Most major media outlets agreed that the best TV ads of 2014 were the ones that made people think or brought out their emotions.
Unlike Super Bowl commercials, which usually compete to be the funniest, the year’s “best” commercials were the thoughtful ones that addressed hard topics like abuse or made people smile with stories of friendship and love.
Several major ads have landed on the top 10 lists of almost every entertainment or news outlet that covered the topic. The ads with the most votes included:
- Monty Christmas– a John Lewis Christmas ad that tells the story of a boy and his penguin, Monty, set to the tune of Real Love. This was USA Today’s no. 2 pick: they said “This ad has more than Christmas spirit. It has soul.”
- First Kiss– an advertisement by a small clothing label, Wren, that asked complete strangers to kiss on camera. This was the no. 2 pick for Time, which praised the unassuming vibe of the ad. “A first kiss can be awkward, sweet and scary — all at the same time. This nervous energy was perfectly captured in a cinematic three-and-a-half minute video.”
- If We Made It– a Newcastle Brown Ale ad featuring Anna Kendrick. Adweek not only put this no. 1 in its Top 10 list, but also wrote a feature explaining its hilarity and intelligence.
- Most Shocking Second a Day– a video by Save the Children that fell just behind “If We Made It” on Adweek’s list.
But the most consistent high-placing ad on each list was a surprising one featuring a Clydesdale and a golden retriever puppy. Budweiser stepped up its game with Puppy Love, a warm and fuzzy story of unlikely best friends who always have each other’s backs. This ad was listed on each site linked above, and was the only one of all these ads that made it onto YouTube’s Most Popular Ads of 2014 list, meaning it was the most-watched out of all of them.
Though the cuteness factor definitely helped, the great thing about this ad was the reminder that the most important people in our lives are our best friends.