25 Most Epic Ads That Aren't Apple's '1984'


"Impossible Field"
180, 2005
Click to view. We could devote an entire post to epic soccer commercials (and maybe we will). But there's just something slick and nightmarish about this Adidas showdown starring David Bekham, Kaka and a few other footie favorites.


"The Impossible Dream"
Wieden + Kennedy, 2005
Click to view. While Honda's "Cog" and "Grrr" long-form spots tend to get the most attention, I still prefer this wonderfully paced and musically driven spot that builds to a powerful crescendo—tarnished only by a bit of superfluous Garrison Keillor. Honda recently unveiled an even longer version of the ad, but it's just not the same without the soaring finale of the original.


Fallon, 2002
Click to view. The BMW Films project cranked out lots of epic fare, but probably none more so than this action spree directed by John Woo as part of a Clive Owen-driven series called "The Hire."


"Good vs. Evil"
Wieden + Kennedy, 1996
Click to view. The forces of darkness square off against the nice guys of world soccer in this classic, intricately detailed Nike opus. The spot's popularity prevails to this day, with nearly 10 million views on the first version posted to YouTube in 2005.

Sony Bravia11

Fallon, 2005
Click to view. Sony's launch spot for its Bravia television line became an Internet sensation, thanks to the visual splendor of 250,000 colorful balls bouncing down a San Francisco street.


"Happiness Factory: The Movie"
Wieden + Kennedy, 2007
Click to view. Coke's surreal celebration of life inside a vending machine, animated by Psyop, has become one of the soft drink's most-loved ad series of all time. Watching it is now even a mandatory part of the World of Coke tour in Atlanta.


"The Key to Reserva"
JWT, 2007
Click to view. Spanish sparkling wine Freixenet put its name on the map with this tongue-in-cheek homage to Alfred Hitchcock, as channeled by Martin Scorsese.

Halo 38

"Believe" spots
T.A.G., 2007
Click to view. Everything about Halo 3's advertising was cinematic and incredible, from the award-winning "Diorama" spot to this collection of brilliantly acted short films. My only complaint was that the gritty realism of the marketing felt out of sync with the gameplay, which was pretty cartoonish by comparison.

Hovis Bread7

"Go On, Lad"
MCBD, 2008
Click to view. Distilling the history of modern Britain down to two minutes is a tall order for any filmmaker, much less someone making an ad for bread. But this Hovis spot does a pretty impressive job of strolling through the 122 years that the bakery has been around.

6. Guinness (tie)6

"Tipping Point"
AMV BBDO, 2007
Click to view. It takes a village to make the world's most impressive pint. Guinness famously spent £10 million to create this ad, which was shot in Argentina and features no digital trickery.

AMV BBDO, 1999
Click to view. Perhaps the most high-art ad ever made, "Surfer" is also one of the very few commercials that truly seem timeless. It's powerful, mysterious and impossible to ignore. Those are probably just a few of the reasons Brits voted it the best ad of all time in 2002.

Get the The AdFreak Daily newsletter:

Thanks for signing up! Check your inbox for a confirmation email.

Topics: Apple, Lists

Continue to next page →


Sign up for AdFreak Newsletters

About AdFreak

AdFreak is a daily blog of the best and worst of creativity in advertising, media, marketing and design. Follow us as we celebrate (and skewer) the latest, greatest, quirkiest and freakiest commercials, promos, trailers, posters, billboards, logos and package designs around. Edited by Adweek's Tim Nudd.

Click to Subscribe to AdFreak RSS