Commercials Consumers Will Remember

What Do Five of the Most Popular Commercials of the Last Decade Have in Common?

The history of commercials and advertising is riddled with amazingly memorable campaigns that still ring in our ears at night as we try to go to sleep. An elderly woman demanding to know, “Where’s the Beef” beats right in time with a giant pink bunny in sunglasses drumming, endlessly, as it traverses the world. Often, the most powerful advertisements have revolved around the Super Bowl, known to be one of the most visible and anticipated advertising opportunities of every year. In the last twenty years, we’ve seen commercials across the spectrum ranging from hilarious to heartfelt, and all points in between. Here’s 5 of the most powerful commercials to come out of the 21st Century so far, and how businesses can latch onto the same advertising strategies to work with our team of marketing specialists to create memorable campaigns of their own.  

While Humor Often Carried the Day, Advocacy and Social Awareness Held Our Attention 

Often, commercials over the last twenty years have relied on humor to capture and hold viewers’ attention and ensure that their messaging stays with us. However, the commercials that have had more staying power and have really tapped into the population’s collective psyche have been the commercials that focus on big social issues. Commercials that last in our memory tend to be the ones where a brand goes out of its way to reassure their target audience that the brand does in fact care about and support issues that matter to those viewers. 

Gillette’s 2019 “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be” Campaign

A men’s brand that has always built itself around men presenting a rugged and strong persona tapped into the social import of the #MeToo movement and acknowledged a need for change. Taking a chance by taking a side, Gillette used it’s advertising footprint to show how destructive toxic masculinity is and how important it is to be an advocate and an ally for women at a time when the #MeToo movement was exposing massive levels of inequality and abuse of women in multiple industries at the hands of men in power. In the aftermath, the company claimed that it was using a relevant opportunity to bring it’s brand up to date with modern social norms, and that, if anything, the backlash simply exposed the need to do so.

Watch here: We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette 

The 2015 Always “Like A Girl”

Proctor and Gamble’s Always advertisement promoting gender equality was one of the first times the brand supported a social cause. The campaign flips the “like a girl” adage on its head, showing that doing things like a girl just meant doing things as a girl. Removing the negativity from the messaging netted the commercial a Grand Clio and a Cannes Grand Prix, as well as an Emmy and a slew of other awards. 

Watch here: Always #LikeAGirl - Super Bowl XLIX 

Nike’s “Dream Crazy” Campaign

In its 30th Anniversary advertising campaign, the sports giant embraced Colin Kaepernick and gave the athlete a platform of support where the NFL had distanced themselves from Kaepernick’s messaging of racial equality and justice. The relevancy and power of the messaging helped not only to amplify the athlete’s messaging, but also helped to bring a number of awards to Nike and helped to increase the brand’s value.  

Watch here: Nike / Dream Crazy (United States) 

State Street’s “Fearless Girl”  

The statue and advertising campaign launched on National Women’s Day in 2017, when State Street Global Advisors challenged Wall Street businesses to diversify their boards and add more women into positions of leadership. The iconic image of the small girl facing down Wall Street’s Bull statue captured the hearts and memories of everyone who saw the campaign in action. It captured our attention so completely that in the course of 12 weeks, it created 4.6 billion Twitter impressions and 745 million Instagram impressions. 

Watch here: Fearless Girl 

2014’s Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want”

In the early portion of the millennium, sportswear giant Under Armour realized that it’s women’s line of clothing sat at roughly less than a quarter the value of sales that the men’s wear line was generating. In order to drive not only brand recognition but to show more support for the female demographic, the company started the “I Will What I Want” campaign to highlight powerful and successful athletic women. One of the most successful spots the campaign ran was the story of Misty Copeland, the first African-American principal ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre who was told throughout her life she didn’t have the look or body type for ballet, and yet persevered and succeeded through hard work and dedication. 

Watch here:Under Armour - Misty Copeland - I Will What I Want 

Leverage Emotion and Perseverance in Your Next Campaign

Running throughout each of these campaigns is a story of hope and support as well as perseverance and strength. Focusing your brand on supporting the community and the struggles they might be facing is one of the best ways to capture the hearts and minds of your target audience and build brand loyalty over time. At Remedy, we understand these stories and how to bring them to life for your own brand. See here an example of a recent piece we produced where we were not helping our clients sell a product, but encouraging a future generation to consider a career in the trades, specifically plumbing. Through this piece we were able to inspire those who are gifted with their hands to enter a career that honors the knowledge and skills they were born with. 

Talk with our team to learn more about how Remedy can bring your brand’s messaging to life in a way that resonates on an emotional level with your target demographic.