Once upon a time, ads were seen as that 5-minute inconvenience you had to sit through during your favourite TV show’s break. However, ads quickly stepped up their game as they realised that an entertaining ad is far more effective. As a result, we now have ads that are just as entertaining, if not more so, than the show you were watching. As a creative marketing agency, we’ve seen more than our fair share of ads, especially when we’re trying to find inspiration! But what’s the difference between a memorable ad and one that fades from your memory?
For an ad to be successful (ie: stick to people’s memory and elicit a powerful emotion from them) it needs to be at least either:
If it manages to be all four, then so much the better! Sometimes you just need some inspiration. Well look no further, these ads are sure to stick in your memory. Here are our top picks for the funniest ads of 2019!
Amazon – Not everything makes the cut
The Super Bowl is notorious for hosting some of the most memorable ads in history, this should hardly come as a surprise as it is one of the most widely-watched television broadcasts. Amazon’s latest Super Bowl commercial focuses on Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant. Instead of showcasing all the benefits Alexa offers, the commercial depicts what could happen when Alexa is adopted by inappropriate products, such as in an electric toothbrush or an Alexa-powered dog collar. The humorous skits are made all the more memorable thanks to renowned guest appearances such as Harrison Ford, Forest Whitaker as well as astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly.
The result is an ad which uses top talent and a witty narrative to cement Alexa into the minds of viewers. Sure, you might not be thinking of buying an Alexa yet, but you won’t forget about it any time soon!
Seeing Harrison Ford’s dog order food for himself, “The Incident”.
Anyone who loves animals would share this just for the Alexa Dog-collar alone.
Coca Cola – The Magic of Taste
Coca Cola’s reputation for creating memorable ads is outstanding. Whether it’s their iconic Christmas commercials or their unconventional marketing tactics – Coca Cola has nailed down its ad campaigns to a T. Their latest commercial features a giant, pink CGI tongue, as a woman is transported to warm beaches, a night out at the movies or skiing down the slopes by the taste of Coca Cola. The CGI tongue acts as a zany foil to the woman in the commercial, but ultimately the ad focuses on Coca-Cola’s ability to evoke positive feelings and emotions. And at the end of the day, while not everyone can afford a CGI tongue in their ads, that’s the goal of any good ad – evoking the right emotions in your audience.
Giant, pink CGI tongue.
You can’t help but think about the last time you had a Coca Cola.
Rick and Morty – Carl’s Jr./Hardee Commercial
One of the biggest internet cartoons in history, Rick and Morty has garnished worldwide appeal for its intelligent writing and dark, sci-fi humour. However, what interests us for this blog is the sponsored content that they create for brands. While many shows might shy away from sponsored content, Rick and Morty has embraced it, by incorporating the brands into the Rick and Morty universe itself.
What makes this type of sponsored content work really well is that it plays into the show’s meta, having the characters be actually aware that they are in a commercial. The opening line itself is “Morty, wake up! We’re in Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s commercial right now!” The result is a piece of sponsored content that instead of clashing with the show, actually incorporates itself the whole narrative.
Its Rick and Morty!
Fans of the show share the ad simply because it is content about the show.
Bud Lite & Game of Thrones
Even if you’ve never watched Game of Thrones, I’m positive you know what it is. That’s why this ad works so well. But what initially starts off as a blatant, although whimsical, product placement ad for Bud Lite, featuring the Bud Knight – quickly manages to subvert the audience’s expectations. You’d expect the Bud Knight to triumph in his next jousting scene, but when the commercial takes a turn and we see the knight slain, you realise that you’re actually watching a promo for the final series of Game of Thrones.
The commercial manages to craft a compelling narrative but what makes it all the more memorable is the sudden turn, surprising audiences with its quick 180.
Clever subversion of audiences’ expectations.
Anyone who was excited about Game of Thrones final season shared this with other fans.
Spotify – Let the song play out
Everyone who’s ever driven a car knows the euphoria that kicks in when your favourite song plays on the radio. Spotify has taken this almost-global phenomenon and centred their entire ad around it. The ad features numerous people, from pizza delivery guy to soccer player, each stopping from their routine, to enjoy hearing Sia’s Elastic Heart play out. By choosing something that everyone can relate to, and adding a dose or two of Spotify’s signature humour, they managed to create an ad and deliver it in a smart, memorable and witty package!
Watching a mother slowly drive her kids past their grandparents.
We’ve all been there, enjoying a song playing on the radio.
IKEA – The book that will change your life
IKEA furniture has become a staple in many homes around the world. But what does IKEA have to do with life, love and the meaning of the universe? Quite a lot apparently! In this advertisement it is revealed that all of life’s mysteries and problems can be solved through an unassuming IKEA furniture catalogue – capable of turning a disheveled mess of a man (Ali) into a spiritual Guru, offering advice to millions across the globe with his calm, zen advice – directing people to the appropriate page on the IKEA catalogue. Thousands of people reach out to Ali in search of meaning and purpose in their lives, with thousands more thanking him for the peace he has given them (I was never a morning person, until I read page 66). The commercial reaches absurd heights when Ali’s advice not only helps couples in failing marriages, but even helps to broker peace among warring nations!
It’s this over-the-top comedy that helps IKEA’s ad really stick to people’s minds. Oh, and extra points for a cheeky reference to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe!
Hyperbolic comedy that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Burger King – Feelyourway
Burger King’s “Sad Meal” advertisement was met with some mixed reviews. But it acts as a perfect case study for the do’s and don’t of advertising. Initially, the “Real Meals” campaign might seem to be a jab at McDonald’s iconic Happy Meal. The main selling point of the “Real Meals” was – to celebrate “being yourself and feeling however you want to feel.” For this ad, Burger King worked alongside Mental Health America to try a raised awareness for Mental Health Month. While trying to destigmatize mental health is a noble cause and a good attempt at cause marketing, the message rang a bit hollow when a former employee tweeted that they themselves felt overworked and overstressed while working with the company. When tackling cause marketing, it’s important for a brand to be genuine and authentic about the causes they choose to follow.
It generates awareness about Mental Health.
It’s memorable as an example of when an ad falls flat.
Humour might be subjective, but you know what isn’t? Outstanding quality and data-driven results! That’s our commitment to Growth Gurus. If you want your ads to stick to people’s minds, then you need a team of experienced marketers to give you the results you need.