The best ads from 2012


Welcome to my first post of 2013, I thought I would start of by sharing my picks of the best ads from 2012. I originally wrote the article for Memeburn so hope you enjoy it.

last year we continued to see more and more great interactive / activation work, the most memorable being Red Bull’s continued dominance in doing advertising a little different by live streaming the worlds highest, fastest, most adrenaline filled skydive….ever.

The below list is in no particular order, please feel free to troll the comments section and agree or disagree with my choices.

  • Chevy Sonic: Ok Go music video: Rather than do a simple car ad for the launch of the Chevy Sonic they created a series of publicity stunts. The most successful of which is the Music Video they shot below with band Ok Go. (To see all the activations go to

Advertising Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners, USA

  • Coke: Share a Coke: Coca Cola continued to do a lot of great work this year but the one that stood out for me was the below campaign by their Australian agency. I wont be surprised if they try this in other markets in the future.

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Australia

  • TNT: Bringing Drama to Belgium: The below dramatic activation for TNT was all anyone talked about for a couple of weeks in April this year. Great example of how a simple idea, combined with a really well shot and packaged activation, can help with viewing numbers.

Advertising Agency Duval Guillaume

  • Guardian: 3 Little Pigs: Well shot, great story, timely, and again got everyone talking.

Advertising Agency: BBH, London.

  • Volkswagen: The Original Click: Not because this was massively talked about, but because I applaud any agency/brand that tries to make online ads better and useful rather than spammy (Especially YouTube advertising!).

Advertising Agency: AlmapBBDO, Brazil.

  • Carling Black Label: Be The Coach: Yes it’s from the agency I work with, but to fair it was South Africa’s most awarded work this year, and globally one of the most successful interactive pieces of work. What you may not know is that this year we ran it again and doubled the entries, as well as breaking a new record for stadium attendance in South Africa!

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Cape Town.

  • BMW: Bullet: I haven’t seen a really iconic car ad for some time, this one in my mind was close and got car fans going nuts:

Advertising Agency: Cundari, Toronto.

  • McDonalds: This is a bit of a cheat but they had a great year of advertising. Two stand out, both by their Canadian agency. The first was a normal ad showing how universal McDonald’s is. The Second was following the trend of brands being open and honest. Both very successful and on brand.

Advertising Agency: Cossette

  • Chrysler: Halftime in America: It would be hard to think of a top ads list without work from W+K. The below ad for Chrysler was hugely successful and helped to restore faith in the US auto industry as a whole. (Note this was pre Clint Eastwood talks to a chair meltdown)

Advertising Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland

  • Carlton Draught: The Chase: By a country mile this would win the TV beer commercial category. Another classic Australian comedy beer ad from the agency that seems to always deliver on these.

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne

  • Melbourne Metro: Dumb Ways To Die: Along with my next choice this is one of the best PSA’s of the year. This YouTube clip quickly became a hit with its fun lyrics, catchy tune, and great animation.

Advertising Agency: McCann, Melbourne.


  • Thai Health Foundation: Smoking Kids: Possibly the best Anti-Smoking ad I have ever seen. The campaign plays not on sickening images or forced fear, but rather on plain self reasoning.

Adverting Agency: Ogilvy Thailand

  • Red Bull: Stratos: After flying to an altitude of 128,100 feet in a helium-filled balloon, Felix Baumgartner completed a record breaking jump from the edge of space. All made possible by energy drink brand Red Bull, who invested around $11million into this project, and streamed the event live on YouTube!

Advertising Agency: Red Bull Media


Adman at Ogilvy

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