This Week’s 5 Best Video Ads: Call of Duty, Turkish Airlines, Carlsberg, Google, HBO


ADOTAS – Google reaches for the stars, Turkish Airlines scores a slam-dunk and Joe Biden is just Joe Biden. Yep, it’s just another week in AdLand.

But which ads have been setting the web alight over the last seven days? Here are our five picks.


5. Official Call of Duty®, “Advanced Warfare Reveal Trailer”

While game trailers very rarely feature on this round-up, Call of Duty’s latest teaser makes pretty good grounds for an exception. Firstly, it’s stonkingly popular, racking up more than half a million shares since its release last week.

Secondly, Sledgehammer games is undeniably aiming for a cinematic scope, not least by casting “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey. Spacey is also evidently playing the exact same character (albeit dropping the “Foghorn Leghorn” voice he applies for Frank Underwood) as he monologues about democracy, power and other evil guy things.

For all its portent, my assumption is that the real game is less about American nation-building and adventurism in the 21st Century than the trailer suggests. It’s probably mostly about blowing up bridges. And that’s fine too.

4. Turkish Airlines, “Euroleague Epic Pool Dunk”

Social media and camera-enabled phones have irrevocably transformed the humble pool party. Whereas the idea used to be sit back with pals around the ol’ watering hole, YouTube and Vine turned the pool into the new gladiators’ arena (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s Exhibit A []).

That’s right: we’re talking Epic Pool Dunks. A wily genre pitched somewhere between the precision of a Rube Goldberg device and the pain potential of a Fail video, there’s literally hundreds of hours of these online. Thank me later.

Supporting Euroleague Basketball, Turkish Airlines produced their own Epic Pool Dunk, which makes up what it lacks in spontaneity with frantic Michael Bay-esque editing.

3. Carlsberg, “Fan Squad”

There are all sorts of things that can get in the way of a salubrious evening watching football with your fellow man. Maybe the telly’s too small, maybe the pub’s too crowded, maybe the beer doesn’t appear on little Jetsons-style conveyer belts (imagine that!).

Like a distinctly over-18’s version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, Carlsberg’s latest spot imagines the perfect pub. No more will your vision be obscured by errant hairstyles, no longer will a ref’s bad call ruin the night, no longer will your beer not be delivered on a Jetsons-style conveyor belt. I can’t emphasize this detail enough.

While Carlsberg doesn’t make any explicit promises for when this Pub of Pubs might become a reality, a man can dream.

2. Google, “To The Moon”

I’ve never understood why so many children want to be astronauts. After all, the moon is the one place you can be absolutely sure does not have any ice cream, television or Action Man toys.

For the less pragmatically-minded, Google’s latest ad charts one woman’s growing love affair with the wonders of cosmos. This is all conveniently shown through various Google apps and products, including one that looks like the map screen from the video game Mass Effect.

With all this talk of blood moons, astrology and the end of the world dominating (certain corners of) the internet, credit to Google for redressing the balance with a little straight science. Bill Nye would be proud.

1. HBO, “Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Joe Biden: White House Correspondents’ Dinner 2014”

Vice-president Joe Biden confirms his status as the American Boris Johnson in this new spot playing off the famously gregarious politician.

Paired up with HBO’s fictional “Veep,” Julia-Louis Dreyfus, the pair take Washington D.C. by storm in a yellow convertible, like a surreal reboot of “Lethal Weapon.” A couple pit-stops include: arguing over ice cream with Michelle Obama and inserting fake headlines in the Washington Post. Bringing us full circle back to Kevin Spacey, the best line in the whole video comes when Dreyfus does her best “House Of Cards” impression. In her words, “We can all look directly into the camera, Kevin; the point is, you’re not supposed to.”

— David Waterhouse



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