The great examples of commercials that brought out their maximum creativity

Knowing the best examples of commercials will give you the push you need to go beyond the limits of your imagination and start exploiting your ideas to make disruptive and refreshing projects like -a classic Coca-Cola drink- that leaves you with a good taste in your mouth and invites you to uncover your creativity.

Surely you have seen commercials that have touched the deepest part of your heart or have captivated you instantly. But do you know what was the first commercial in history? or the commercials that contributed to the advertising we know today?

And the fact is that commercials have evolved along with commerce and globalization worldwide. However, there are some advertisements that marked history and remained in our minds until today.

In addition to hard work, these memorable ads have been characterized by strong, disruptive and relevant brand identification, according to Forbes.

That’s why in this article we’ll take a look at the best examples of commercials that have dazzled with their ingenious creative concept, and most of them have won one of the most relevant advertising awards in the industry.

give it a play and get inspired by these commercials!

1. The first written advertisement

As we mentioned earlier, the history of advertising is linked to the development of commerce around the world. Given the need to sell, merchants looked for ways to promote their products to reach more customers. This is how the first advertisements in history began to appear.

Although it is complicated to pinpoint what was the first advertisement in history, thanks to the available data we can determine that the first written advertisement was the following:

“The slave Shem having fled from his patron Hapu, the weaver, the latter invites all the good citizens of Thebes to find him. He is a Hittite, five feet tall, of stout build and brown eyes. Half a gold piece is offered to anyone who gives information about his whereabouts. Whoever returns him to the store of Hapu, the weaver, where the most beautiful fabrics are woven to one’s taste, will be given a gold piece.”

According to HubSpot, this advertisement was found in ancient Egypt, around 3000 B.C. As you can read in the quote, the patron Hapu created an advertisement to find his runaway is not known for sure if Hapu ever found him, but what we do know is that he used a new method to attract customers: advertising.

primer anuncio publicitario escritoSource: Timetoast

2. The first radio advertisement

In the early 1920s, direct radio advertising was prohibited, so the first radio advertisement had to be an “indirect advertisement”.

Thus, in 1922, a representative of the Queensboro Corporation (a suburban housing development company) asked an announcer on WEAF Radio (California, USA) to compare the chaotic life in the city with life in the suburbs. During the program, the announcer recommended living in the Hawthorne complex with the following sentence:

“Let me ask you to run for the apartments near green space […] the community living and friendly atmosphere that Hawthorne preaches.”

This example of an advertisement was the beginning of advertising in a new medium: radio. from this radio ad, more examples of radio commercials emerged, achieving that the notoriety of companies was massified in real time.

publicidad radiofónicaSource: Efemérides

3. The first TV commercial

After paper and radio commercials, the advertising boom intensified even more with the beginning of television in 1926. Years later, in 1941, the watch brand Bulova was the first company to promote its product in a baseball game broadcast.

This commercial lasted only 10 seconds, but it went on to increase the brand’s sales. It didn’t take long for other brands to realize the effectiveness of this advertising strategy, which evolved into what we now know as “TV commercials.”

hombre usando un reloj de la marca BulovaSource: Bulova

4. The first Internet commercial

In the early 1990s, the Internet arrived and, with it, other ways of advertising. You are probably wondering which company was the first to advertise on the Internet, well, the first digital advertisement was made by Gary Thuerk, known as the “father of spam”, when he sent a mass mailing to the customers of the company where he worked.

The purpose of this written advertisement was to publicize a new computer model. Today, this strategy is known as “email marketing,” a form of online advertising that floods your inbox every day.

5.”Santa Claus.”

Continuing our journey through the best examples of commercials we dive this time into Coca-Cola. This carbonated beverage brand has accompanied us from generation to generation to savor our moments of happiness.

But did you know that Santa Claus was invented by Coca-Cola? well, partially, yes, he was. The world’s best-selling soda company was inspired by a Christian bishop named Nicholas. However, the red suit of this classic character was indeed Coca-Cola’s contribution, becoming the main figure in each of the brand’s Christmas ads.

