This Week’s 5 Best Video Ads: Honey Maid, Dove, Evian, Hootsuite, NHTSA


ADOTAS – Honey Maid turns the other cheek, Winter Comes for social media and a baby Spider-Man moonwalks. Yes, it’s just another week in AdLand.

But which ads have been setting pulses racing this week? Here are our five picks. Enjoy!

5. Honey Maid, “Love”

Here’s a novel way to deal with your hate mail. Instead of tearing it, burning it or sticking it to your fridge, why not hire a couple artists to turn it in a tribute to human love and understanding? Because even the moral high ground needs fine furnishings. Biscuit brand Honey Maid did exactly this after becoming the latest focus of internet bigotry.

When their perfectly harmless ‘This is Wholesome’ campaign was leapt upon by outraged YouTube commenters, the brand decided that instead of lashing out, they’d turn the other cheek. And then produce another spot, commemorating just how they turned the other cheek.

The resulting ad is a sweet, if slightly twee, act of passive resistance against people whose views are appropriately glossed over. Personally, whenever I get hate mail, I immediately turn it into an origami swan. Then I add it to the growing ranks of the Paper Swan Legion, of which I’m the commander-in-chief. So who’s the real loser?

4. Dove, “Patches”

It’s been nearly a year since Dove defined the year in social advertising with their blockbuster ‘Real Beauty Sketches’, which took its well-deserved place as the fourth most shared ad of all time. Since then the question has been: how can the Unilever brand follow it up?

Now there’s ‘Patches’, a similarly high-concept campaign in keeping with the tone of ‘Beauty Sketches’. Once again, we’re presented with a selection of average women, discussing the trials and tribulations of living in an image-conscious society. A psychologist introduces them to a new and seeming miraculous innovation: ‘the beauty patch’. There’s a twist in the tale coming, but mostly ‘Patches’ is about realising the positive effects of self-confidence (even if you think it’s coming from a magic piece of paper). While we can’t know whether Dove’s latest will live up to their 2013 juggernaut, they’ve certainly found an innovative way to restate their thesis.

3. Evian, “The Amazing Baby & Me”

Evian brings us another follow-up to a massive campaign, this time with a literal blockbuster twist. Partnering up with the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2, we’re invited to cast our minds back a year to when these dancing doppelgängers took the social web by storm.

Of course, Spider-Man is a better fit for this kind of japery than most superheroes. The X-Men wouldn’t fit in front of the mirror for a start, and I imagine Batman’s a little too self-serious to bust a move. Let’s not even mention the Hulk.

If you remember the original ad, then Spidey’s is more or less the same, only with added web-slinging. Having said that, if this is how New York’s greatest hero is spending his time, I imagine they’ll need a few more cops on the beat.

2. Hootsuite , “Game of Social Thrones”

There’s a pretty massive cross-over between “Game Of Thrones” addicts and social media addicts, so Hootsuite’s impressive parody is frankly a stroke of genius.

The social media management brand have reimagined the HBO fantasy smash’s iconic credits to describe the tech landscape, with social hubs occupying various Tolkienesque landscapes. What’s more, they’ve all been wittily designed to reflect the brands’ identities.

There’s Google, Zeus-like, atop a mountain with its plethora of add-ons. There’s LinkedIn’s impressive protective wall. Facebook appropriately is a sprawling citadel, slowly gobbling up the neighboring villages of WhatsApp and Instagram.

So enjoy and think of Hootsuite when you sit down to watch the latest “Game Of Thrones” this week, popcorn in one hand, Twitter in the other and a pair of imaginary dragons perched on your shoulders.

1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Texting While Driving”

The needless scourge that is texting while driving has inflamed the public consciousness recently. Perhaps it’s because texting-related accidents are so worryingly common, or perhaps it’s because they’re so easily prevented.

Accordingly, the latest shock ad from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not step lightly around its subject matter. At just 30 seconds long, this is definitely not Werner Herzog’s heart-rending half hour PSA from last summer.

Whichever way ad agencies go about spreading the message, it’s certainly a vital one. According to THINK!, drivers using a mobile phone are four times more likely to crash their vehicle. Hopefully statistics as harrowing as that and ads like this will encourage drivers to resist the temptation.

— David Waterhouse


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