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Advertisement is the channel for creating brand awareness. Not all advertisements catch our attention. Some are very unique and captivate your attention in just a few seconds.

Advertisement is an art. It is more powerful when an emotional aspect is embedded in it. A compelling story can establish a better connection with your customers. In this blog, we bring to you 20 advertisements that were creative and outstanding.

The power of storytelling in marketing

You might have noticed that certain advertisements achieve more reach. This is because of the effectiveness of storytelling that they employ.

  • Human connection: Stories connect us with the brand and create an emotional bond. This motivates us to buy the product.
  • Engaging: When an advertisement follows a storytelling format, it keeps the audience engaged. It creates an interest in the brand.
  • Brand identity: The uniqueness in marketing the product establishes a brand identity. This sets the brand apart from its competitors.

Top 20 advertisement examples of all time

Some advertisements are timeless. They have been trendsetters and have remained in memory for long. Here are 20 such examples from famous brands:

1. American Express: Don’t leave home without it


American Express, a multinational financial services company, created a campaign to promote its traveler’s cheques. The tagline was very popular from the mid-seventies to the late nineties.

Karl Malden was the face of the brand for nearly two decades. The tagline was unique and was quickly adapted by the people.

2. Nike: Just Do It


Nike came up with a short but motivating slogan that everyone could relate to. This 1980s campaign was a hit because it tried to solve the issues of the audience. Nike’s campaign created an emotional connection with the audience and thus improved its sales.

3. Apple: Get a Mac


Apple’s TV commercial “Get a Mac” was a huge success, with the company experiencing significant market growth. The campaign tried to establish the differences between a Mac and a PC by highlighting the problems faced by people using a PC. The audience could relate to the ad, which paved the way for the campaign's success. Rather than being just another ad, it explained the benefits of the product and created better engagement.

4. Coca-Cola: Share a Coke


The Share a Coke campaign started in 2011 in Australia when the brand personalized each bottle with the 150 most popular names in the country. It created a sense of excitement since everyone was eager to know what name they would get on their bottle of Coke.

Coke already had a huge fan following, and this fun way to share your Coke got widespread attention and improved sales.

5. Apple iPod silhouettes


The Apple iPod was promoted through the outdoor ‘Silhoutte’ ad campaign in 2003 in Los Angeles. The ad featured black silhouettes of people listening to white iPods amidst bright green, yellow, fuschia, and pink backgrounds. The ad had a tremendous response that the then-U.S. President George W. Bush owned one. The campaign earned many prizes like the $100,00 Kelly Award for the best ad campaign.

6. Spotify


Spotify launched a personalized, interactive campaign in 2016 which was a hit worldwide. The campaign aimed to reflect on music culture based on listener preferences. The audience could easily relate to the campaign since it had an emotional connection. Advertising screens were also location-specific addressing specific audiences.

7. Old Spice: The man your man could smell like


This television ad campaign by Old Spice became a sensational hit in 2010. Isaiah Mustafa, the actor who appeared in the commercial, became known as the ‘Old Spice guy’. The creative directors of the ad, Weiden+Kennedy, leveraged the popularity of the ad and created a personalized video campaign where Mustafa answered fans’ comments on social media posts.

8. De-Beers: A diamond is forever


This is said to be the longest-running campaign, as the slogan was coined first in 1947 for the De Beers ad. During the Great Depression, when diamond sales plummeted, De Beers encouraged people to buy them through this campaign. It convinced people that though diamonds were expensive, they were essential. The company also creates ads with a classic appeal in black and white making the audiences feel that diamonds are timeless.

9. Metro trains- Dumb ways to die


When Metro Trains in Melbourne wanted to convey a message of safety to passengers of metro trains, it came up with the Dumb Ways to Die Song, which has secured more than 152 million views on YouTube. This creative way of campaigning warned passengers that standing on the edge of the platform or crossing a train track could be the dumbest way to die.

10. Budweiser: Whassup


This television ad by the beer company Budweiser became very popular since it was relatable to people's everyday lives. People could imagine themselves as a group of friends enjoying Budweiser beer and asking ‘wassup’.

11. Netflix: One Story Away


Netflix endorses the power of storytelling with its ‘one story away’ campaign. This campaign was launched in 27 countries in all forms of advertisement like print, outdoor, television, digital, and radio.

The ad includes the slogan ‘one story away’ and adds a custom version of a playlist from Netflix.

12. Dunkin’ Donuts: America runs on Dunkin’


This ad campaign was introduced in 2006 when Dunkin’ Donuts moved into a private equity consortium. It emphasizes the company’s mission to serve quality food and beverages that Americans love at affordable prices.

The ad conveyed that Dunkin’s fresh food and baked goods are relished by all Americans who keep the country running strong.

13. Proctor & Gamble: Thank You, Mom!


Originally launched during the 2012 Olympics as a thank-you message to all the moms of the Olympic athletes for being supportive in their journey, this ad became timeless due to the slogan.

The message was evergreen and carried an emotional appeal.

14. KFC: “FCK”


This 2018 ad campaign was a creative representation of how a company could apologize in a funny yet polite way. To everyone’s surprise, the company ran out of poultry stock, and the response it gave was this ad.

15. Volkswagen: Think small


This ad campaign tried to break the buying preferences of Americans who only preferred big cars and avoided buying small German-made cars. Volkswagen was honest in its approach, and people liked this and resorted to buying small cars. This was a revolutionary campaign that changed the perception of people.

16. Absolut Vodka-The Bottle


The brand is known for its creative ads, including “The Bottle”. This ad showcased what people could do with vodka bottles that couldn’t be done with any other bottle. The campaign was a huge success that it was running for 25 years.

17. Airbnb: A Different Paris


Airbnb’s “A different Paris” is a 60-second creative campaign targeted at the Asian markets. It features a Chinese artiste who is happy about the recommendations of the Airbnb host for exploring Paris. Her memories are captured as a part of the campaign.

18. Nissan- Shoulders of Giants


Nissan created waves with the “Shoulders of Giants” campaign, where it spoke about its inspiration from other automobile giants, and its competitors. The ad was a tribute to the giants who gave a push and motivated similar others to grow. Praising a competitor is a rare gesture in business, and this thought made the ad popular.

19. Oreo: Dunk in the Dark


With one tweet, Oreo became viral in 2013. When during an NFL championship game, a blackout turned off power in the Mercedes Benz Superdome, Oreo tweeted this slogan and caught instant attention. The creative team took the right opportunity and came up with the viral tweet that created history.

20. Levi’s: Laundrette


This iconic ad was to promote the brand’s shrink-to-fit jeans. After this ad campaign, the sale of model 501 increased by 800%. It happened that the company could not match such a high demand.


Creative advertisements that carry a memorable message and create an emotional connection with the audience always win. Use the power of storytelling to convey your messages effectively. The above are examples of some popular brands you can take inspiration from.

Guest Contributor

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