By Evan LaVigne
As with most years, 2017 was filled with advertisements that impacted people’s lives by pulling at both their heartstrings and checkbooks. From clever campaigns that sent products flying off shelves to tear-jerkers that generated some real social change across the nation’s landscape, this past year seemed to have it all. As we head into 2018 and the onslaught of eloquently contrived copy and visually stunning advertisements, I wanted to reflect on some of the more memorable campaigns and commercials of 2017.
Spotify improved upon their, “Thanks 2016” campaign with a revised version of various signs and billboards that they put up around urban areas. This year they looked forward to the new year by offering resolutions to the public using data from their music streaming platform. Using distinctive Spotify-esque designs as the background, they simultaneously teased and praised their users showing off different names of playlists that have been created and the number of times certain tracks were played in a day. This fun idea is a fantastic visual way to not only put a smile on people’s faces, but possibly let them know that their not the only one with a unique and quirky playlist.
iPad Pro – What’s a Computer
This commercial by Apple shows off the merits and possibilities of its iPad Pro line of devices. The narrative follows a young girl as she utilizes her iPad while constantly traveling around her town, everything from writing documents to taking pictures of insects are done with the iPad. The spot also shows off the device’s creative capabilities with the girl using the company’s Apple Pencil to draw and explore her artistic ability.
The part of this commercial that shines the most, however, is when the girl is asked what she is doing on her computer. When asked this she simply responds, “What’s a Computer?” I found this ad to really follow along with Apple’s simplistic advertising guidelines while firmly instilling the idea that its iPad Pro line is the future of the personal computer.
Jose Cuervo – Last Days
This commercial spot takes us back to the beginning of the year, created by the powerhouse agency CP+B, the commercial instills in viewers the idea of enjoying the current moment like it is your last, possibly with a bottle of Jose Cuervo.
In this ad that originally premiered during the SuperBowl, the patrons of a bar that is in impending doom due to an apocalypse, seem to accept their fate and enjoy the company that they all bring each other. The mood of the ad is carried by a famous Elvis tune that really ties together the setting. As they dance the storm away the bar continues to be demolished, not to the dismay of the patrons.
State Street Global Advisors – Fearless Girl
This ad campaign took a surprisingly refreshing physical form. Made by the New York-based McCann Agency, the Fearless Girl was born. On International Women’s Day, they placed a statue of a young girl fearlessly standing her ground in front of the iconic bull on Wall Street. The advertisement was created for State Street Global Advisors as a symbol of increased leadership by Women in companies, not only on Wall Street, but around the world. The agency used the hashtag, #shemakesadifference to go along with the statue. This campaign ended up creating a huge buzz on social media and a spark for the real-life movement going on today.
Burger King – Bullying JR.
Burger King has had a great year when it comes to advertising, the success of their Google Home campaign was enough for a memorable year. However, my favorite by far is their Bully Jr. campaign. The commercial takes place in a Burger King Restaurant, complete with undercover cameras. The premise of the ideas was to smash hamburgers that were being purchased, and have actors bullying another actor pretending to be another customer.
As Burger King pointed out, the percentage of customers that said something about the burger far outweighed the number of people standing up for the bullied kid. The commercial ends with the message, “No Jr. Deserves to be bullied.” A play-on-words representing their signature Whopper Jr. burgers along with the fact that kids are being bullied across the nation every day. The commercial closes out with a link to nobully.org.
This list is a collective of ads that I found to stick out in my memory, whether it created enough buzz to jump to the top of social media trending lists or simply caught the attention of a room full of people around the TV, freezing them in their tracks and imparting its message on the viewers. No list can completely capture all of the top creative ideas of the year, so if there are any ads that you thought should’ve made the list, leave a comment with a link!