BX Film’s Favorite Commercials of All Time
As a video production company, we’re constantly watching and referencing videos for our work. They help spawn ideas, give clients an idea of style, tone, or voice, and just plain make us better at what we do. So we thought, why not let people in on some of our favorites? It shows a little bit of what we like, our style, and how we evaluate good creative.
The Most Effective Commercials We’ve Seen
Not a single one of these videos just sells a product or service. They tell stories, make us feel things, and hold our attention to the last second. Here are some of our favorites:
Apple — Escape from the Office
Be careful if you click the link because you won’t be able to press pause on this nearly 9-minute commercial brilliantly produced by Apple. It’s a rags-to-riches (or should we say bags-to-riches) story that so seamlessly weaves in its own products, you’ll barely realize it’s an ad. Apple consistently puts out incredible videos, but this one is a recent favorite of ours.
Harley Davidson — Inner Child
This commercial was done on spec for Harley Davidson, though never officially picked up by the storied brand. This is the very definition of a brand video, which shows you who they are and what they stand for, without ever hawking their product. It’s risky to go this deep and this emotional, but when it works, it works wonders.
PooPourri.com — Girls Don’t Poop
PooPourri’s script writing takes poop jokes to their absolute zenith in this viral ad. And the delivery of every line was *chef’s kiss* in our opinion. The line between too safe and too much is razor thin, but PooPourri walks it deftly the entire time with hilarious results.
Geico — Unskippable Family
Geico’s brilliance knows no end when it comes to commercials, and this is one we especially love. The idea of an “unskippable” ad is so good, and the irony is that we’ve never once wanted to skip this commercial.
Tide — It’s a Tide Ad
The premise? Genius. The execution? Hilarious. On top of parodying a dozen Super Bowl genres, Tide successfully argues that in fact, every ad is a Tide ad. And the fact that they were able to collaborate with other brands to do it is simply impressive.
Dr. Squatch — Natural Soap for Men
There’s now an entire genre of off-the-wall explainer videos featuring comedic hosts, from Old Spice to Dollar-Shave Club, but one of our go-to references is Dr. Squatch. It manages to be funny, irreverent, informative, and captures your attention even past the “end” of the commercial.
Robinhood — Aisle 4
The tone, pacing, writing, and look are just right in this 30-second spot for Robinhood. But even more than the production value, we love that it tells the story of a customer that’s specific, yet relatable — the hallmark of a good story.
Chatbooks — Easy Photo Books with Chatbooks
Sure it sells a product (and makes it look easy doing it) but this ad is mostly just one hilarious commentary on parenting. And the mom/host is so relatable, it makes her feel like a friend you didn’t know you had.
Wish — Wish Fever!
We love the steady build of this commercial, led by a narrator whose voice reaches a fever pitch at the climax of the ad. This commercial could have easily been boring, your standard “convenient online shopping and low prices” pitch. But it wasn’t. It takes you on a journey that has you wondering what else your $5 could buy on Wish, besides the pirate cat costume, of course.
monday.com — Your team’s future depends on monday.com
Opening on a bruised-up version of the main character — one minute into the future — all but guarantees viewers will stick around to the end just to see what happens. Future bruised guy then explains monday.com’s value so effectively, that, well… you’ll see what happens. And the fact that this video is a perfect loop is icing on the cake.
Zendesk — The 2016 Zendesk Rebrand
Even if you’re not branding nerds like we are, we think you’ll love this documentary-style video of how Zendesk rebranded themselves back in 2016. It’s not your typical talking heads video, crafting a story about the process that hooks you from the beginning and keeps your attention throughout.
Stephen Kenn — The Encounter Collection
They are rare, but there are some commercials that are so moving, with a story so well told, that you forget about the product or brand they’re selling. This is one of those commercials. An over-five-minute story about a young boy who’s lost his father, yet remembers him through his words of wisdom and a special keepsake passed down, will have you fighting back tears.
Dewar’s — Live True
Not a single shot of Scotch exists in this inspiring ad from the brand who produces the world’s most awarded blended Scotch whisky. Not one mention of Dewar’s or drinking or a good time. Instead, it offers a philosophy of living that, like its whisky, is born from age and experience. Where other commercials reach for this type of inspiration and come across as trite or saccharine, Dewar’s comes across as true.
What makes a great video ad?
Simply put, great ads motivate people, less-than-stellar ads don’t. You can make a great pitch, make people laugh, cry (from emotion or boredom) or pack in all the value props you can conjure. But if the ad doesn’t make people want to remember you, find out more about you or buy your products, it’s just not worth it.
If you want to work with us to produce a video that motivates, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear from you!