Apple plucks your heartstrings and kids ask for unicorns for Christmas. Yep, it’s just another week in AdLand!
But which ads have caught fire on the web over the last seven days? Here are our five picks.
5. Skype – Translator
Having successfully made long-distance calls effectively obsolete, Skype has its eyes trained on a new target: foreign language lessons. As demonstrated in its latest spot, the Skype Translator feature allows two linguistically-incompatible users to shoot the breeze and have a friendly robot voice do the translating for you. So all that verb conjugating you did in school may have been a waste of time after all.
The spot documents a translated Skype chat between two primary schools, one in Seattle and the other in Mexico City. While the charming themes of curiosity and open-mindedness are important, I’m more intrigued by the real lack of adult supervision in these classrooms. If you’ve seen ‘The Village of the Damned’, you’ll see what I mean.
4. Google – Year in Search 2014
As the glorious dawn of a new year approaches, every magazine and blog is doing their own spin on the ‘Best of the Year’ post. ‘2014’s Best Novels You Didn’t Read’? Got it. ‘The Year In Ill-Advised Facebook Statuses’? Sorted.
Cheekily capitalising on their monopoly over the world’s collective information, Google has produced their clever take. ‘Year in Search 2014’ takes the major events of the best even-numbered year since 2012 and frames through our search histories. Don’t worry, they’ve edited out the weird stuff. It’s the perfect spot for a friend who’s been living under a rock all year.
3. Reebok – Kendrick Lamar: I am
For fans of Kendrick Lamar, Reebok has produced a real treat in the form of a free-flowing short that combines biography, a creative manifesto and several minutes of interrupted free-style rap. If not for the logo at the very end (and Lamar’s trainers, of course), you couldn’t even guess there’s a brand behind the ad.
Replete with artful shots of a black-and-white Los Angeles, ‘I Am’ is just as thrilling to watch as it is to listen to. While these self-serious spots can often seem over baked, Reebok’s effort is just unpredictable, and frankly strange, enough to feel like a genuine product of the artist himself.
2. Apple – The Song
While it bizarrely feels a little late to be releasing Christmas advertising, Apple has snuck in at the last minute to play havoc with your heartstrings.
‘The Song’ finds a young woman discovering a relic from her family’s past, and using creativity (as well as a bit of Apple software, obviously) to give it new life. Shot in Apple’s typically stripped-back, sombre style, the spot elegantly tells a story of multi-generational bonding in a suitably secular fashion. This is a ‘Happy Holidays’ rather than a ‘Merry Christmas’ spot, after all.
Have a watch, and enjoy calling your grandparents immediately after.
1. IKEA – The Other Letter
‘The Other Letter’ from IKEA Spain has reached nearly half a million shares since its release last week, but the brand pitches the spot as a humble social experiment. That’s right, IKEA is getting into the social experiment game, and not just the one where your family is driven to breaking point wandering looking at shelves all day.
Cute kids are once again the culprits for all this festive sentiment. While not wanting to spoil the ending, the ad concerns a bunch of munchkins telling their parents what they actually want for Christmas (hint: it’s not Grand Theft Auto). Just imagine the end of any gooey family comedy, and you’re halfway there.