At first glance, there might not be a lot here to be happy about–finishing last in a marathon, getting nagged by your mom to have a grandkid already, being reminded how unadventurous you are, or how far behind you’ve fallen in both TV watching and personal enlightenment. But you’re not that cynical, are you?
What: A clever look at self-image that asks teenage girls to name the one thing they’d change about themselves.
Who: Evidently, Dove
Why We Care: Obviously, Dove has a long history of creating great ads that creatively pinpoint the hypocrisy and tragedy of modern self-image. That’s a tough legacy to continue for more than a decade and they haven’t always measured up. But this survey of teen girls’ insecurities and body image issues poignantly sums up how arbitrary our expectations for how we should look actually are.
What: The brand’s first-ever global campaign spot seamlessly blends action sports, outdoor professionals, and simple leisure to spread the spirit of adventure.
Who:The North Face, Mekanism
Why We Care: You can’t be everything to everybody, and despite the ad’s wide variety of people, places and professions, it clearly unifies them all under the banner of the excitement of exploring. Makes you want to go outside right now.
What: The brand pledges to send one lucky winner to a Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas to watch TV for 100 days on Samsung’s new SUHD with a 65-inch curved screen.
Who: Samsung, DDB Stockholm
Why We Care: An inventive and funny way to tie the product to the newest and most popular form of consumption. Who wouldn’t want to see what all the fuss is about Breaking Bad in the comfort of a mountain monastery?
What: An ad for a new travel promotion in Denmark that allows aspiring grandparents to get actively involved in the process.
Who: Spies Travel, Robert/Boisin & Like-Minded
Why We Care: And we thought Do It For Denmark was weird. Typically anything tying the word “mom” with anything related to the word “sex” would be advertising (and dinner conversation) poison, but Spies Travel uses enough whimsy and self-awareness to pull it off.
What: To celebrate marathon season, an ad tribute to the ones still running when the clean-up has already begun and the spectators have gone home.
Who: Wieden+Kennedy Portland, Nike
Why We Care: With the killer soundtrack, thoughtful voiceover, and beautiful camera work, you might call this a stock ad for the Swoosh. Only that even when it’s pretty routine for both brand and agency, it’s still better than 90% of everything else out there.