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Knowing the best examples of advertisements will give you the necessary push to go beyond the limits of your imagination and begin to exploit your ideas to carry out disruptive and refreshing projects such as — a classic Coca-Cola drink — that leaves you with a good taste of mouth and invites you to uncover your creativity.
Surely you have seen commercials that have touched the depths of your heart or have instantly captivated you. But do you know what the first advertisement in history was? Or the commercials that contributed to the advertising we know today?
And it is that advertisements have been evolving along with trade and world globalization. However, there are some advertisements that marked history and remain in our minds until today.
In addition to hard work, these memorable ads have been characterized by strong, disruptive, and relevant brand identification, according to Forbes.
For this reason, in this article we will take a tour of the best examples of advertisements that have dazzled with their ingenious creative concept, and that most of them have won one of the most relevant advertising awards in the industry.
- The first written advertisement
- The first advertisement on a radio
- The first advertisement on television
- The first advertisement on the Internet
- Santa Claus
- I want you
- We can do it
- United colors of Benetton
- Parcel service
- Happy Meal
- Open at night
- We Will Rock You
- Do you like to drive
- The city is in your hands
- Nothing is impossible
- Dont do it
- Records break we dont
- Protect yourself and others
- Google Home of the Whoppers
- Go places
- Share a Coke
- Like a girl
- Just Do It
- Live there
- Night time
- Pour perfectly
- The man your man could smell
The first written advertisement
As we mentioned before, the history of advertising is linked to the development of commerce around the world. Given the need to sell, merchants looked for ways to promote their products to reach more customers. This is how the first advertisements in history began to emerge.
Although it is difficult to specify which was the first advertisement in history, thanks to the available data we can determine that the first written advertisement was the following:
“The slave Shem having fled from his patron Hapu, the weaver, he invites all the good citizens of Thebes to meet him. He is a Hittite, five feet tall, with a stocky build and brown eyes. He offers himself half a piece of gold to whomever he gives information about his whereabouts. Whoever returns it to the shop of Hapu, the weaver, where the most beautiful fabrics are woven according to each individual’s taste, will receive a gold piece.”
According to HubSpot, this banner ad was found in ancient Egypt, around 3000 BC. C. _ As can be read in the quote, the employer Hapu created a notice to find his runaway slave. It is not known for sure if Hapu ever found him, but what we do know is that he used a new method to attract customers: advertising.
The first advertisement on a radio
In the early 1920s, direct advertising on radio media was prohibited, so the first radio ad had to be an “indirect advertisement.”
Thus, in 1922, a representative of the “Queensboro Corporation” (builder of neighborhood complexes in the suburbs) asked a WEAF Radio announcer (California, USA) to compare the chaotic life of the city with life in the suburbs. During the program, the announcer recommended living in the Hawthorne complex with the following sentence:
“Let me ask you to run to the apartments near green spaces… the community life and friendly environment that Hawthorne preaches.”
This example of an advertisement was the beginning of advertising in a new medium: the radio. From this radio announcement, more examples of radio advertisements emerged, making the notoriety of the companies massive in real time.
The first advertisement on television
After advertisements in print and on the radio, the advertising boom intensified even more with the start of television in 19Years later, in 1941, the Bulova watch brand was the first company to promote its product in a broadcast of a baseball game.
This advertisement lasted only 10 seconds, but it increased the sales of the brand. It didn’t take long for other brands to realize the effectiveness of this advertising strategy, which evolved into what we now know as “TV commercials.”
The first advertisement on the Internet
In the early 1990s, the Internet arrived, and with it other forms of advertising. Surely you are wondering which company was the first to advertise on the Internet, well, the first digital advertisement was made by Gary Thuerk, known as the “father of spam”, when he sent a mass email to the clients of the company where he worked.
This written advertisement was intended to publicize a new model of computer. Today, this strategy is known as “email marketing” or email marketing, a form of online advertising that floods your inbox every day.
Continuing our journey through the best examples of advertising, this time we dive into Coca-Cola. This brand of carbonated drinks has accompanied us from generation to generation to savor our moments of happiness.
But did you know that Santa Claus was an invention of Coca-Cola? Well, partially, he was. The world’s best-selling soda company was inspired by a Christian bishop named Nicholas. However, the red suit of this classic character was Coca-Cola’s contribution, becoming the main figure in each brand’s Christmas advertisement.
“I want you”
This example of an advertisement is a symbol of the First World War, as it was created in 1917 by James Montgomery to recruit more soldiers in the aforementioned war.
In fact, this advertisement was so successful that “Uncle Sam” (character in the ad) became a national icon and his image was used for World War II, becoming a great reference on how to make a successful advertisement.
“We can do it”
It is one of the Westinghouse advertisements that was intended to lift the spirits of its workers during the time of World War II.
