It's that time of year again when we round up our favourite ads from the last 12 months. So in no particular order, here are our most entertaining, eye-catching and memorable 2014 Ads of the Day.
Lurpak – 'Adventure Awaits'
This piece of Wieden+Kennedy eye candy draws you in with its dramatic visuals and slow motion build up. But it’s the Space Odyssey theme song in the background that pulls it all together brilliantly.
Tourism for Thailand – ‘I hate Thailand’
This tourism campaign moves completely away from a traditionally structured TV ad, using reverse psychology to attract visitors. Viewers are taken in by the seemingly miserable circumstances of the protagonist who has lost his bag at a beach party, but are then given a look at the generosity and hospitality the country is known for.
Freeview – 'Cat and Budgie'
The Drum’s most viewed Ad of the Day this year was the finale to Freeview’s #catandbudgie series by Leo Burnett, which ended with an unexpected twist. Just when we thought the cat was about to pounce and the poor budgie was done for, the unlikely pair fall in love and sing a duet of Motown classic ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’!
National Express – 'Silver Lady'
David Soul’s 1970s hit song “Silver Lady” re-entered the UK charts at number 145 in June as a result of this hilariously kitschy and entertaining ad by Isobel. We particularly enjoyed the moment when he offers a salute to a passing bird of prey that has contributed a squawk to his rendition of the ballad.
Nike – 'Make Every Yard Count'
This brilliant Nike ad was made by JWT Bangalore using a collection of crowd-sourced footage. It’s a masterclass in editing and sound design, and a joy to watch.
Guinness – 'The Artist’s Journey'
This ad for the brand’s Amplify campaign, which connects up-and-coming music acts with new audiences via live pub gigs, is not at all what you’d expect from a beer brand. Beautiful and atmospheric work by AMV BBDO.
Weetabix – 'I Am The Monkey'
The hyperactive children in this charming short by BBH for Weetabix give a new meaning to the term “monkeying around”. When combined with the upbeat, playful music, this commercial is the perfect recipe for the breakfast cereal company.
Honda – 'The Other Side'
Part thriller part indie movie, this clever and entertaining Wieden+Kennedy ad for Honda allows online viewers to switch between two contrasting narratives when they watch the ad on YouTube. Here's a version that switches between the two stories to give you a sense of the experience.
Ikea – 'Beds'
This adventurous ad by Mother manages to perfectly capture the vivid and fleeting nature of dreams, while making the viewer wish the whole time that they were home in their bed.
Three – 'Singing Dictionary'
This wonderfully bonkers Wieden+Kennedy ad for Three’s new free calls to 0800 numbers features illustrates that no matter how silly the reason for calling, it’s still free of charge. But catch this – the Singing Dictionary line really exists, along with five others specially created for the campaign.
Vorwerk – 'Love Sucks'
The heart-warming tale of a diminutive robot who falls head over heels for a dainty vacuum cleaner almost makes you forget that these are actually inanimate objects. The film by Saatchi & Saatchi Düsseldorf manages to show how effective the brand's suction is without resorting to dry, man-in-a-white-coat demonstrations.
Powerade – 'There’s Power in Every Game'
Created by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, this fast-paced ad for Fifa’s official 2014 World Cup sports drink stars Andres Iniesta and features five amateur athletes from around the globe. One of the five is American athlete Nicolai ‘Nico’ Calabria, who was born with one leg, and was the subject of a touching documentary film series for the campaign.
Zumba – 'Let it move you'
If this irresistible ad with an infectious beat, conceived by 180LA, doesn’t make you want to jump out of your chair and twerk with the best of them, then no one can help you.
Kenco – 'Coffee vs Gangs'
Giving viewers a raw insight into the lush but troubled regions where coffee is grown, this ad by JWT London asks us to support a company trying to change the futures of youngsters growing up in those surroundings.
Vodafone Germany – 'Bucket List'
Vodafone and creative agency Jung von Matt run the gamut of emotions from funny to poignant with this film showing a young woman completing her grandfather’s bucket list, and sending him video messages of each completed task along the way.
O2 Priority – 'Live the good life'
O2 has successfully capitalised on the internet cat craze with its ‘Be More Dog’ campaign by VCCP, featuring a very dog-like cat. Here the fluffy ginger cat becomes a motivational speaker, urging his audience to ‘live the good life’ with O2 Priority.
Nokia Lumia – 'Living Moments'
Warning: May cause dizziness. A total of 30,000 images on the streets of New York were captured for this film, which was made by filmmaker Paul Trillo using a Microsoft Surface tablet. As the camera spins around and around, viewers get a unique look at the little everyday moments that characterise Manhattan.
Land Rover – 'Hibernot'
Land Rover is so confident in its gorgeous cinematography that the car itself barely even makes an appearance in this ad by RKCR/Y&R. Its celebration of the foolhardy bravado our temperate climate appears to provoke is a refreshing take on our oft-referenced pre-occupation with the weather.
Vodafone – Spotify
This ad by RKCR/Y&R is absurd, funny and entirely unexpected. While there was some controversy over Vodafone’s representation of elderly people, we believe that these senior citizens rocking out to contemporary hits don’t look as though they need anyone to stick up for them.
Gogglebox – Monty the Penguin
This year’s John Lewis Christmas ad already has nearly 20 million views on YouTube – far more than its extremely successful 2012 and 2013 holiday adverts.
Watched through the eyes of the denizens of Gogglebox, the tale of the lonely penguin who finds love gains an element of humour that balances out the tears that are guaranteed to flow.
The Drum wants to know what ads you loved and hated over the course of 2014 – let us know here.