Best Video Ad Campaigns of 2017; Our 5 Favourites

Who doesn't enjoy a good binge-watching session on YouTube? One of those were the next thing you know is that you are a couple hours in and could easily keep on going! You know that feeling when you watch an ad and everything lines up into a powerful piece that just blows you away?

It is that perfect combination of: brilliant message, perfect audience targeting, and creative genius that can make an add such a special thing.

This week, we look at some of the best ad campaigns of 2017 (or our 5 favorites so far):

#1  84 Lumber, Super Bowl Commercial - The Entire Journey

Client: 84 Lumber

Agency: Brunner

What makes this campaign brilliant: 

It takes a whole lot of courage to produce a 5-minute commercial, and on top of that, air it during the most watched sporting event in the world, the Superbowl. In times where immigration issues are often in the news and often fuel very sad debates, this ad makes a bold, beautiful, and much-needed statement.

What makes this ad so strong is without a doubt the sound design. In the first place, because there barely is any narrative, but also because the little bit there is also takes place in Spanish. So while the visuals and acting are already superb, what drives it home is the fact that sound is used as such as strong conduit to tell us exactly what is happening, even if we don't know the language or have subtitles.

It is all in the little details, like perfectly capturing sounds like: wind, rain, the characters walking, the train. I could go on and on. Just watch it, seriously.

Finally, the track, a beautiful, hopeful, yet melancholic song that without a doubt was composed specifically for this ad. A piece that by the way is very reminiscent of Gustavo Santaolalla's masterpiece for the Motorcycle Diaries film.

How to bring this ad home? A one liner will do:

The will to succeed is always welcome here.


#2 Microsoft - #MakeWhatsNext: Change the Odds

Client: Microsoft

Agency: m:united//McCann

What makes this campaign brilliant: 

The fuel behind this campaign is a powerful reminder of how the odds are stacked against the dreams of young girls. It is a heartbreaking reality, that some people would accept and live with, but the reminder here is that children should be able to chase their dreams, that we need to challenge that reality, 'Change the Odds' and #MakeWhatsNext.

There is a wonderful amount of tact employed in sending a message of empowerment, coupled with a subtle demonstration of how technology can excite passion and possibility for future generations to chase careers in STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Curiosity is one of the most wonderful things that kids have, so let's empower them, excited them, support them to not give up and achieve their dreams.


#3 Gillette - This Father's Day, Go Ask Dad

Client: Gillette

Agency: Grey New York

What makes this campaign brilliant: 

Isn't it crazy that 84% of guys today say their main source of information is their phones, while only 13% turn to their dads? Think of how different that would have been just last generation? Without getting too deep into how addicted we are as a society to having answers at the reach of our pocket - Gillette thought of a wonderful reminder for young teenagers that sometimes, all they need to do is look past that screen and instead simply 'Go Ask Dad'.

It is an incredibly touching moment when these kids, who thought an app is giving them exactly the answers they are looking for, realize that all along they've been actually talking with their dads.


#4 Apple - WWDC 2017, Appocalypse

Client: Apple

Agency: We couldn't find out, but we really want to see more of their work.

What makes this campaign brilliant: 

A brilliant parody of what could easily become the Appocalypse if all our phones all of a sudden become obsolete. All it took? A brand new employee powering off servers.

This ad was targeted specifically at developers during Apple's WWDC (WorldWide Developers Conference), and the message it sends is as simple and strong as:"Keep making apps, the world depends on you."

"Keep making apps, the world depends on you."

A hilarious representation of how a black market would happen for apps turned into services serves as a reminder to app developers of the sheer power and relevance that apps have in our everyday.

Probably the best part about this ad is the soundtrack, "All Right" by Christopher Cross (You are welcome for the link and groovy tune).


#5 Nike - Just Do It

Client: Nike

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, OR

What makes this campaign brilliant: 

Sports brands like Nike are popularly known, deservedly so, for creating some of the video ads of the last decades. A bold statement? Maybe. But seriously, just do a quick YouTube search and you could keep going on for a while watching really great ads.

This campaign issues a strong reminder that greatness is only achieved by those who go out of their way to challenge themselves.

How far would you go?

Each of the 4 ads created for this campaign tell us the ridiculous (and extremely creative) lengths that people will go to, in order to become better athletes.

The fact that this is done in 30 seconds, and without any need for dialogue whatsoever, makes this campaign for very entertaining and effective spots.

Closing each of the four videos, people are presented with a choice, choose option 'A' or 'B'.

Except, for those people who are looking to be extraordinary at something, there should be no 'or', option A is the only option.

Make it or miss it

Keep up or fall behind

Hard way or easy way

Run home or drive home


That's it for our favourite ads of 2017 so far.

Did we miss any big hitters or some of your personal favourites? Please hit us with some videos and suggestions to watch in the comments section.