The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By The Drum, Editorial

June 14, 2022 | 2 min read

We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.

It is unimaginable that anyone who had internet access back in November 2012 hasn’t at some point seen ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ – or at least heard its instant earworm of a song.

The world’s most-shared public service announcement started out as a light-hearted message from Metro Trains in Melbourne about staying safe on the railway. It quickly became an internet sensation, with the campaign video by McCann going viral overnight.

Directed by Patrick Baron with animation from Julian Frost and production by Cinnamon Darvall, it was watched some 30m times in its first two weeks. The undeniably catchy Dumb Ways to Die song got its own iTunes release, taking artist Tangerine Kitty into the chart's top 10. Such was the public’s love for its cutesy yet very dark charm.

To date there have been more than 240m plays of the ad on YouTube and it has spawned two games – the first of which has been played more than 4bn times (the second, only 2bn times). There have been parodies, sequels, spin-offs and, as of February this year, its own NFTs after PlaySide Studios acquired the Dumb Ways to Die franchise from Metro for $2.25m.

And then of course there were the awards – so many awards. Did you know it is the most awarded campaign in the history of the Cannes Lions festival, having racked up five Grand Prix awards, 18 Gold Lions, three Silver Lions and two Bronze Lions?

Creative Creative Works The World's Best Ads of All Time

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