Advertising legend Howard Gossage once said "Nobody reads ads. People read what interests them. Sometimes it's an ad." The same is true for TV commercials; viewers know the drill and they know how to avoid ads or tune them out. After all, anyone who watches TV will likely see the same ad over and over and over. That might be tedious if the ad is annoying, but not if it is fun or interesting.
Great creative is therefore fundamental in successful advertising. It helps grab attention, resonates with its audience and makes the ad memorable and easily recalled, making the brand more interesting and helping to frame the brand experience. People pay more attention to ads they enjoy, and great creative advertising can change business.
Millward Brown's Best Liked Ads list celebrates South Africa's favourite TV commercials, and South Africa has spoken. The most enjoyed and best-loved TV advert of 2014 is Cadbury's Triplets.
Babies and children are traditional ingredients of successful advertising, and we see Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg take this to a new level with the unborn triplets, Thabiso, Intokozo and Gcobani (who were subsequently named in a competition), as they boogie in their mom's tum to the sounds of Joy's 'We are Family', sung by local acapella group, The Soil, while Mom enjoys her Cadbury Milk Slab.
We see another four ads with loads of cute babies and children from Telkom, Vodacom and Engen, and of course, not forgetting man's best friend, Coke's Bobby, the smartest dog in the hood, another advertising favourite to grab attention.
Second in the line-up of the top 20, with over 6 million YouTube views, is the BMW ad from Cundari Toronto showcasing the world's most insane racetrack, thrilling viewers around the globe as the archetypal black gloved stuntman whizzes around what must be the ultimate racetrack in a Top Gear-meets-The Fast and the Furious type scenario. It's worth noting that a third of The Best Liked Ads are from global agencies. To create ads that can travel, or in this case race across borders, is challenging! There may be global brands, but there is not one global culture. The dream of reaching a worldwide audience with just one ad is rarely realised, and very often, something important gets lost in translation. To be successful, global ads need a fundamental human connection or truth in the storyline. With a bit of due diligence, campaigns can be developed that will work effectively across many geographies and cultures, allowing advertisers to realise great efficiencies while establishing seamless brand positioning.
Congratulations are in order to the marketers and their ad agencies for keeping us entertained and for creating great advertising that gets the attention of their most important critic - the consumer, the person who ultimately chooses to buy your brand or not.
Adtrack is Millward Brown's proprietary advertising testing system, evaluating the impact and liking of all brand advertising in South Africa over the last 30 years. The resultant database stands at over 90,000 TV adverts tested, and more than 1.2 million interviews conducted, making this database one of the largest of its kind in the world. For more info on Adtrack please contact
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