We’re “just” six months into 2021 and there are already plenty of video ads worth talking about! 

We crawled through the websphere and collected the top 10 we think should be on your radar – from cars to oat milk, there are some real gems. So, let’s dive right in!

State Farm, Drake From State Farm

Playing on the popular “Jake from State Farm” ad that the company has remixed multiple times over the last few years, this version features: Drake, Paul Rudd, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes, making it a little bit harder not to catch viewers’ attention! 

We love seeing celebrities starring in ads, especially when they’re really owning their parts like Drake did. But this doesn’t guarantee success. The key is to choose the right celebrities that have the right tone and attitude for each role. And in our eyes, State Farm nailed it!

Toyota, Jessica's Long Story

Toyota’s Super Bowl spot tells the touching story of 13-time gold medalist Paralympian, Jessica Long, and her mother. A story of hope, strength, determination, and love. 

The ad received thousands of positive comments across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram with people around the world celebrating Jessica, as well as Toyota for spotlighting her powerful story that inspired many, and showed that when you really want something, nothing can stop you from getting it.

Big brands using their power and voice to promote diversity and inclusion? We’re so here for it!

Amazon, Alexa's Body

Combining entertainment with “fantasy”, while showing what technology could look like in the future (okay this may not be completely true!), Amazon found the “new body” for Alexa.

This ad received over 78M views on YouTube only, with Amazon posting it across all social media platforms. Whoever scripted this one needs a promotion! 

Combining a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour with creativity paid off for them big time.

Progressive Insurance, The Ad Where Nothing Happens

Progressive’s latest ad subverts what you’d expect of a big event-ad, making it attention grabbing in its own unique – not as eventful as we’re used to – way.

They tapped into the current sentiment and made a fun twist on it showing that they understand their audience. Sometimes, showing less has more impact. NSYNC making a cameo is a nice touch too.

Progressive really tackled commercial stereotypes with The Ad Where Nothing Happens.

T-Mobile, Adam Levine Sets Up Gwen & Blake

T-Mobile’s ad was described, by many viewers, as “genius”. Showing what could happen when your network isn’t good enough and the person on the other side of the phone hears something completely different from what you said… Adam, Gwen, and Blake nailed this one and were even told by many viewers to start their own comedy show. 

Another real-life example of singers needing to rethink their career choices – they’d be perfect in comedy!

Bud Light, Seltzer Lemonade

From the creepy, suspenseful background music, to grandma’s iconic reaction after hearing “it has more flavour than my grandma’s lemonade”… This ad has definitely been one of the most entertaining in 2021 (and although a bit exaggerated, some even find it relatable). 

If this was a film, we’d watch it and we’d be #TeamGranny of course.

Jeep, 2021 Earth Odyssey

Jeep really took “do something different” to a whole new level! 

A 60-second video ad that’d make anyone stop, look, and listen: with its powerful wildlife shots and animal sounds that we all recognise, but never got used to hearing them all at the same time! 

If you find it hard to wake up early every morning, just try using this ad as your alarm. 

Oatly, wow wow no cow

While this ad didn’t get the best comments and reviews about its creativity and quality, it certainly grabbed everyone’s attention in a different way. 

With people writing articles about it, looking it up, and talking about the brand “not making a real creative effort”, it seems Oatly went for the shock value of running a clearly underproduced ad during one of the biggest events in advertising – Super Bowl.

Apple, Privacy on iPhone

A hot topic is always a FANTASTIC idea for an ad, especially if you can entertain people with it… In Apple’s case? We’re talking about PRIVACY. 

Apple smashed this video, showcasing how much information our phones can track, and of course, the option that Apple gives its customers to opt out of the tracking and enjoy their privacy.

Rocket Mortgage, Certain Is Better

By delivering their message in an entertaining way, Rocket Mortgage was “pretty sure” that this ad would be trending (and it was!). We all use the phrase “pretty sure”, don’t we… Well, this ad was so impactful that we promise you we won’t be using it anymore! Thanks for inspiring us Rocket Mortgage – Certain is definitely Better.

So what makes a video advertisement attention-grabbing? Your ad needs to have at least one of the elements below:

  • Relatability 
  • Relevancy 
  • Clear, easy to follow storyline
  • Entertainment and/or education
  • Originality (forget about clichés)
  • Shock/surprise (even a 60s video ad can have a plot twist!)
  • Celebrity endorsement (only if it’s the right one and doesn’t feel ‘forced’!)

Which one has been your favourite?