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The 6 Best Ads of 2016

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In Karma Tales Posted



We’re fairly confident to assume that everyone is looking forward to the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve and kissing 2016 goodbye. This year definitely had its ups and downs — from the Olympics to the Zika virus — and even some surprises — looking at you #Election2016. We won’t dwell too much on the negative things 2016 brought us in this blog post, though. Instead, we’d like to take a moment out of your day to reflect on the year and take a look at our favorite ads of 2016. After all, ‘tis the season to spread some cheer and laughter across the universe.

Dove Real Beauty | “Mannequin Challenge… with a twist”


The Mannequin Challenge quickly took the Internet by storm this year and provided us with some comic relief and jaw-dropping entertainment. Many brands quickly jumped onboard and created their own versions of the trendy videos.

We’re loving Dove’s twist on the challenge through their Real Beauty Campaign. The camera moves through a retail store, shows women posing next to real mannequins, and shares a message with the viewer: “Let’s challenge mannequins to look more like us”. The timing of the ad was perfectly executed and aligns flawlessly with Dove’s brand. And kudos to the ladies in the video for not blinking.

Allegro | “English”


If this commercial doesn’t play on your heart strings, then it may be two sizes too small like The Grinch.

This ad is for Allegro, an online marketplace in Poland. It takes us through the buying and learning journey of an elderly Pole as he learns English and gets ready for a trip. It does an excellent job of telling a powerful story — one of family, globalization, cultural communication, and the importance of connection during the holidays.

It’s not until the end of the commercial that we find out his motivation to learn a new language — to speak with his grandchild whom he is visiting for the holidays. The ad concludes, in Polish, “And you? What are you looking for?”

Pass the tissues, please.

Audi | “Duel”

This spot for Audi features the action and thrill of a Hollywood blockbuster. And it’s truly mesmerizing to watch.

It starts with a man and a woman battling it out for a coveted piece of paper. All of the action occurs in reverse and concludes at the beginning of the battle with an Audi pulling up in front of them to spark the conflict. The ad ends on a bipartisan note saying “Beautiful things are worth fighting for. Choose the next driver wisely.” Not only was the ad perfectly executed, it aired during the first presidential debate – brilliant collaboration between creative and media placement!

Under Armour | “Rule Yourself”

While watching Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian of all time at the Olympics in Rio this summer, it was easy to think he is part man and part God. This ad for Under Armour reveals that the opposite is true for the Olympic swimmer. It gives us a never-before-seen look into the physical and psychological difficulties Phelps endured during his training. At times, he resembles Tom Hanks in Castaway with his full beard and tired eyes.

We love the ad’s poetic use of light and dark to capture the loneliness and rigor of training and pressure of standing in the spotlight. It’s okay if you get a little emotional watching the ad — Phelps and his fiancee did too while watching it for the first time at Under Armour’s headquarters.

Coors Light | “Climb On in 360 – Big Wave Surfing”


We’re loving the use of 360 video technology in this commercial series for Coors Light. One does not typically associate the light beer with adventure sports, but the interactive experience is a well-done pivot for the brand. The ad starts with an aerial view of the ocean and brings you down onto a surfboard as you ride Ship Stern Bluff in Australia. The ride concludes on the beach as your friend hands you a cold one.

Try it yourself — Move the video with your cursor and you’ll be immediately engulfed in the life of a surfer.

360 video and virtual reality made a strong appearance in 2016 and we’ll be sure to see more of it in 2017. Facebook is a huge fan of 360 photos and with Zuckerberg’s investments in VR this year, expect to see more of these ads in your newsfeed. 

GEICO | Raccoons, C’mon Try It!

Once again, GEICO has found the humor in our human quirks. The talking raccoons in this ad remind us of that time you went out to dinner and ordered “the special” with high hopes, only to be disappointed upon the first bite. Instead of putting this commercial on social media, they took a multi-platform approach and created a separate piece of creative based on the popular Tasty videos.

Overhead cooking videos have taken over Facebook and Instagram feeds this year. These quick videos make us all feel like we could become gourmet chefs if we only took the time to put down our phones and buy the ingredients.

GEICO’s Raccookin’ video shows us what the raccoon cooks up with its dumpster diving treasures. The final dish actually looks pretty delicious. We love GEICO’s approach with this campaign and look forward to seeing more from them in 2017.

Do you have a favorite commercial ad from 2016? Share it with us in the comments.

And of course, if you’re looking for a team to pump up your advertising campaigns in the new year, get in touch with the Karmory team. We’d love to hear from you. Cheers!