Photo: Entrepreneur

6.”I want you”

This example of an advertisement is a symbol of the First World War, as it was created in 1917 by James Montgomery to recruit more soldiers in the aforementioned war.

In fact, this ad was so successful that “Uncle Sam” (character of the ad) became a national icon and his image was used for the Second World War, becoming a great reference of how to make a successful advertisement.

tío Sam USA publicidadPhoto:

7.”We can do it”.

This is one of the Westinghouse commercials that was intended to lift the spirits of its workers during the World War II era.

This example of an advertisement is characterized by a young woman with a red handkerchief with white polka dots fastened to her hair while she rolls up the sleeve of her blouse to raise her arm as a symbol of strength and is accompanied by athe famous phrase “We can do it” was inspired by the photograph of Naomi Parker Fraley, a worker in an aircraft parts factory.

However, in the 1990s it became a symbol of female empowerment in the United States. Evidently, the creators of this advertisement did not imagine the far-reaching impact that lasts to this day.

Photo: Westinghouse

8. “1984”

This example of an advertising spot was based on a book by George Orwell entitled “1984”, which was intended to promote Apple computers at the time. With the original creative concept of this advertising spot, Steve Jobs’ brand realized 155 million dollars in profits.

1984 spot publicitario de AppleSource: Applesfera

9. “Masculinity”

Cigarette sales boomed between the 1970s and 1990s. During these years, Marlboro was characterized by showing a simple and clear message in all its commercials. The brand’s concept was related to virility and freedom, which made them market leaders in those times.

Photo: Difusor Ribero

10. “United colors of Benetton”.

One of the examples of Benetton commercials that generated many debates about its message. This is because the photographs captured by Oliviero Toscani questioned issues such as child labor, racism, hunger, among other taboo topics for the time.

Photo: Rock Content

11. Delivery service

They didn’t need a slogan to get the message across. The creative concept behind this example of a FedEx ad was clear: our packages arrive as fast as giving a package to your neighbor.

Photo: Rock Content

12. Happy little box

Of the thousands of McDonald’s commercials, without a doubt, the iconic “Happy Meal” ads resonate in the heads of its target audience, be it children, teenagers or even adults. Who hasn’t bought it to get the surprise toys?

In short, its examples of commercials have remained in the minds of users and this is an achievement that should be highlighted.

mcdonalds anuncio publicidadPhoto: McDonald’s Facebook

13. “Open at night”

We leave you with another quite original commercial from the fast food company that can only be seen at night. Yes, as you read it, this example of an advertisement plays with street lights to draw the classic McDonald’s logo with the aim of informing drivers about its 24-hour service and that the night is also a good time to eat its famous burgers. Incredible, isn’t it?

Photo: Idearium30

14.”We Will Rock You.”

If you only thought that world-class artists like Pink, Enrique Iglesias, Britney Spears and Beyoncé could only come together in concert, this example of Pepsi’s commercial spot brought them together to show the benefits of their beverage to the rhythm of the song “We will rock you” by the classic band ad spot so incredible that you’ll surely want to replicate it.

Beyoncé Britney Spears y Pink tomando una PepsiSource: Black Market

15. do you like driving?

Going back to advertising spots, the BMW car brand made a clip that managed to summarize the company’s values in a simple concept: the pleasure of driving. This commercial led the company to win several awards in the advertising world and changed forever the conceptual line of the brand’s commercials.

Source: Gestión

16. “Coin”.

This German car company has several examples of creative commercials that can inspire you to craft your own. One of them is this commercial spot that appeals to the feelings of buying a Volkswagen with the coin game in the wishing well.

logo de VolkswagenSource: Automocion

17. “Park Assist”.

Also, we leave you with another genius Volkswagen commercial that shows the importance of parking correctly and leaves a smile or two on the viewer’s face.

Volkswagen aviso publicitarioSource: Volkswagen

18. “The city is in your hands”.

