Top 5 Ads Of The Week: Serena’s Nike flashback, Elton John raps for Snickers

HP’s all-American family portrait, the Terry Fox Foundation’s pre-social media followers, and a little girl’s adorably complicated relationship with soup.

Top 5 Ads Of The Week: Serena’s Nike flashback, Elton John raps for Snickers

It’s a rare sight to have the same person star in the Top 5 for two weeks in a row, but then Serena Williams is just that kind of rare person. Last week it was channeling her inner LL Cool J for Chase. Earlier this week, Nike mixed archival footage with some more recent U.S. Open triumphs to create an absolutely stunning spot in which her dad is coaching her, asking the future champ to imagine she’s at the U.S. Open. It is sports advertising at its best, and helps cement Williams as not only the greatest pro athlete ever, but the greatest advertising athlete ever. Onward!


Nike “It’s only a crazy dream until you do it”

What: A new Nike spot celebrating Serena Williams during the U.S. Open.

Who: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Portland

Why we care: It’s just so damn good. Beyond that, it adds to Williams’s already impressive ad run over the last few years, as it achieves a high standard of quality, quantity, and consistency.

Snickers “Rap Battle”

What: The latest in the brand’s long-running “You’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign.

Who: Snickers, AMV BBDO


Why we care: This campaign has been funny since Betty White (2010) and Joe Pesci (2011) showed up, and here we get another classic appearance courtesy of Elton John. It’s some impeccable timing, given the high praise Young Thug’s cover of “Rocket Man” has been getting. John’s a known hip-hop fan, and here he throws down some self-awareness for laughs before changing into IRL up-and-comer Boogie.

Terry Fox Foundation “Terry Fox Run 2018”

What: The cancer research charity puts the accomplishment of Fox’s 1980 run across Canada, and its legacy, into social media perspective.

Who: Terry Fox Foundation

Why we care: In 1980, then 21-year-old Terry Fox embarked on a run across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research. He ran a marathon a day for 143 days and more than 3,339 miles, until his cancer forced him to stop. By then he was a national legend. Since then, his namesake charity has raised more than $750 million, and the annual Terry Fox Run, set for September 16, is the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research. For more info, check out the 2010 “30 for 30” doc Steve Nash produced about Fox.

HP “Family Portraits”

What: A new ad that flips the script on assumptions of what “All-American” actually means.

Who: HP, Edelman Digital


Why we care: Subverting our expectations isn’t a new ad device, but here it’s used in a way that asks us to challenge our own stereotypes in the sweetest way possible. A perfect example of now former CMO Antonio Lucio‘s push for more emotional advertising.

Intermarché “Je t’aime trop”

What: An adorable little girl gets motivated to eat better in this new spot from French grocery chain Intermarché.

Who: Intermarché, Romance

Why we care: Close watchers of this space will know that Intermarché is a juggernaut of adorable advertising, particularly with kids. And this one is no exception. Perfect casting, perfect tune, fun story. You don’t need to speak French to know how good that is.


About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.