Being one of the world’s coolest brands certainly has its downsides. Just ask Apple. The life of the tech giant is apparently not too dissimilar to that of a medieval monarch: you’re essentially in charge, but that doesn’t stop them from making jokes and unflattering impressions of you behind your back.
So it was hardly a surprise when the launch of the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last month prompted a predictable backlash from disgruntled journalists and consumers alike. From U2 to ‘Bendgate’, Apple know all too well there are always brickbats among the bouquets.
Keen to share the spotlight, brands have also been getting in on the act over the last few years.
Tormentor-in-chief Samsung had its say in its withering “It Doesn’t Take A Genius” campaign last month, but Ikea’s stab at the genre is undoubtedly one of the best yet.
By far the most popular ad last month, with almost half-a-million shares during September, “Experience The Power Of The Bookbook” previews the Swedish lifestyle brand’s annual catalogue by perfectly parodying Apple’s rather portentous product introductions. From the earnestness of the narration to the inspirational instrumentals underlining every little feature, agency BBH Asia-Pacific has the details down to a tee.
I’m looking forward to a new era of advertising, when Apple-slamming ads slam other Apple-slamming ads. Let’s get ready to rumble.
In second spot with 349,552 shares last month is Gatorade’s “Made in New York” campaign, which celebrates New York Yankees legend, Derek Jeter, who is retiring from baseball after a long and successful career. But before he hangs up his bat and glove for good, Jeter takes a victory lap of the neighbourhood, taking turns to shake everyone’s hands like a Martin Scorsese mob boss.
I have to confess, I’ve never heard of him myself, but Gatorade has infused its spot with a hefty dose of old New York charm. So grab a hot dog, drink some black ‘cawfee’ and tip your hat to an athlete whose achievements you only partially understand.
Speeding his way into third is another sportsmen – motor-racing supremo BJ Baldwin – in a spot for energy drink brand Monster. But while Jeter is about to call it quits, Baldwin is a sports star at the top of his game.
Even the title “Monster Energy: Ballistic BJ Baldwin Recoil 2 – Unleashed in Ensenada, Mexico” is enough to get your heart pounding.
The ad finds the supposedly ‘Ballistic’ BJ Baldwin barrelling his dangerously bouncy vehicle through the streets of a real Mexican town. Watching it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the sequence in Michael Bay’s “Bad Boys 2”, in which Will Smith careens in similar fashion through a Colombian favela. Although I should emphasise that that was a film and Baldwin’s antics are (in theory) decidedly real.
The adrenaline rush does not end there – or the parade of sporting stars. In seventh position is an ad from Tag Heuer which pairs up Jenson Button and Cristiano Ronaldo – in a car.
Beginning with Ronaldo coquettishly punting balls towards Jenson’s speeding car, they eventually go for a spin round the track, whispering sweet-nothings over the sound of roaring engines.
While Button certainly has the career advantage in this particular activity, both appear to have a jolly good day out. While I’m not sure where “cracking under pressure” was meant to come into it, I think we can all agree friendship is the real winner.
But, of course, there are not many greater friendships than one man and his dog. It’s a relationship explored to its cutest in the latest commercial for Budweiser, which promotes responsible drinking.
It shows the pair growing up together, and then watch as Cooper is left home alone while Luke heads out for a night of drinking with his mates. The heartless fool.
Cue the tears, emotions, and, of course, shares. The ad was the fourth most shared during September after attracting 243,095 shares last month.
Down in 15th place is another ad that is almost certain to bring a smile to your face – Coca-Cola’s “The Happiest Thank You”.
Shot in the Philippines, the ad uses hidden cameras to record the relationships of various people with friendly faces working in the service industry.
There’s a taxi driver called Bro, a parking attendant called Sis and a security guard named Boss. Of course, these are just nicknames and, when their customers realise they don’t have a clue what their real names are, a name-emblazoned bottle of Coke is there to save the day. Collective faith in humanity restored, everyone goes about their business.
Another spot to make into this month’s top 20 is an ad from Budweiser that was first aired during the 2002 Super Bowl. And for good reason. Budweiser’s touching tribute to the victims of 9/11 is so powerful is trends around 9/11 every single year.
Other ads to make in into this month’s top 20 include a promo of Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 4, an iPhone ad starring U2, a very cute lost and found service from airline KLM, and a couple of videos promoting the new videogame sensation, Destiny.
20. Apple: Echoes