This Ford commercial aims to inform about the ability of Ford cars to go all over the city. It is a simple ad, but with a quite concise and direct concept behind it.

Photo credit: Ford

19. “Nothing is impossible.”

In this Adidas campaign, the brand made commercials and a spot with a pretty good strategy: having Leonel Messi, world soccer star, as the main character. The aim of the commercial spot was to appeal to the fact that the brand is committed to sportsmen who, today, continues to do so.

Messi en la publicidad de AdidasSource: Twitter

20. “Don’t do it”.

The Nike brand is known for its slogan “Just do it” (“solo hazlo”, in Spanish). However, due to the “Black lives matter” movement and the murders that occurred in the United States, the brand decided to make a change to its brand strategy.

Nike made a graphic changing its historical slogan to “For once, don’t do it “. A powerful message that it conveyed through a 1-minute clip and several digital media spots.

spot publicitario de NikeSource: Twitter

21. “Records get broken, we don’t.”

This condom company is recognized for its creativity when making advertising spots. Here are two advertisements that play with the core business of the brand.

One of them is the following Durex Colombia ad that went viral on social networks in a matter of minutes, alluding to the most famous photo of an egg called “Eugene” that broke the record on Instagram.

Durex campañaSource: Twitter

22. “Protect yourself and others.”

This is another example of controversial Durex brand commercials launched during the pandemic to show the importance of taking care of ourselves against sexually transmitted diseases and Covid-19.

aviso publicitario de Durex covid-19Photo: Omsida

23. Shaving machines

If you haven’t seen the famous Million Dollar Shave Club commercial, now is the time. The company launched a clever online campaign to sell its low-cost razor subscriptions to men who, in the eyes of this brand’s owner, were “tired of the razor monopoly.”

To that end, they delivered their message in a 90-second YouTube clip in a fun way. and the best part? The commercial starred the CEO himself, making it go viral in just 24 hours. The next day, the company received more than 12,000 orders.

anuncio publicitario de Million Dollar Shave ClubSource: Pinterest

24. “Google Home of the Whopper”.

can you imagine asking your virtual assistant to explain how to prepare a Whopper? with this advertising spot from Burger King it was possible! The fast food company found a way to circumvent the time constraints of TV commercials by using people’s smart speakers.

Undoubtedly, one of the best examples of commercials that allowed Burger King to leap its brand off the screen and onto another device in its target’s homes.

publicidad de Burger KingSource: Bigumigu

25. “Go places”.

Heineken launched an ad spot titled “Go Places” in 2016 with the goal of highlighting the company’s personality and culture to prospective employees.

To do so, this campaign allowed individuals to participate in an interactive interview in which they relied on highlighting their greatest strengths. After the comprehensive questionnaire, candidates received their results and the CEO himself invited them to apply for a position with their LinkedIn profile.

In short, one of the examples of commercials that connects with the company and not only with the product itself.

26. “Share a Coke.”

There is no doubt that whenever we think of the best advertising spots, the Coca-Cola beverage brand comes to mind first.

One of its famous “Share a Coke” campaigns, which was launched in 2011, went viral and Coca-Cola gained a huge fan base because of this particular campaign. Basically, it consisted of customers being able to print their names on their Coke bottle or can.

This is a great example of an advertisement that engages the audience, and in turn, allows consumers to feel that the brand cares about them. The result of the campaign was excellent, as fans became repeat buyers and Coca-Cola was able to establish itself in the hearts of its customers.

latas de Coca Cola con nombresSource: ABC

27. “Like a girl”.

The #LikeaGirl campaign by feminine towel brand Always was launched in 2015 and was a success. The company aimed to break the myth of the gender gap in our society and promote awareness through this campaign.

So in one of its clever examples of short commercials, the brand has explained how girls are just as fit as boys to play any sport.

The stigma behind girls playing any sport was well addressed through this proposed ad spot. The campaign not only improved the company’s sales, but also developed its image among its audience.

like a girl campaña de AlwaysSource: Medium

28. “Just Do It.”

