2015 has been a great year for advertising. We’ve seen some amazing storytelling through beautifully crafted, hilarious, heart-warming and memorable ads. Whether they carried a powerful message or not, all of them managed to achieve what really matters; we remember them. We’ve had emotional PSAs, beautiful Christmas commercials, big celebrities, even bigger outdoor displays and, of course, a few adorable animals.

Here’s TDLY’s pick on the most awesome ads of 2015.

10. Sky Atlantic – Fortitude

Who said that outdoor advertising is dead? Sky proved us wrong with the release of the TV crime drama Fortitude. Special effects company Millenium FX created an incredibly real-looking giant polar bear and let it loose around London. The bear drew quite a lot of attention and spurred authentic conversations across social media.

9. The Ad Council – Love Has No Labels

2015 was an important year for LGBT rights, with empowering ads promoting marriage equality. In this beautiful stunt by the Ad Council, a giant X-Ray screen was set up in Santa Monica (CA) on Valentine’s day to show that all humans are the same and love has no boundaries. The tech used might be simple, and the reactions a bit acted, but the message was powerful nonetheless.

8. Nike – Short a Guy

Another year, another masterpiece from Nike and agency W+K. Frenetic, beautifully shot and cool, this ad is fresh and energising and will make you want to shut your laptop and get active (we’ll stick to binge watching commercials though).

7. Apple – Shot on iPhone 6

Simplicity is often the key to produce truly effective ads. In one of the best user-generated campaigns of all times, Apple showcased real iPhone 6 users’ pictures on billboards in major cities. All photos were noncommissioned and simply found online/ loved by Apple.

top 10 ads 2015 Apple
top 10 ads 2015 Apple

6. Clash of Clans – Revenge

Ah, good old celebrity endorsement. Once used only for perfumes and fizzy drinks, today mobile games are becoming such a huge phenomenon to afford a $9M Super Bowl commercial featuring Liam Neeson. The world is truly an amazing place.

5. States United to Prevent Gun Violence – Guns with History

To raise awareness on gun violence in the US (apparently there are still people out there who need an ad for this) Grey did the unthinkable; they opened a gun shop in New York City. The buyers were not prepared for the tags on the weapons, showing which model had been used in a particular mass shootings.

4. ComCast Xfinitiy – Emily’s Oz

Such an amazing ad from Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Comcast and GSP asked Emily, a 7-year-old blind girl, what she sees in her mind’s eye when she watches The Wizard of Oz. Using Emily’s suggestions, the agency then built her version of the story to promote Comcast’s “talking guide” for people with visual disabilities.

3. Android – Friends Furever

Cute animals. Advertising wouldn’t be the same without them. Droga5 is one of the most creative and original independent agencies in the world, and prides itself of making some of the most unconventional advertising around. So this ad, featuring nothing but found footage of cute and funny animals, came as quite a surprise. However, advertising is not art, and what really matters is effectiveness. And boy was this ad successful; with more than 6.5 million online shares and almost 22 million views, it’s the most viral ad ever! So there you go, a reminder that cute animals do work.

2. John Lewis – Man on the Moon

Behold, the mighty Christmas ad by John Lewis. Every year the department store delights us with a multi-million campaign that marks the beginning of the shopping season. As usual, the ad is a cry fest but this year it also carries an important message; aiming to use the brand’s profile to raise money for Age UK, one of Europe’s biggest charities supporting the elderly.

1. Geico – Unskippable

Everyone hates unskippable pre-roll ads. I mean, seriously, they are probably the most interruptive form of media that was ever conceived (YouTube preroll i.e. where ads go to die). It took a completely different approach to change this. A simple, clever and innovative idea; how about making fun of preroll ads using a preroll ad? What Geico and the Martin Agency did is reverting the traditional ad by placing the end at the beginning, with a super-short sales pitch that finishes in a few seconds. The viewer is hooked to the ad with something funny before being able to skip it, and when they can “it’s already over”, as the voiceover says. Simply genius.

Anything to add? Comment below!




Riccardo Giani is author, co-founder and editor-in-chief at They Don't Love You. Originally from Italy, he spends his free time pursuing his many interests, including (but not limited to) marketing, advertising, branding, technology and heavy metal.

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