The best ads are always the ones that don’t feel like they’re trying to sell you anything. We hate to feel like we’re being targeting by advertising companies based on our online behaviour. Let’s face it, we all skip over radio commercials and fast forward through TV commercials when possible. It’s cumbersome because we have no control over the ads we encounter. Companies now have to get creative with how they present their ads to us, too. The best companies are doing it in a way that adds value to our everyday lives, whether it’s through humour, art, or anything we could relate to on a personal level.
Here are 7 ads that we loved because they didn’t feel like ads:
1. IKEA’S DIY Jon Snow Costume
After it was revealed that the award-winning costume designer for Game of Thrones, Michele Clapton, used a $79 Ikea rug to make Jon Snow’s costume, Ikea released instructions on how to do it yourself at home. Clever, and fun.
2. Eir’s Coloured Dots Stunt
Irish telecom company, Eir, replaced every dot in October’s Daily Mail Magazine with a coloured dot. That includes periods, colons, semi colons, anything with a dot. They ran a full-page ad in the back of the magazine explaining the campaign, and suggesting that signing up with Eir will eliminate any “black spots” in your home and office wifi.
3. Burger King's Bullying Jr. Campaign
Burger King pulled a stunt at one of its locations, serving Jr. Whoppers only after they had gotten a serious beating – punching them until they were completely unappetizing. Customers immediately complained. While the burger beating was going on, Burger King also staged a real-life bullying situation with high school kids. 95% of patrons complained about their beaten burgers, but only 12% helped the child being bullied. Although this turned out to be a video ad campaign, the act in real life sent an extremely powerful message about bullying.
4. Lyft's $1 Carwash
This summer, Wieden + Kennedy New York pulled together a great act of kindness, taking over a car wash in Los Angeles and remodeled it with Lyft’s colours – lots and lots of pink. They offered $1 washes to Lyft drivers to thank them for their service. The stunt was colourful, eye-catching, and paid it forward.
5. Cincinnati's Tinder Profile
Possible, an agency with a location in Cincinnati, created a Tinder profile for the city to attract new hires from out of town. After a match was made, the agency would set up a trip to the office and its hometown.
6. Oslo Tourist Rescue Mission
It doesn’t come to us as a surprise to find out that people had trouble viewing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre because large tours and selfie takers got in the way. A New Zealand couple, Sam and Marela, took to Instagram to express their woes, and the Oslo Brand Alliance spotted their post. The couple were then offered an all expense paid trip to Oslo, where “overcrowding isn’t a problem.” Hey, Oslo, we can’t see the Mona Lisa either. Can we come?
7. National Eye Health Week in the U.K.
During National Eye Health Week in the U.K., Channel 4 joined forces with the Royal National Institute for Blind People to apply filters to normal commercials to let viewers experience different sight loss conditions. This helped to raise awareness and convince viewers to get regular eye exams, but it also challenged advertisers to create ads that would also accommodate people with sight and hearing loss.