I recently found myself watching inane television, sometimes it just has to be done. In between wrapping Christmas presents along came a show on ITV called Ads of the Decade. As a Marketing professional how could I not watch this? I began mentally preparing a list in my head Cadburys Gorilla, Meerkat, Bud, Honda Choir, Honda Cog, Levis twisty jeans, Honda Hate Something – sparking some great online activity (in fact Honda come out quite a lot) maybe even the Coke Happiness Factory.
Which ad would win it though? A whole lot of advertising thought leadership and creative development ready to be audited, reviewed and ranked.
The list (in alphabetical order)
1. Barclaycard: Waterslide
2. Budweiser: True / Wassup
3. Cadburys: Drumming Gorilla
4. Cadburys: Eyebrows
5. Carlsberg: Old Lions
6. Citroen C4: Transformer
7. Compare the Market: Compare the Meerkat
8. Guinness: Tipping Point
9. Halifax: Howard
10. Honda: Cog
11. Hovis : Go On Lad
12. John Smiths Bitter: Various ft. Peter Kay
13. John West Salmon: Bear
14. PG Tips – Monkey
15. Skoda: Bake
16. Sony Bravia: Balls
17. Sony Bravia: Paint
18. Sure for Men: Stunt City
19. T Mobile: Dance
20. Volkswagen: Singing in the Rain
And the winner is…
There were some great ads in the top 20 list. Some real outstanding examples and some not so great ones on the roster. So who would seem the most obvious? Honda’s are really creative, T-Mobile brought Flash-Mob to the mainstream, Monkey was both creatively good but also really funny and Cadburys Gorilla created such a buzz in both pub and online conversations. Howard…? Well enough said.
The Sony Bravia ads were brilliantly produced and I am amazed the paint execution didn’t rank higher. That being said the winner was the Hovis ad directed by Ridley Scott and when it first aired was the longest ever advert on British TV, some 122 seconds long. Obviously symbolic of the fact the first Hovis loaf was sold some 122 years ago.
I love the ad and it is a great representation of Britain through the years. The production values are outstanding and the story is executed in a good manner. Is it the best ad of the decade? I am not entirely sure, although I can understand why people would vote it.
Whatever your view, the list represented a diverse mix of ads with different types of executions. It shows that there are streams of creative excellence still strong in the UK advertising industry.
So when we reach the ends of the teens and 2019 draws to a close, will we be talking about a list of TV ads or will it be some completely different medium. Maybe internet, apps or a channel that has yet to emerge. One thing is certain, as marketeers we will need to think of ever increasingly creative ways to communicate with our audiences. We will also need to consider how our audience will want to consume our messages or even lead us.