5 New Video Ads You Should Watch Right Now: VW, Toyota, CarMax, Budweiser, Dove


ADOTAS – It’s that time of year again in Adland. Brands are limbering up for one of the biggest advertising events of the year, the Super Bowl, which is now just over a week away.

In this week’s Friday round-up, we’ve got a fair few Super Bowl teasers for you, and if you look closely (or at the slight spoiler above) you might just spot some familiar faces!

Read on for this week’s top five…

5. Volkswagen

Volkswagen has a long and fruitful relationship with the Super Bowl, so it’s no surprise we’ve been waiting for their 2014 campaign teaser with baited breath.

Well, it’s here, and it’s slightly more tongue-in-cheek than you might be expecting.

We’re greeted by an (apparently German) scientist, who explains that the VW laboratory has found the perfect advert to appeal to the American public.

Cue puppies and babies, Abraham Lincoln, cowboys and indians and Carmen Electra all writhing over a VW Saloon. All to the tune of Wang Chung’s Eighties hit, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.”

The one-minute spot has an undoubtedly nostalgic feel (Electra, like Budweiser’s Arnie, probably hasn’t had this much lucrative screentime in a while), which is a technique being used by the big players this year to reel in those Super Bowl fans.

Ultimately, tack is at the centre of this teaser, which might seem strange for an auto giant’s campaign, but I get the feeling that VW might have a little more up its sleeve come game day.

4. Toyota

Toyota has assembled a crack team for their Super Bowl effort this year, including Terry Crews (of Old Spice fame) and those smile-inducing creatures, The Muppets.

The car brand has just released a teaser for the much-anticipated campaign, and it’s as good as it gets for all-round entertainment.

We see Crews (who just so happens to be a former NFL star) cruising along a desert highway in the new Toyota Highlander. He then pauses as he comes across an abandoned bus, only to get a little more than he bargained for.

While the teaser only stars one Muppet (Rowlf the Dog, who delivers a stellar deadpan performance), the film-trailer style is a surefire way to ramp up the excitement, and play on that nostalgic theme we’ve been seeing so much of recently.

3. CarMax

If the Super Bowl itself can have a puppy version, why not the commercials?

That’s the thinking behind CarMax’s campaign, who’s game day advert has just been released along with a frame-by-frame copy, where puppies replace the actors.

The plot is simple – a guy buys a used car at CarMax, and receives a slow clap from the salesman for his savvy decision, which is then echoed by all of the people in the neighborhood – from park rangers to cheerleaders. (Watch out for Sean Astin – a.k.a Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of The Rings – and his puppy equivalent joining in the action).

The ad itself might not be groundbreaking, but CarMax’s decision to involve our four-legged friends is an interesting one in terms of stats.

The Internet loves puppies, and while the online-only puppy version has a lower viewing figure than its human counterpart (100k vs. almost 300k), the sharing figure is noticeably higher, at 1209 shares vs. 523.

Which one do you prefer? Watch the puppies here and the humans above.

2. Budweiser

Bud Light released a swarm of Super Bowl teasers last weekend, two of which starred everyone’s favorite Austrian action-star-turned-politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The veteran actor, who’s easing himself back in the Hollywood game, dons his sportswear and picks up a table tennis bat for the 16-second teasers.

‘Arnold Warmup’ shows him limbering up for a big game, while ‘Arnold Zipper’ hints at the bizarre nature of the alcohol giant’s campaign, whose other teasers include an appearance by Don Cheadle, a talented hen party singer, and a llama.

Bud Light VP Rob McCarthy said in a statement to Ad Age: “Our six Super Bowl ad teasers give viewers a peek behind the curtain, but fans will have to tune-in during the game to see how these seemingly unrelated events form one cohesive story,” adding that Arnie is just one of “five special cameos”.

Accompanied by the Game Of Thrones-style tagline, ‘whatever is coming’, Bud Light’s efforts so far are intriguingly strange – a trend we’ve noticed before in this year’s Super Bowl teasers – but the inclusion of Arnie has definitely had the desired effect for Bud, with this video attracting over 750,000 views in its first couple of days.

1. Dove

It’s easy to forget that something as simple as taking a selfie can also be the hardest.

After all, the most modern of acts of self expression can also lead to a lot of self-doubt and self-criticism, particularly among young women.

It’s something Dove is keen to remind us in its new short film “Selfie” – a campaign that marks the 10-year anniversary of the Unilever brand’s very successful “Campaign For Real Beauty.”

They set up a social experiment in which they challenged young women from a US high school and their mums to take an honest selfie which they feel represents their unique beauty.

No hiding the mole on the side of your face you have hated for years. Or the brace you wear on your teeth. Or the nerdy glasses you usually take off whenever someone takes a picture of you. Just point and click.

It may sound easy to some of you, but as we see in the three and eight-minute edits, it leads to a lot of self-examination from both daughter and parent.

Some openly admit that they get a lot of their insecurities about their looks from their mothers.

The portraits are then shown in a gallery, where visitors attach post-it notes pointing out what makes the portrait beautiful.

Of course, the campaign will inevitably draw comparisons with Dove’s record-breaking 2013 hit, “Real Beauty Sketches”, which highlighted the stark differences between how women describe themselves and how others perceive their beauty.

And, well, that’s a very tough act to follow. After all, Real Beauty Sketches is themost shared commercial of 2013 and the most viewed ad of all time.

But, while lacking some of the emotional punch of its predecessor, “Selfie” can certainly look at itself in the mirror with pride.

Despite its length, it does not drag. Plus the conversations between the mum and daughter are compelling.

But don’t just take our word for it. In its first 36 hours, the three-minute version had already attracted more than 4,000 shares and 27,269 views, which means just over one in six people who saw it were compelled to share it – a fantastic result.

– Claire Roberts


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here