Unruly / Blog / 5 Ads You Should Watch Right Now – Back To School Edition

5 Ads You Should Watch Right Now – Back To School Edition

The summer is officially coming to an end, which means one thing – Back To School shopping. So, in place of our normal 5 ads to watch column, we’ve rounded some of the best and most shared Back To School ads.

The Back To School shopping season, which eMarketer defines as July and August, is expected to be worth north of $800bn in the US alone in 2016. So it’s no wonder brands are on the hunt for the perfect, shareable ad.

This special edition features ads from clothing brands and stores such as JCPenney, H&M, Old Navy and Sainsbury’s – as well as an uplifting ad from UK charity Save The Children.

So, without further ado, enjoy!


5. JCPenney – Back to School Lip Dub 


This ad from department store chain JCPenney turns the iconic American school bus into a dance floor packed with some seriously talented kids. It has been shared almost 15,000 times since launch – and it’s not hard to see why. Child dance groups are an online video mainstay. The JCPenney ad is far from the first (or the last) to feature one in an ad, and kiddie troupes always dominate prime-time talent shows. The ad also gets some points for a surprising cameo from Alfonso Ribeiro, i.e. Carlton from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Although his signature Carlton dance is sadly absent.


4. H&M – Back To School 2016 — New Autumn Collection

Like JCPenney’s spot, H&M’s new ad also features some impressively talented kids and great choreography. The spot has personality in spades, and features lip-syncing and the most family-friendly rap song we’ve heard in quite some time. The star of this ad is definitely the small girl acting as the DJ.


3. Sainsbury’s – Back to School


This Back To School ad from Sainsbury’s has a simple but effective premise that shows off the value of the retailer’s basic range in a familiar setting. The ad’s twist comes when a disapproving older sister steps in to rearrange the inevitable fashion faux pas associated with mums dressing sons. 


2. Old Navy – Back To School Starring Amy Schumer


This ad from Old Navy starring Amy Schumer plays on the idea of embarrassing parents with acute accuracy, with the comedienne playing the role of an out-of-touch aunt, complete with a palpable cringe factor. The spot succeeds thanks to Schumer’s natural comic timing and the deadpan faces of her character’s nephew and niece, with the best moment being when she forgets the girl’s name.


1. Save the Children – #ClassOf2016

Slightly different from the Back to School clothes ads on the list, this recent spot from Save The Children & Don’t Panic is a simple but effective reminder that children from all over the world have big dreams, and they all deserve a chance to reach them. The spot is essentially a slideshow of photographs, but the fact that it’s real kids elevates the work and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.