Television advertising in the UK is very different to those we see sandwiched oddly in the middle of our favourite sitcom – here, it’s a means to a cause, to sell, sell, sell. In the UK however, commercials are a talking point in the office and in the pub, around the dinner table and on the morning commute. In the UK, ads go viral in the blink of an eye and can be a feat of CGI mastery, made solely to be appreciated on a glorious 60 inch TV.
So here they are – the top commercials from across the pond that might have slipped under your radar.
This full length feature ad by Honda, went viral in the UK pretty much as soon as it hit the screens. The commercial shows a bunch of Honda parts falling, squirting and spinning in a chain reaction to the main event with the tag-line “isn’t it nice when things just work?” The ad reportedly took seven months to make and cost a whopping £1m.
John Lewis Christmas, 2011
It’s hard to bring the spirit of Christmas to a nation steeped in recession, with no economic upturn in sight and a Eurozone collapse on the horizon – but John Lewis did it, and did it well. An old Smiths song echoes in the background, the snow is falling and a little boy impatiently counts down to the 25th with each and every advent calendar chocolate. It’s not what you expect at the end – he doesn’t wake up on Christmas morning to tear open a new bike or a PS3, but rather to give his parents a present worth remembering. Well done John Lewis, our hats are off to you.
Budget store, Aldi, has its work cut out in the world of British supermarkets – there seem to be hundreds of them out there competing for the lowest price, all with impressive stats to prove just how cheap they are. But this short and sweet rendition of an old lady talking about her husband’s love of tea pulled at the heart strings of every Brit out there – it may as well have been your nan sat there wittering on. She ends with a casual nonchalance; “I don’t like tea. I like gin.”
T-Mobile – Life’s for sharing
It all started with a flash mob in Liverpool Street station back in 2009 – an impromptu attempt at getting involved with the public, bringing a smile to people’s faces and having a jolly good time. Needless to say, the campaign was pretty popular and all over the world of social media within minutes. Not long after, Welcome Home at Heathrow’s Terminal Five took over the imagination of the British public and led to many spin-offs arranged on Facebook.
Compare the Market
It may not be the most glamorous of advertising campaigns out there, or be an outstanding piece of design, but the personality of Aleksandr Orlov has worked its way into British culture, conversation and mobile apps. He’s even managed to get himself made into a cuddly toy. A memorable and simples commercial that has taken the nation by storm.
Sony Bravia – Colour like no other
The colour like no other series by Sony was yet another step in the direction of public involvement. The first in the three-part advertising campaign saw 250,000 coloured balls bounce their way down the roads of San Francisco – it was one of those things witnessed from the comfort of your living room sofa where you turned around to whoever was listening and said “wouldn’t you have just loved to have been there?” The next two, Paint and Play Doh had just as good an effect, and went just as viral.
Fosters – Good Call
Brad and Dan take on the world’s biggest man problems – whether to rub sun-cream on a mate’s back, whether or not to stick with your missus if she’s going to turn out like her mother, if that tattoo is a good idea. They’ve got it covered, and always have a pint of cold Fosters in hand. Good call, indeed.
Guardian – Open journalism
It’s no surprise that there was an attempt to regain trust in the media after the recent phone-hacking scandal in the UK. The Guardian, having nothing to do with the events in the first place, made a pretty good showcase of their ‘open journalism’ in-house policy. The advert shows how the tale of the Three Little Pigs might have been covered if it were real – it twists and turns, reveals the truth and steers clear of sensationalism.
And there you have it folks!