Thousands of ads are uploaded to The Drum's Creative Works platform each year, a sign of the immense amount of competition brands now face to make themselves heard.
So what does it take to gain mass attention? Whether it's making use of some strategically chosen influencers, drawing on the values of cause marketing or buddying up with major entertainment franchises like Game of Thrones, there are ways of rising above the noise.
Here we bring you the 20 most viewed ads from The Drum's Creative Works in 2019.
Society of Professional Journalists: ‘Fake News Trademark' by Wax
This informative spot features a journalist explaining why the term ‘fake news’ was trademarked - because fake news is not actually news at all. When the president of the United States uses the term to discredit real news, he is now in violation of the trademark – and the group will enforce it. The video drives people to FakeNewsTM.com which has tips on how to spot actual fake news and what journalists are doing to ensure they report the truth.
Burger King: ‘Burn That Ad’ by David SP
With the ‘Burn That Ad’ campaign, anyone who launched the Burger King app in Brazil and pointed their smartphone at its main competitors’ ads would be able to witness the sight of it being burned up instantly – in augmented reality – and turned into a Burger King ad. When the flames burn away, the consumers were left with a screen that told them they’d received a free Whopper and instructions to the nearest restaurant.
Burger King: ‘A Day Without Whopper’ by David Buenos Aires
10 November was ‘McHappy’ day in Argentina, an annual event that sees McDonald’s donate all the money from sales of its famous burger to cancer research. This year, Burger King opted to join in on the event and halted sales of its Whopper burger, hoping to motivate consumers to purchase the competitor’s burger in order to raise as much money as possible.
Cadbury: ‘It’s a Bit Grown Up’ by VCCP
Earlier this year, Cadbury unveiled a nostalgic campaign to celebrate all things ‘grown-up.’ Starring 80s and 90s icons Jason Donovan and Kim Wilde, the spot spoke directly to those familiar with pop culture from both decades – and invited them to try out the new chocolate bar.
Samsung: ‘QLED + 6 Underground + Ryan Reynolds’ by Adam&EveDDB
2019 was the year actor and adman, Ryan Reynolds pull off the unthinkable, and placed an ad inside an ad inside an ad. In the spot, Reynolds plays a demanding actor intent on spinning his Samsung ad to promote his own Netflix show and gin brand.
Tim Horton’s: ‘Courtside Seat A12’ by Gut Agency
For over 20 years, Tim Hortons has sponsored the only NBA team in Canada – the Toronto Raptors. This dedication to the team outshone only by Nav Bhatia, who has had his courtside seat – A12 – for 24 years. Just in time for game six of the NBA Finals, Bhatia partnered with Tim Hortons to share his story of passion, inclusivity, and Canadian spirit.
Strongbow: ‘Refreshing People Since 1960’ by Otherway London
Strongbow’s brand campaign celebrated people from all walks in life coming together in a good old fashioned British pub. Set to the tune of the 80s classic, ‘Together in Electric Dreams’ the spot saw two best friends perform passionately in their local to a crowd who are quick to join after a few pints.
Netflix and Baskin-Robbins: ‘Scoops Ahoy’ by 22Squared
In Stranger Things 3, bad boy-turned-hero Steve Harrington works at fictional ice cream parlor Scoops Ahoy. To celebrate the release of the popular show’s third season, the real ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins teamed up with Netflix to bring the scoop shop to life.
Doritos: ‘Another Level’
2019 marked the year that popular Chip brand Doritos got rid of its tagline and its logo in hopes to appeal to a new generation – Gen Z – that doesn’t like overt advertising. Doritos has officially changed its iconic tagline ‘For the Bold’ by launching a campaign focused on igniting consumers to take what they love to ‘Another Level’.
Ikea: ‘Silence the Critics’ by Mother
A late, and festive addition to the most viewed list was Ikea’s first foray into UK Christmas ads, which saw a family taunted by their kitschy ornaments, who spit bars to encourage the family to undergo a few home improvements.
Royal Navy: ‘Pirates’ by Engine
This year The Royal Navy launched a recruitment campaign for its amphibious fighting force, the Royal Marines Commandos. Giving new meaning to the Royal Marines’ long-running tagline, the ‘It’s a State of Mind’, the campaign illustrates the stealth that commandos must operate to overcome potentially deadly situations.
Santander: ‘Antandec’ by Engine
Santander bank’s ad campaign saw the high-street name face off unexpected sector competition from a new player, Antandec - a copycat brand created by the popular TV duo.
Gillette: ‘The Best a Man Can Be’
For better or worse, Gillette sparked a debate about the next generation of masculinity this year. In light of the Me Too scandals, the brand launched a US campaign called ‘we believe: the best men can be'. Its message, urging men to be better, divided viewers and sparked criticism and praise in equal measure.
Aviation Gin: ‘Slogans’
Another entry from the eternally popular, Ryan Reynolds, this time exclusively for Aviaton Gin. This spot sees Reynolds rattle through a series of potential slogans for the brand, each one more ridiculous than the last.
March For Our Lives: ‘Generation Lockdown’ by McCann NY
20 years after the Columbine High School shooting, active shooter drills have become standard at schools, and shootings are unfortunately still happening at schools around the US.
March for Our Lives released a video public service announcement to remind people that kids go through training to shield themselves and classmates against active shooters. Titled ‘Generation Lockdown,’ the video offered a stark reminder of the dangerous environment today’s students face in schools across the country.
US Air Force: ‘Origin Story’ by GSD&M
In celebration of International Women’s Day and the release of Captain Marvel, the US Air Force debuted a film and campaign to showcase the US Air Force’s female pilots.
Tetley: ‘Now We’re Talking’ by Spark44
Tetley’s rebrand explored the emotional territory of ‘togetherness’ in its ad this year, which showed how a cup of tea can get the conversation flowing. It notably used a cat and dog, who are able to get over their differences over a cup of tea, to demonstrate.
Nike: ‘Dream Further’ by Wieden + Kennedy
Nike’s ad for the 2019 Women’s World Cup featured some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Australia’s Sam Kerr, Brazil’s Andressa Alves and the Netherlands' Lieke Martens – alongside 10-year-old hopeful Makena Cook. Over the course of an action-packed three minutes, Cook is thrust into a heart-pumping tour of the professional game.
Burger King: ‘Escape the Clown’
To mark the release of scary clown movie 'It Number Two' - Burger King Germany took on its clown-fronted competitor, McDonald's by offering up its own restaurant as a refuge. Targeting McDonald's customers, the aim of #EscapeTheClown was to get the fast-foodies out of the golden arches and into the nearest Burger King.
KFC’s unconventional Mother’s Day ad featured a topless Colonel Sanders alongside Chippendale dancers to promote KFC’s collaboration with Cinnabon for the special day.