This example of an advertisement is characterized by showing a young woman with a red scarf with white polka dots attached to her hair while she rolls up the sleeve of her blouse to raise her arm as a symbol of strength and accompanied by the famous phrase “We can do it”, inspired by the photography of Naomi Parker Fraley, a worker in an aircraft parts factory.
However, in the 1990s it became a symbol of female empowerment in the United States. Obviously, the creators of this advertisement did not imagine the great scope that lasts until today.
This example of an advertisement was based on a book by George Orwell entitled “1984”, which was intended to promote Apple computers at that time. With the original creative concept of this advertising spot, the Steve Jobs brand achieved 155 million dollars in profits.
The sale of cigarettes was a boom between the 70s and 90s. During these years, Marlboro was characterized by showing a simple and clear message in all its advertisements. The concept of the brand was related to virility and freedom, which made them market leaders at that time.
“United colors of Benetton”
One of the examples of Benetton advertisements that generated much debate about its message. This is because the photographs captured by Oliviero Toscani questioned issues such as child labor, racism, hunger, among other taboo topics for the time.
They did not need any slogan to convey the message. The creative concept behind this FedEx ad example was clear: our parcels arrive as fast as giving your neighbor a package.
Of the thousands of McDonald’s advertisements, without a doubt, those of its iconic “Happy meal” (“Happy meal”, in English) resonate in the heads of its target audience, whether children, young people and even adults . didn’t you buy it to get the surprise toys?
In short, his examples of advertisements have remained in the minds of users and this is an achievement that should be highlighted.
“Open at night”
We leave you with another quite original advertisement for the fast food company that can only be seen at night. Yes, as you read it, this example of an advertisement plays with street lights to draw the classic McDonald’s logo with the aim of informing drivers about its 24-hour service and that night is also a good time to eat their famous hamburgers. Amazing, right?
“We Will Rock You”
If you only thought that world-class artists like Pink, Enrique Iglesias, Britney Spears and Beyoncé could only get together at a concert, this example of a Pepsi advertisement united them to show the benefits of their drink to the rhythm of the song “We will rock you” by the classic band Queen. An advertising spot so incredible that you will surely want to replicate it.
Do you like to drive?
Returning to advertising spots, the BMW car brand made a clip that managed to summarize the company’s values in a simple concept: the pleasure of driving. This commercial led the company to win several awards in the world of advertising and forever changed the conceptual line of the brand’s commercials.
This German car company has several examples of creative advertisements that can inspire you to make your own. One of them is this commercial that appeals to the feelings of buying a Volkswagen with the coin game in the wishing well.
Also, we leave you with another brilliant Volkswagen ad that shows the importance of parking correctly and that leaves the viewer with a smile.
“The city is in your hands”
This Ford advertisement is intended to inform about the ability of Ford cars to go around the city. It is a simple ad, but with a quite concise and direct concept behind it.
“Nothing is impossible”
In this Adidas campaign, the brand made advertisements and a spot with a fairly good strategy: to have Leonel Messi, a world soccer star, as the main character. The objective of the advertising spot was to appeal to the fact that the brand is committed to athletes and that it continues to do so today.
“Don’t do it”
The Nike brand is characterized by its motto “Just do it” (“just do it”, in Spanish). However, due to the “Black lives matter” movement and the murders that occurred in the United States, the brand decided to make a change to its brand strategy.
Nike made a graph changing its historical motto for “For once, don’t do it” (“for once, don’t do it”). A powerful message that he conveyed through a 1-minute clip and various digital media advertisements.
“Records break, we don’t”
This condom company is recognized for its creativity when making advertisements. Next, we leave you with two advertisements that play with the core business of the brand.
One of them is the following advertisement for Durex Colombia that went viral on social networks in a matter of minutes, alluding to the most famous photo of an egg called “Eugene” that broke the record on Instagram.
“Protect yourself and others”
This is another example of controversial Durex brand advertisements launched during the pandemic to show the importance of taking care of ourselves against sexually transmitted diseases and Covid-19.
If you haven’t seen the famous Million Dollar Shave Club commercial, now is the time. The company launched a clever online campaign to sell its low-cost razor subscriptions to men who, in the eyes of the brand owner, were “tired of the razor monopoly.”
To do this, they broadcast their message in a 90-second clip on YouTube in a fun way. And the best? The ad starred the CEO himself, making it go viral in just 24 hours. The next day, the company received more than 12,000 orders.
“Google Home of the Whoppers”
Can you imagine asking your virtual assistant to explain how to prepare a Whopper? With this advertising spot for Burger King it was possible! The fast-food company found a way to get around the time constraints of TV commercials using people’s smart speakers.
Without a doubt, one of the best examples of advertisements that allowed Burger King to jump its brand from the screen and place it on another device in the homes of its target.
