5 New Video Ads You Should Watch Right Now: Mastercard, P&G, EDEKA, Three, SOS Mayday

Written on
Feb 28, 2014 
Mike Daly  |

ADOTAS – Cats sing ’80s classics, Pharrell Williams surprises a princess and a middle-aged German man bathes in muesli. Yes, it’s just another week in Adland.

5. SOS Mayday,“Would you give your jacket to Johannes?”

Advertising based around hidden cameras is usually obsessed with tripping people up. Whether it’s catching people out or just plain terrifying them, it’s not often that this popular sub-genre ever tries to be humanity-affirming.

The sentimental appeals of charity SOS Mayday’s “Would you give your jacket to Johannes?” are plain to see, but the simple spot works, and has been shared over 300,000 times, because it makes a tangible relation between philanthropy and everyday acts of kindness. Few people could watch the ad without wondering how they would act in that situation (or even have acted in the past).

While there’s very little to spoil about SOS Mayday’s ad, it’s a charmingly simple set-up that I hope furthers their cause.

4. P&G, “Thank you, Mom – Tough Love”

P&G returns to old territory with “Tough Love,” but this clip’s moving production and message shine through nonetheless. The brand established themselves as the “Proud Sponsor of Moms” at the Winter Olympics in 2010, and their Sochi effort loses none of the magic.

The format remains very much the same: a beautifully-assembled montage of athletes and their loving, supportive parents. “Tough Love” adds another level with the inclusion of Paralympic athletes. “You could have protected me, so that I would never feel pain,” the voice-over says, “but you didn’t.”

If you’re looking to feel uplifted of a Friday afternoon, look no further. And also, call your mom.

3. Three, #SingItKitty

The last time mobile service provider Three teamed up animals, whimsy and ’80s pop classics the result was a moonwalking shire horse. How do you top that kind of madness? As with so many questions on the internet, the answer is kittens.

If you haven’t heard Starship’s rousing “We Built This City” in a while, then prepare to be almost overfamiliar with it. Wieden + Kennedy has produced a comic fantasy in which, not only does a young girl know all the lyrics to a hair metal ballad, she’s happy to cycle around the neighborhood belting it out.

With 250,000 shares already, “#SingItKitty” could go the distance to eclipse Three’s iconic pony.

2. EDEKA, “Supergeil ft. Friedrich Liechtenstein”

I had never heard of German supermarket EDEKA nor performance artist Friedrich Liechtenstein before watching this spot, and now I wonder where they’ve been all my life.

In a baffling mash-up of salesmanship and The Lonely Island-style crooning, this ad has all the makings of a viral hit. It’s weird. It’s catchy, even if you don’t speak the language (Gangnam, anyone). And its star is a self-described “flaneur.” What more could you want from three minutes?

If you’re a fan of musical comedy and/or people smoking hot dogs as if they’re cigars, then you’re a cool person and we should hang. But most importantly, watch this ad.

1. Mastercard: “Pharrell Williams gives his fan a Priceless Surprise”

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like if pop sensation Pharrell Williams interrupted your nursery group? Well, me neither, but that’s beside the point.

The mellifluous singer, best known for “Get Lucky” and “Happy,” drops in on a super fan, Queen, while she’s entertaining her play group. While the kids are mostly nonplussed by Williams’ entry, Queen is appropriately shocked/ecstatic about the surprise guest.

However, what makes Mastercard’s “Priceless Surprise” most notable has to be the crazy hat Pharrell is wearing throughout. Seriously, just take a minute and look at that hat. Here’s hoping this ad series continues with Pharrell dropping in on fans wearing increasingly surreal headgear. I’m voting astronaut’s helmet for next time.

David Waterhouse

Mike Daly is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years of experience in publishing. He began his career in 1983 at The News of Paterson, N.J., a long-since defunct daily paper, where at age 22 he was promoted to the position of Editorial Page Editor. Since then he has served in managerial capacities with several news organizations, including Arts Weekly Inc. and North Jersey Media Group in New Jersey and Examiner Media in New York. His work has been honored on numerous occasions by the New Jersey Press Association and the Society for Professional Journalists.

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