So which ads have been setting the web alight over the last seven days? Here are our five picks.
5. Opel, “Hypnotised Test Drive”
Why bother with car salesmen, when all auto brands really need to flog their latest models is a hypnotist?
Certainly, that seems the case this new Danish ad from Opel.
It shows how a hypnotist can turn a bunch of Opel-hating punters into brand die-hards with just a snap of his persuasive fingers.
4. adidas, “The Dream”
What does Lionel Messi dream of? World Cup glory, of course. He already has everything else. Despite being rich and playing for one of the best clubs in the world, the best soccer player of his generation has never shone for his country Argentina at the World Cup.
So you can forgive the Barcelona forward from having a few sleepless nights in the build-up to the biggest sporting event on the planet, especially when you consider some of the incredible players, such as Luis Suárez, Mesut Özil and Robin van Persie, who he will be coming up against in Brazil next month.
All these players feature in official sponsor adidas’ new World Cup spot, directed by “City of God” helmer Fernando Meirelles.
3. Transport for London, “Meet The Mates”
If you thought the incredible success of “Dumb Ways To Die” had convinced agencies that the best way to make an effective transport safety video was to forget showing harrowing, bone-crunching stories of people suffering and instead focus on more subtle ways to get their message across, guess again.
First there was this memorable PSA from the US a few weeks back, now this shocking safe-driving video from Transport for London has smashed its way on to the Unruly Viral Video Chart.
Aimed at young male drivers from London and looking like something left on the cutting-room floor of “Two Smoking Barrels,” it’ s message, “Kill your speed, not your mates”, is delivered with all the subtlety of a hand grenade.
2. Dannon, “Shakira”
Don’t you just love it when one of your predictions comes true? We certainly do. At the beginning of the year, we predicted the thin line between advertising and music videos would get even thinner this year.
And if the success of Activia’s new football-themed campaign, starring Colombian pop princess Shakira, is anything to go by, it looks like 2014 is going to be the year of the so-called ‘trackvert’.
Is this new song from Shakira an ad for Activia or a music video? Danone is certainly in no doubt. Its press release proudly announces the Colombian superstar’s support for the the yogurt brand’s new ‘Dare to Feel Good’ campaign and calls the video a “TV commercial” and a “dance-themed creative”.
1. Paddy Power, “Hawking Talking”
You don’t need to be a genius to work out why England have not won a World Cup since 1966 – but it helps.
The country which invented the globe’s most popular sport simply can’t take penalties. From Chris Waddle to David Batty, the list of spot-kick chokers is almost as long as England’s odds on winning the trophy in Brazil this July.
So when the world’s smartest man, Professor Stephen Hawking, offers some scientific advice on how this crop of England players can banish decades of penalty pains, you have to sit up and take notice.
The ad, from bookies Paddy Power, is as brilliantly bizarre as it sounds, including the esteemed wheelchair-bound physicist using such famous football phrases as “could not hit a cow’s arse with a banjo.”
Let’s hope some of the England squad have taken note. As rank outsiders, they need all the help they can get.
— David Waterhouse