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Penguins On Trampolines: 5 Ads You Should Watch Right Now

Penguins play with Lego, Call of Duty goes sci-fi and Batman turns 75. Yep, it’s just another week in AdLand! 

So which ads have caught fire on the web over the last seven days? Here are our five picks.



5. Activision: Call Of Duty Advanced Warfare: “Discover Your Power”

Just as this year’s Christmas decorations begin to peek out prematurely, here comes another Call Of Duty game to grenade launch its way under the tree of every man, woman and child.

Kicking things off in customary blockbuster fashion, Peter Berg (of ‘Friday Night Lights’ fame) directs a veritable war-fest, replete with soaring missiles, a totally gratuitous cameo from ‘Gone Girl’s’ Emily Ratajkowski and some kind of futuristic hover-cycle.

It may not have the hook of Guy Ritchie’s ‘Surprise’ from 2012, but then again, who needs wit when you can send CGI avatars flying across exploding suspension bridges? I think that answers itself.


4. Nike: “Together”

In these recession-leadened times, community solidarity can be hard to come by. Not so in the case of Nike, however, who have found the new voice of the people (or at least one midwestern city) in the form of multimillionaire basketball star, LeBron James.

Inspiring his players like Al Pacino in ‘Any Given Sunday’, LeBron’s message of hard work and dedication spreads wide to the city of Cleveland, as citizens simultaneously drop what they’re doing to join the huddle.

Shot in dead-serious black and white, the spot’s melodrama reaches such a tipping point that it seems LeBron is plotting the defeat of a zombie invasion, and not just putting a ball in a hoop.

Having said that, I do now wish I was from Cleveland.


3. Microsoft Band: “Live Healthier”

Jumping aboard the suddenly booming market in smart watches (or as I prefer to call them “future bracelets”), Microsoft’s Band promises to reduce the information overload produced by the culture of constant phone-checking. How a gadget literally strapped to your wrist is supposed to do this, I’m not exactly sure.

In any case, their spot supporting the nifty arm-clinger is relentlessly positive in its outlook. We see beaming parents holding newborns, hunky guys doing chin-ups and lots of generic beach fun. About a hundred times, the voice-over emphasises that life is made up of “moments”, which I think even the biggest contrarian would have trouble disagreeing with.


2. DC Comics: “75 Years, 75 Batmen”

A slightly geekier excursion now into the Golden Age of comics, with DC Comic’s loving retrospective of everyone’s favourite moody millionaire.

Seventy-five years since the inception of Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s Batman character, the Dark Knight has gone through enough costume changes to furnish a Lady Gaga concert. Though the spot is essentially a glorified slideshow, ’75 Years, 75 Batmen’ is a pretty fascinating look into how a pop cultural icon has changed with the times.

While the shift from the campy gloss of the 1960s to the 1980s doom and gloom is a bold juxtaposition, I just wish they’d included the cinematic Batmen for comparison. I’d just love to know how George Clooney’s prominently-nippled Batman stacks up against the canon.


1. John Lewis: “#MontyThePenguin”

And now, what we’ve all been waiting for. Quickly becoming more important to British culture than the Premier League and the Protestant Reformation combined, John Lewis’ Christmas ad dropped yesterday, leaving everyone wishing they’d had a pet penguin as a kid.

A simple tale of a boy and his CGI pal, Monty the Penguin’s antics are set to the strains of John Lennon’s ‘Real Love’. The ad has already been setting social media afire and seems yet to match last year’s ‘The Bear & The Hare’, which was shared over a million times.

While the ad continues to zip from desktop to desktop, there’s no doubt the nostalgia-merchants at John Lewis have done their job. What’s that noise you hear? Oh, just the sound of literally everyone sobbing at their desks.