Nike unveiled that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick would be the face of their 30th anniversary ad campaign called “Voice of Belief”. Immediately the ad garnered both positive and negative responses in regards to the quarterback’s controversial past. Whether or not you agree with Nike’s choice, you can’t deny that this response is unrivaled by any other ad in recent memory. So what other ads have had the kind of response Nike is experiencing?
Back to the Start, Chipotle
The fast casual super chain created this two minute long ad in 2012 to run before movies in theaters but after the first day of its initial run, they got such a strong response that it was quickly uploaded to YouTube and bought two minutes of airtime during the Grammys. Their goal was not to create an ad but an intro to knowing about the food you eat – a core belief for the chain.
Dumb Ways to Die, Metro Trains
Melbourne, Australia’s Metro Train created a viral video sensation with 2012’s Dumb Ways to Die. As of today, it sits with over 170 million views on YouTube, all to promote train safety. The catchy tune led to two sequels, plush toys, two successful apps in the iTunes app store, and an iTunes top 10 single. The genius aspect of this hilarious, cutely animated, and surprisingly grim PSA is that the humor masks the terrible things happening and feels completely organic in the YouTube space until the end when you learn it is an ad.
Thank You, Mom, Procter and Gamble
Every four years, as excitement begins to rally for the Olympics, stories come out about the athletes and their incredible stories. As consumers, we love having a heartfelt reason to root for someone. P&G takes it a step further with their incredibly simple yet moving ads that have become a staple in American advertising. These ads never cease to humble viewers and have very little copy, relying on the ambient noise of being a busy mother.
Mac vs. PC, Apple
The concept of being a “Mac person” or a “PC person” did not exist before these commercials. The 66 commercial series features a young and hip Justin Long to represent Macs compared to the Bill Gates look-alike John Hodgman to represent PCs. The simple format, two actors in front of a white screen, have made their way into the cultural lexicon spawning parodies and shaping how consumers buy their computers. Before these ads, Apple was successful but nowhere near the force that PCs were in the tech space.
The Man Your Man Can Smell Like, Old Spice
While Old Spice makes products aimed at men, their 2009 campaign was designed to peak the interest of their consumer’s girlfriends and wives. The outlandish visuals and fast-talking spokesman became an instant viral hit spawning an entire series of similar commercials and parodies. The original video sits at over 55 million views and Old Spice is the most successful branded YouTube channel to date.
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