 are no exception.
Here, we recap the viral sensations you won’t always see on TV. So without further ado, here are our picks for this year’s winners.
10. FCKH8: Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs
This was one of the most shared videos of the year and it’s easy to see why. These little girls kill it in the shock factor arena. Dressed up as pretty pink princesses and cursing up a storm, they list off the most shocking – or depressing, depending on which side of the fence you stand on – facts about the gender gap. Included on their list of dirty phrases “more offensive than the word ‘fuck’” are “pay inequality,” “rape and violence” and “be pretty.”
9. P&G: Thank You, Mom
Here, mothers pick up their children countless times: when they’re learning to walk, skate, snowboard and ski. Moms are there to ice bruises and warm up frozen feet; to heal broken bones and quell tears. And when their kids grow up and find their own legs to stand on, mothers are there to celebrate the wins.
8. Budweiser: Friends Are Waiting
When Budweiser started the year debuting “Puppy Love” at the Superbowl, they set the bar pretty high regarding adorable dog commercials.
“Friends Are Waiting” isn’t just cute though – it addresses a prominent issue. Each year, about 10,000 Americans die in drunk driving accidents. Budweiser’s ad addresses the more human side of drunk driving PSAs. It isn’t a terrifying warning filled with statistics and bloody messages; it shows the family that waits for you at home.
7. Under Armour: I Will What I Want
Lindsey Vonn, Sloane Stephens and Gisele Bündchen are just three of the spokesmodels chosen for Under Armour’s 2014 campaign to empower female athletes. Each one tells a story worth watching.
In this commercial, American Ballet Theatre soloist Misty Copeland dances over the words she heard in rejection letters and criticisms from her youth. But when she moves on stage, a decade after finding success, her body combines so much power and grace, it’s intoxicating.
6. John Lewis: Monty the Penguin
If penguins are your thing (check), the holidays make you smile (check) and the whole falling in love bit gets you all warm and fuzzy (triple check), you’ll swoon for John Lewis’ newest ad. Here, a present-day Calvin watches his penguin-slash-best-friend Monty long for another companion. Press play the first time to watch his dreams come true, and press play the next dozen times to keep that happy feeling alive.
5. Thai Life Insurance: Unsung Hero
This ad pays homage to the unsung heros in our lives. A man walks around performing kind acts for his neighbors – leaving bananas on an old woman’s doorknob, donating money to a homeless child’s education, feeding a stray dog – while expecting nothing tangible in return. Instead, he receives an outpouring of love from the community and the chance to watch his good deeds flourish.
4. Coca-Cola Life: Parents
Coca-Cola released this ad less than two weeks ago, and already it’s a surefire winner.
The scene opens with a happy couple celebrating a positive pregnancy test. As it flashes forward over a year, we see the baby growing up and wreaking havoc on everything in sight. It’s the kind of chaos that every parent knows (and dreads).
Near the end, the mother walks into the room carrying another positive test. At first, the father begins to scream – but it’s only with overwhelming love for their burgeoning family. Way to nail it, Coke.
3. Apple: The Song
We didn’t think it was possible, but Apple’s 2014 winter ad managed to top last year’s “Misunderstood.” In both ads, technology plays the supporting role next to the star: family.
In this warm and fuzzy tearjerker, a young woman records herself singing to an oldie. She offers up the gift to her grandmother, alongside pictures of her and her beau in their youth, for a throwback that reminds you what love is all about.
2. Save the Children: Most Shocking Second a Day Video
“A second a day” videos are trending right now, so Save the Children jumped on the bandwagon to create a commercial that gives you chills. In the first second, a little girl celebrates her birthday by blowing out the candles on her cake. In the subsequent seconds, we learn the events that shape her year in becoming a refugee.
The video aims to show that war, like the one raging in Syria, tears apart the lives of children. Learn how you can help here.
1. Chevrolet: Mo’ne Davis, Throw Like a Girl
The 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis bumped Kobe Bryant, NBA MVP, off the national cover of Sports Illustrated.
Who is she? She’s the first female to throw a shutout in Little League World Series history. She pitches at 70 miles per hour; in her words, “that’s throwing like a girl!” And now, she’s a role model to athletes – boys and girls – everywhere. In this heartwarming ad, which aired during Game 1 of this year’s Giants-Royals World Series, Mo’ne tells her story, her hopes, her dreams.
But even better than the commercial is the mini-documentary behind it. Check out the full version here.
Suffering from a case of the feels? Us too. Follow us on Twitter @kiip to stay up-to-date on more articles like this.
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