Adboardingpass “Best of 2013” – the Highlights

Part 1: Highlights of the year. Part 2: The Top 5 ads of the year


What a year it has been! As we near the end, it’s time to take a look back at those ads that made a difference in our lives. The highlights were selected from among all “Ads of the Day” in 2013. Dive in and relive some of the best work of the year, from all corners of the world.

Note: click on name of ad in blue to view ad, along with the original write-up in case you missed it.

So, without further ado…

1. The “Cracked-me-up” award – because laughter is the ultimate shortcut.


  • Smart Car “Offroad“, by BBDO Berlin. This car is all attitude, baby.
  • TyC Sports “Letter“, by Y&R Argentina. So awful, and yet so true.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

Dove Men “Slo-mo“, by Ogilvy Rio! That hair flip just slays me!

2. Best use of technology – much of the time, technology is just fluff that is asked to make up for a weak idea. But not here!


  • British Airways “Yourope“, by Ogilvy NY. So simple and obvious, yet so underused.
  • Sony Legacy “Bob Dylan“, by Interlude, NY. Wow, that’s pretty sweet.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

Virgin Mobile “Blink-Washing“, by Mother, NY! My jaw dropped. See for yourself, it’s way, way cool. (click on the name)


3. The “Let’s make the world a better place” award – because we’ve got to earn our way into heaven somehow.


  • Casa do Zezinho “Help“, by ALMAP BBDO Sao Paulo. Utterly and unexpectedly charming.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

American Cancer Society “Finish the Fight“, byThe Martin Agency, Richmond, Va! Uplifting, lovely art direction, thought-provoking, great use of celebrity. (click for larger image)

American Cancer Society

4. The “Tear jerker” award – because when an ad makes you cry…it’s hard to say it’s not having an impact on you.


  • Google “Reunion“, by Ogilvy Mumbai. Lovingly made, with amazing acting. Even if you can guess what’s coming, it’s still very powerful.
  • Extra gum “Origami“, by EnergyBBDO Chicago. I didn’t quite see it coming. And, being a dad, it totally got me at the end.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

British Airways “Ticket to visit mom“, by Ogilvy New York! A loving and textured film about the powerful bond between mom and son.

5. The “Storyteller” award – you start listening to a good one, and you’re hooked all the way through. It has worked since the days of cavemen, and it still does.


  • Otto “Button“, by Heimat Berlin. Teases you with a storyteller’s flair. Once you’re completely hooked, comes the reveal.
  • Verizon Droid “48 Hours“, by McGarryBowen New York. It’s like a 90 second trailer for what could be a pretty cool full length feature.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

Eurostar “Maybe“, by AMV BBDO in London! One of the better tourism ads I’ve seen – storytelling with real flair, done in an unconventional manner.

6. Best work from a small market – Brilliant work…but if I didn’t put the country after the city, you might not know where exactly it came from.


  • World Championship Martial Arts “I woke up“, by BrandHealth Communications in Peterborough, Canada. Touching message, and lovingly executed.
  • Ecovia “Drive Safe“, byTerremoto Propaganda in Curitiba, Brazil.  Simple, hard-hitting, and amazing to look at.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

Coca-Cola “Road to Hope“, by Ogilvy in Myanmar, Yangon! A lovely “road trip” story that mirrors the journey of a nation.

7. Best long-form content – It’s great to live in a time where we’re not limited to the 30 second segment…


  • Virgin “VX Safety Dance“, directed by John Chu. This would totally rock. Why aren’t more airlines doing interesting things like this?
  • Mountain Dew “Human Bungee Slingshot” directed by Devin Supertramp. Totally sweeps you up with its energy and irrepresible joy.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

Dolceca ice cream “Aqua Mangos“, by JWT Cairo! Jam-packed with hilarious little touches. I’d be proud to have this one on my reel.

8. The “Wow, that gave me goose bumps!” award – Emotional work that inspires, thrills, and brings a smile to your face.


  • Disneyland Paris “Magical Moments“, by BETC in Paris. It captures the joy, the thrill and the whimsy in such a simple, powerful manner.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

Coca-Cola “Let’s go Crazy”, by Ogilvy Rio! Work like this makes me proud to be in advertising.

9. Best use of music – An extremely powerful (and criminally underused) tool in advertising. One some of these, you could sell me anything…as long as that song is playing.


  • Oreo “Wonderfilled“, by the Martin Agency, Richmond Va. Irresistibly catchy
  • Playstation 4 “Perfect Day“, by BBH New York. Prescient tribute to the late Lou Reed
  • Samsung “The Developer“, by Leo Burnett Chicago. Caught this song at its peak of the charts – amazing timing.
  • Moosehead “Wild Nights” by Sid Lee in Toronto. A peaceful, easy feeling. Just right.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

John Lewis “The Bear and the Hare“, by Adam&EveDDB in London! So much is good about this ad, but the music had me at hello.

 10. Best use of Celebrities – This is done right much less often than you think.


  • Verizon Droid “48 Hours“, by McGarryBowen New York. Could it have worked without Ed Norton? Maybe – but it’s so much more interesting with him.

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

Schweppes “Maybe too Schweppes?“, by China in Madrid! Such an awesome ad….only Iggy could have pulled it off so well.


11. The “Bring on the Crazy” award – if you don’t stand apart from the crowd and get noticed, nothing else that comes after even matters.


  • Dolceca ice cream “Aqua Mangos“, by JWT Cairo. Would love to have been at the pitch meeting for this idea.
  • Cosmopolitan Casino “Misfit right in“, by Fallon in Minneapolis. Nothing about this makes sense. And yet, it totally does!

And the winner iiiiiiiis…

Jack & Jones “Made from Cool“, by & Co in Copenhagen! – I was jealous of this one after only 5 seconds. They took a chance and they nailed it, the whole campaign is awesome.

And there you have it folks, the Ad of the Day 2013 highlights! Click here for Part 2, where we unveil the top 5 ads of the year (hint…none of them are included above)


One thought on “Adboardingpass “Best of 2013” – the Highlights

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