Alright, folks. You know the drill. It’s time for our monthly recap of the best ads. This time, we have something for everyone: animal lovers, gamers, comedians and fashionistas. And of course, as wintertime nears, there are more than a few holiday ads sprinkled in the bunch.
Without further ado ...
11. Dollar Shave Club
I don’t think anything will ever top Dollar Shave Club’s introductory ad, but these are some worthy contenders. The Club has released four new commercials with help from the director of Dos Equis' "The Most Interesting Man in the World" campaign. No biggie or anything.
The ads show just how badly consumers get beat up by razor companies. Shoppers here get punched in the face, stripped for valuables, tranquilized and more. If slapstick is your jam, these ads are for you.
10. Foot Locker: The Process
Foot Locker just dropped Washington Wizard player John Wall's new Adidas shoe and it’s all part of the process.
“The Process” plays out John Wall’s career, from his quick rise to fame to dirty downfall with stolen money, a divorced wife and a gig as the star of used car commercials. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll head out to Foot Locker for a shopping spree.
9. PlayStation: World’s Greatest Victory Dance
PlayStation produced six new ads informing players exactly how to act after they demolish their friends at video games. Introducing their latest campaign, “World’s Greatest Victory Dance.”
The ads rope in dancers from the New York City Ballet, who move seamlessly from classical poses to modern moves. There’s a video for every game genre, from sports to war and everything in between.
Check out the rest of the ads in the campaign here.
8. Kate Spade: The Waiting Game
We heart Anna Kendrick. She’s in fine form in this Kate Spade ad, where she sits, locked out of her apartment for a few hours. She entertains herself with her dog, a shopping bag full of Kate Spade clothes and endless wit. Watch her get a little crafty in this designer spot.
7. Dick’s Sporting Goods: The Hoop
In this charming advertisement, a dad gives his daughter a basketball hoop for the holidays. We watch her grow up over the years, from a young child to graduate moving away from home. The hoop always remains the focus of entertainment, bonding and love. It’s one of those feel-good ads of which we could all use a little more.
6. Gap: Dress Normal
Sofia Coppola is the queen of encapsulating vulnerability. After all, 11 years later, Lost in Translation is still the Bible for expats and other searching souls. It makes sense that her ads for Gap could relay those emotions in a much shorter format.
The “Dress Normal” campaign features four holiday ads showing the endearing side of eccentricity. In one, there’s an awkward moment under the mistletoe; in another, a girl arrives home to a chaotic Thanksgiving; in the third, a child lip syncs to Johnnie Ray; in the fourth, there’s a tender moment over a pinball machine. The message claims that you don’t have to conform to society’s definition of normal. Being yourself is enough.
5. Union: 2014 Agency of the Year
Advertising agency Union was recently shortlisted for Strategy’s Agency of the Year award, and boy, do they have a reward in mind for their hard-working employees. That’s right – two whole minutes of quality time with family.
In this hilarious-yet-depressing ad, coworkers sprint towards family members. Children fling themselves into their mothers’ arms, fathers reunite with now-grown offspring and sons greet urns of their parents’ ashes. It pokes fun at modern work-life balance, and you’ll find some solace in watching it when you should be cramming for end of day deadlines.
4. Zulu Alpha Kilo: A Mad Man in Today’s Ad World (NSFW)
This ad places Don Draper’s alter ego right in the middle of a contemporary ad agency. Watch in horror and amusement as he gropes a female coworker, blows smoke in a pregnant woman’s face, invites a prostitute back to his desk and urinates all over his boss’ head. If you can watch this video at your office, it’ll be the most entertaining two-and-a-half minutes of your day.
3. Wildlife Aid: Saving Harry
Harry is the cutest hedgehog you’ll ever see. Here, he wanders from city to forest in attempt to find food – and a little hedgehog love.
The ad aims to increase Britain’s endangered hedgehog population, whose numbers have fallen frighteningly low in recent years. If you have a soft spot for the little guys, shoot a donation over to Wildlife Aid or purchase the advertisement’s soundtrack, “I’m Seeing Stars” by The Elephant Rooms, on iTunes. (All proceeds are donated to the cause.)
2. Sainsbury’s: Christmas
It takes effort to pull of an ad like this. Sainsbury’s recreates a real-life event: the 1914 Christmas Truce. During the first World War, British and German troops called it quits (for a day in some sectors, a week in others) to sing carols, exchange gifts and hold service together.
The truce is brought back to life in this stunning portrayal of war of peace. The troops each venture into “No Man’s Land” to play a game of soccer and forget – for too brief a time – the sound of gunfire.
1. John Lewis: Monty the Penguin
I’m not going to lie: I watched this three times before beginning to write this, and each time I blubbered like a damn baby.
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 advert. 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.
Bonus: Your daily dose of weird.
Yessssss. This is the most bizarre thing you’ll see today, guaranteed.
Totino’s Pizza Rolls collaborated with Tim and Eric (of the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) to produce an ad that makes no sense and might give you a seizure. There’s no way to describe the spot, except that it could only have been produced on extreme amounts of psychedelics. Check it out for yourself.
Did we miss your favorite ad? Shout out in the comments below.
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Tagged Advertising, advertising, anna kendrick, christmas, dick's sporting goods, dollar shave club, Foot Locker, gap, holidays, john lewis, kate spade, monty the penguin, new york city ballet, Playstation, ps4, sainsbury's, saving harry, tim and eric, totinos, union, wildlife aid, Zulu Alpha Kilo