Great ads are in fact like great sex: You feel it in your gut — or thereabouts.
In ad school, you are taught — if your instructors are any good — to “push” your ideas, even if you’ve made a good ad. Good ads will get you noticed; great ads will get you hired.
Unfortunately, out here in real ad land, we don’t often have the time to push our ideas, especially now in the digital age. That’s just not right. Against the odds, there have been a few ads recently where the idea was obviously pushed. Take a look.
Kwiff, Droga5 UK
Just before the start of the English Premier League in August, sports betting app Kwiff launched a campaign showing you what it’s liked to be “Kwiffed.” Gambling advertising is heavily regulated in the U.K. You can’t show people winning or really anything positive about betting. The general concept — “What it feels like to use our product” — has been executed a bazillion times. But the Droga5 creatives pushed it into a new, wonderfully surreal place with the above “Caught Glass” spot. Fucking brilliant, as the Brits say.
Lax-A-Day, Brad Montreal
Being funny in constipation ads is easy. Being unexpectedly funny, not so easy. Brad (a real agency, not a guy) dropped this impressive piece in September. Nice idea, better execution — the music, the styling. Way to push it, creatives. It’s the shit.
Hyundai N series, R/GA London
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This refreshing new U.K. campaign from Hyundai pushes the whole category over the cliff. It’s got the breathy female voice-over spouting bullshit, but on purpose. The above horsepower spot is my favorite, but all three executions are excellent (see them here, director Tom Kuntz).
Klarna, DDB Stockholm
While this “Smoooth” campaign for the Swedish e-commerce company is from last year, it just went viral in September because of the “Mermaid Dog” execution, which was a nice-looking ad. But for my gut region, the above “Fish” spot pushed the smooth idea better and further (as did this mildly disturbing stocking foot-bread ad). The beautiful commercials were directed by The Perlorian Brothers.
Advil, Taxi Toronto
Showing “strength” in a pain reliever ad is old. Showing a strong man making many metal “balloon” puppies is new. Pushed just enough to satisfy.
Citroën, Havas Brazil
Lastly, a personal favorite. Choosing Muttley, one of the best laughs in cartoon history, as one of the discarded co-pilots is, well, pushing it good. (The other two executions were the much more predictable Robin and Chewbacca.)