Coca-Cola, Guinness, Apple: The Art of Building Fantasy Worlds in Advertising

Scott Carlson of Van's General Store picks his favorite spots

Scott Carlson of Van's General Store picks his favorite spots.
Headshot of Tim Nudd

An animated wonderland inside a vending machine. A squirrel-filled dreamworld of stout drinkers chasing the meaning of life. A centuries-old monster infiltrating the modern world to sell the newest of technologies.

Scott Carlson, co-founder (with actor Liev Schreiber) and chief creative officer of boutique New York agency Van’s General Store, recently sat down with Adweek for our ongoing “Best Ads Ever” video series. Asked to name his favorite ads, Carlson picked three spots that all have wonderful, fantastical elements to them.

All three are beloved, beautifully crafted spots from major brands. And they all show how inventing richly imagined worlds—and introducing an element of wonder—can take brand storytelling to the next level.

Check out the video for more, as Carlson also tells us about the interesting and varied work Van’s General Store has been doing lately, and what inspires him creatively outside advertising.

And see all three of Carlson’s best-ads picks in full below.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.