With commercials hitting the figurative airwaves every second of every day, it can be difficult for brands to stand out among their competitors. Speaking to consumers in a crowded field is more difficult than ever, leading to an increasing in programmatic TV and a reduction of ad load across the board.
These are our five favorite commercials in 2019 so far. Not all of them are destined to become cultural pop culture references or catchphrases, but they all stand out for one reason or another.
Shaquem Griffin | Gillette
The ad and longer video highlight Shaquem’s journey to the NFL, training with his brother and overcoming the obstacle of competing in football without a left hand. The YouTube video description completes the picture:
“NFL rookie Shaquem Griffin knows that nothing comes easy. From earning defensive player of the year in college, to suiting up for the Seattle Seahawks, hard work and a dedicated father have helped Shaquem overcome any obstacle. We are proud to share his inspiring story.”
Gillette has spent more than $20 million promoting the ad in 2019, airing the spot over 5,000 times (and garnering nearly half a million views on both the ad and short film on YouTube). Click here to see Gillette’s full MediaRadar advertiser profile!
The Truth is Worth It | New York Times
The recent ad from The New York Times walks the viewer through all of the work that goes into writing a hard hitting story and headline. From on the ground interviews, research, writing and rewriting, the message is that NYT reporters work hard — and that it’s worth it.
From the video description: “Follow a New York Times journalist as she reveals cracks in the official government narrative about what happened to the Rohingya in Myanmar.”
The ad drives its point home with text at the end of the video: the truth takes resolve, and the truth is worth it.
The New York Times has spent $2 million on the ad, airing it over 500 times so far. Click here to see The New York Times’ full MediaRadar advertiser profile!
Dream Crazier | Nike
Nike’s Dream Crazier ad only ran during the Oscars, but it was certainly buzzworthy. The video has since amassed over 10 million views on YouTube. Click here to see Nike’s full MediaRadar advertiser profile!
Dream Crazier turned the negativity of ‘crazy’ on its head, showcasing what women have accomplished in sports. The narrator walks the viewer through the unjust labels women get (in sports and elsewhere), then focuses on what ‘crazy’ really means.
The video ends with text: it’s only crazy until you do it, transforming with a fade into the company’s slogan, just do it.
Famous Cars | Walmart
Walmart’s Famous Cars ad for its new grocery pickup service capitalizes on nostalgia and pop culture references.
THe video shows, you guessed it, famous cars from TV and movies, picking up groceries in front of a Walmart store. The Gostbusters van, Mystery Machine, McQueen and that awful Mutt Cutts van from Dumb & Dumber all make an appearance.
“Get your groceries without leaving your car,” the video instructs. “Order online. Pick up free.”
Walmart has spent at least $30 million on airing the ad so far, running it over 10,000 times. The creative has also been chopped up into shorter spots depending on the context. Click here to see Walmart’s full MediaRadar advertiser profile!
The pickup service has been wildly successful for the retail giant — groceries are set to account for a third of digital sales by next year.
Hello Light | Volkswagen
A new ad campaign from Volkswagen — including a video titled ‘Hello Light’ — takes on the the company’s emissions scandal from 2015 while presenting its concept for an electric version of the famous VW bus.
Starting out with news clips from the scandal, the video slowly segues to faux design work and a dramatic unveiling of the new design. “In the darkness, we found the light,” the narration goes. “Introducing a new era of electric driving.”
Though the concept was originally introduced way back in 2017, VW positions the electric model as the way forward from its emissions scandal.
It’s an apology video without saying as much, quickly repositioning Volkswagen as an innovative carmaker dedicated to an electric future for cars.
“VW wants to get back to being the cuddliest of car brands,” writes Jeff Beer at Fast Company. “The one with 60 years of iconic messaging that set VW apart as being friendly and self-deprecating.”
It’s too soon to tell how much ad spent Volkswagen will put behind this new approach, but it is already airing on TV. Click here to see Volkswagen’s full MediaRadar advertiser profile!