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19 Memorable International Ad Campaigns From The Past Decade

2019 has been packed with ad promotions, like every year. And maybe too many this time around. And yet there were those who managed to stand out. Some were moving with courage or anger. Others were funny and ridiculous. Others, too, appeared deaf in tone and were pure rude. But how do you decide which ones over 10 years stand out?

To conclude the decade, Forbes picked 20 examples from 2010 through 2019 of the most memorable brand work. There is no scientific rationale behind how these were selected, and there is definitely plenty of work left out that is worthy of acclamation and shame. Some were chosen on the basis of our editorial judgment, while other selections were notified by Sprinklr data, identifying those that gained the most number of mentions online.

Then here are 19 of last decade's most unforgettable marketing campaigns.

  • 'The Guy Your Guy Might Smell Like' by Old Spice (2010): Wieden + Kennedy's humorous Super Bowl spot became a viral phenomenon when targeting female audiences to promote the brand's body wash by implying men in their lives could smell better than they do at the moment. (Scenes from the spot were then recreated during the 2018 Super Bowl for another Tide campaign)
  • Apology by Tiger Woods (2010) by Nike: Nike used Tiger Woods' late father's voice in an apology ad shortly after the golfer confessed to numerous affairs and went into a car accident. CBS News at the time called it the "worst-ever commercial."
  • "Thank You, Mom" (2010) by Procter & Gamble: P&G's first major corporate marketing advertisement ran during the 2010 Olympics and honored Olympic athlete's mothers.
  • Chipotle's "Back to the Start" (2011): Early among QSRs the restaurant chain supported sustainable agriculture by producing a two-minute animated video as the first national advertisement.

Red Bull's "Stratos" leap (2012): millions watched the $30 million stunt filmed from the energy drink by professional skydiver Felix Baumgartner, who leaped from Earth's stratosphere before landing safely on the field.

  • Chrysler's "Half Time in America" (2012): Clint Eastwood's narrated Super Bowl Commercialtold the story of Detroit's economic revival while also suggesting America itself can recover.
  • Oreo's “Dunk in the Dark” (2013): The blackout tweet from Super Bowl shows the power of real-time marketing, and how quick innovative thinking can lead to free viral exposure.
  • Dove's "True Beauty Sketches" (2013): The ad has shown women to be more attractive than they realize by contrasting sketches based on how they perceive themselves to images of strangers.
  • Always "Like a Girl" (2014): the campaign described the word "like a girl," "from a sexual offense to a force, power and trust transmitting."
  • Nationwide’s childhood death ad (2015): The firm was facing major criticism from its Super Bowl commercial that used fear of childhood death as a way to sell insurance.
  • The Ad Council’s “Love Has No Labels” (2015): Starting with a 2015 X-ray stunt to demonstrate everyone's humanity, The Ad Council's campaign encouraged inclusiveness and acceptance.
  • H&M's Wes Anderson (2016) holiday ad: In Wes Anderson’s quintessential theme, the four-minute video of the company shows passengers on a delayed train while saving the spirit of the holiday.
  • McCann's "Fearless Girl" (2017): The temporary statue of the ad agency facing the "Running Bull" from Wall Street became a permanent icon of women's leadership in the business world.
  • Pepsi's "Live for Now" starring Kendall Jenner (2017): strong criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement's appropriation and trivialization of the commercial led Pepsi to pull the campaign before it was expected to close.
  • Bud Light's "Dilly Dilly" (2017): Bud Light created a cultural moment with a medieval Super Bowl commercial that made Dilly Dilly's phrase take on a life of its own.
  • Nike's "Dream Mad" starring Colin Kaepernick (2018): To mark the 30th anniversary after the first "Just Do It" advertisement launched, the brand's included the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who was at the core of the uproar over kneeling to protest racial discrimination during the national anthem prior to NFL games. The commercial went on to win an Emmy and others say it helped gain $6 billion in market value for the brand. Football quarterback Colin Kaepernick was featured in Nike’s 2018 campaign.
  • Tide's "Every Ad Is a Tide Ad" (2018): A hit series of Super Bowl spots starring David Harbor created stereotypical scenes demonstrating how each form of Super Bowl spot can be a Tide ad.
  • Microsoft's "Reindeer Play" (2018): The 2018 Christmas commercial for the tech company's new adaptive XBOX controller stared at a teenage gamer suffering from Escobar syndrome.
  • Gillette's "The Best a Guy Can Offer" (2019): The divisive promotional ad for the razor company called for men to combat sexual assault and toxic masculinity and become better role models.

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