You’ve probably heard Nike’s iconic slogan, but you may not know the story behind it. Nike launched this campaign in the 1980s and its sales increased by more than $8 billion in 10 years. This commercial aimed to fill customers with motivation to exercise. Nike did it emotionally and it was a success.

What Nike wanted to convey with the campaign was simple: if you don’t want to exercise, just do it. If you don’t want to wake up early in the morning, just do it.

The best thing a brand can do is solve people’s problems; Nike knew how to do that through its great list of ad examples. Today, this brand is recognized as one of the best sporting goods manufacturers in the market.

deportista usando ropa de NikeSource: La Vanguardia

29. “Live there.”

Airbnb’s creative banner ads are great at piquing your interest through their visual elements that tug at your heartstrings with a complete experience.

Their ads are actually integral pieces of a larger overall strategy to get their customers to not only visit their fantasy destinations, but also live there.

In fact, they used the booking site components to make a Polaroid-like frame that was certainly helpful in translating the core of the Airbnb brand value proposition.

anuncios publicitarios de AirbnbSource: Digital Ready

30. “Night time.”

This is one of the great examples of product commercials for nighttime usability. To captivate their audience, Nivea cleverly does it without using any words, and only through their branding that appears on the cover of their article.

This is an incredible case of memorable advertising, as it only uses an excellent photographic setup in which the article cover is cleverly used to showcase a crescent design that represents the nighttime usability of the product underneath.

It also uses the brand-specific blue background on which the white skin cream glows like the crescent moon that translates the nighttime purpose of the cream.

aviso publicitario de NiveaSource: Medium

31. “Pour perfectly.”

To promote their tomato sauce, Heinz Ketchup launched this example of a cleverly approached commercial that serves the purpose in an engaging and effective way.

To do so, they used a recognizable shape of a red background alluding to the different tomato slices. By incorporating this style, they let everyone know that their product uses pure, natural, ripe tomatoes .

Undoubtedly, it is a great example of innovative and disruptive brand advertising that consequently incentivizes users to buy ketchup and shows the correct ways to serve a tomato sauce.

publicidad de la salsa de tomate HeinzSource: Rethink

32. “Whassup”

When it comes to an example of an ad spot that influenced the daily interactions of its audiences, this Anheuser-Busch campaign takes the throne.

It changed the way people talk to each other , and because of this campaign, the term “Whassup” is so common today. The various TV commercials that initially appeared in late 1999 featured a gathering of friends talking to each other on a group call while drinking beer and watching the game on their TVs.

The commercial would start with someone asking “What are you doing?” – and then someone else would respond “Watching the game, drinking a Budweiser.” As more teammates connected on the call, “Whassup?” was shouted back and forth, becoming an exemplary slogan and a symbol of beer-drinking society.

The ad ran continuously on sports networks for years to follow and thus popularized the term “Whassup,” referring to the pun on the phrase “What ‘s Up” in the English language meaning “What’s Up?”.

spot publicitario WhassupSource: Daily Mail

33. “The man, your man, could smell.”

The opening segment of Old Spice’s “The Man, Your Man, Could Smell” campaign, launched in February 2010, is the one that deserves to be part of this list of TV commercial examples. In fact, it became an overnight viral achievement .

When in June 2010, Old Spice came up with a subsequent ad featuring the same actor Isaiah Mustafa; he immediately became “Old Spice Guy”. This was the moniker Old Spice profited from with an example of video advertising in which Mustafa reacted to fan comments on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter through the use of short, personalized recordings.

Isaiah Mustafa en campaña de Old SpiceSource: Pinterest

Well, now you know some memorable advertising spots from various globally recognized companies. Hopefully, you’ve been immersed and inspired by these examples of brand commercials that have found the key to delighting their viewers.

Any agency or advertiser can come up with a creative and original commercial, but the challenge is to make a memorable commercial that will stick in people’s minds

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