Heineken launched an advertisement titled “Go Places” in 2016 with the aim of highlighting the company’s personality and culture to potential workers.
To do this, this campaign allowed people to participate in an interactive interview based on highlighting their greatest strengths. After the exhaustive questionnaire, the candidates received their results and the CEO himself invited them to apply for a position with their LinkedIn profile.
In short, one of the examples of advertisements that connects with the company and not only with the product itself.
“Share a Coke”
There is no doubt that every time we think of the best advertisements, the Coca-Cola beverage brand comes to mind first.
One of their famous “Share a Coke” campaigns, which was launched in 2011, went viral and Coca-Cola gained a huge fan base due to this particular campaign. Basically, it was that customers could print their names on their bottle or can of Coca-Cola.
This is a great example of an advertisement that engages the audience, and in turn, allows consumers to feel that the brand cares about them. The result of the campaign was excellent, as fans became repeat buyers and Coca-Cola was able to establish itself in the hearts of its customers.
“Like a girl”
The #LikeaGirl campaign for the sanitary napkin brand Always launched in 2015 and was a success. The company aimed to break the myth of the gender gap in our society and raise awareness through this campaign.
So in one of its clever short ad examples, the brand has explained how girls are just as fit as boys for any sport.
The stigma behind girls who practice any sport was well addressed through this advertising spot proposal. The campaign not only improved the company’s sales, but also developed its image among its audience.
“Just Do It”
Surely you have heard the iconic Nike slogan, but you may not know the story behind it. Nike launched this campaign in the 1980s and its sales increased by more than $8 billion in 10 years. This advertisement was intended to fill customers with motivation to exercise. Nike did it emotionally and it was successful.
What Nike wanted to convey with the campaign was simple: if you don’t want to exercise, just do it. If you don’t want to wake up early in the morning, just do it.
The best thing a brand can do is solve people’s problems; Nike knew how to do it through its long list of sample banner ads. Today, this brand is recognized as one of the best manufacturers of sporting goods on the market.
Creative Airbnb banner ads are great at piquing your interest through their visual elements that tug at your emotional chords with a complete experience.
Your advertisements are actually integral pieces of a larger global strategy for your customers to not only visit their fantasy destinations, but also live there.
In fact, they used the components of the booking site to make a Polaroid-like framework that was undoubtedly very helpful in translating the core of the Airbnb brand value proposition.
This is one of the great examples of nightly usability product ads. To captivate their audience, Nivea cleverly does so without using any words, and only through their brand that appears on the cover of their article.
This is an incredible case of memorable advertising as it just uses a great photo setting where the lid of the item is cleverly used to show off a crescent design that represents the nighttime usability of the product below.
It also uses the brand’s specific blue background on which the cream for white skin shines like the crescent moon that translates the nocturnal purpose of the cream.
To promote their ketchup, Heinz Ketchup released this example ad with a clever approach that serves the purpose in an attractive and effective way.
To do this, they used a recognizable shape of a red background, alluding to the different tomato slices. By incorporating this style, they make everyone understand that their product uses pure, natural and ripe tomatoes.
Undoubtedly, it is a great example of innovative and disruptive brand advertising that, consequently, encourages users to buy ketchup and shows the correct ways to serve tomato sauce.
When it comes to an example of a banner ad that influenced their audiences’ daily interactions, this Anheuser-Busch campaign takes the throne.
And it is that it changed the way people talk to each other and, because of this campaign, the term “Whassup” is so common today. The various television commercials that initially appeared in late 1999 featured a gathering of friends talking to each other on a group call while drinking beer and watching the game on their televisions.
The commercial began with someone asking “What are you doing?” – And then someone else replied “Watching the game, having a Budweiser”. As more peers connected on the call, “Whassup?” was shouted back and forth, becoming an exemplary catchphrase and symbol of the beer-drinking society.
The ad ran continuously on sports networks for years to come, thereby popularizing the term “Whassup,” referring to the play on words of the phrase “What’s Up” in the English language, meaning “What’s Up?” again?”.
“The man, your man, could smell”
The opening segment of Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell” campaign, launched in February 2010, is the one that deserves to be a part of this list of TV ad examples. In fact, it became a viral achievement overnight.
When in June 2010, Old Spice came up with a post ad featuring the same actor Isaiah Mustafa; he immediately became “Old Spice Guy”. This was the moniker that Old Spice benefited from with an example of video advertising where Mustafa reacted to fan comments on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter by using short, personalized recordings.
Well, now you know some memorable commercials from various world-renowned companies. We hope you’ve immersed yourself and been inspired by these examples of brand ads that have found the key to delighting their viewers.
Any agency or advertiser can make a creative and original advertisement. However, the challenge is to make an advertisement memorable, that is, to make it stick in people’s minds.