My Favorite Recent TV Commercials

I’m a big fan of great commercials, and they’re one of the reasons why I first became interested in marketing. With attention-sucking technologies like DVRs, social media, and mobile apps, the ability of a TV commercial to grab viewers’ attention and connect with them on a substantial level is really important for brands, especially since buying TV air time is really expensive.

I think most will pinpoint creativity and humor as the key parts of a great commercial. But a great commercial goes deeper; the ability of a commercial to be in sync with the company’s brand and connect with a target audience is paramount to the marketer in me. Here is a list of TV ad campaigns that I really like, both because of their creativity as well as their strategic value.

AT&T’s “It’s Not Complicated” Campaign

The message and delivery of these ads are “not complicated” at all, but this campaign has layers upon layers of complex awesomeness.

Everything links back to the campaign’s core aspect of not being complicated. AT&T boils their competitive advantages down to specific facts, such as having the largest 4G network, the fastest 4G LTE network for iPhone 5, and  saving on phones and plans. They then deliver these facts through simple phrases like “More is Better”, “Faster is Better”, and “Saving is Better than Not Saving” (no duh!). Better yet, they have these messages delivered via hilarious children and comedian moderator Beck Bennett, whose dry, straight-faced personality is perfect. The campaign also morphs to take advantage of popular events such as Mother’s Day and the NCAA Tournament.

AT&T has a home run campaign on its hands, combining key aspects like creativity, humor, relatability, and brand strategy. Check out these great commercials here. I definitely want more!


Allstate Insurance’s “Mayhem” Campaign

My favorite part of this campaign is the personification of disasters that can happen to us at anytime in our lives. We’ve all left our sunroofs open when it rains, made some questionable driving moves listening to our GPS, or have no idea what a water heater can do, and the Mayhem guy portrays these situations in dramatic, treacherous fashion.

Insurance is a commodity product, so these companies have to be really creative to connect with potential consumers. Allstate does this perfectly by personifying distaster and relating to our everyday lives.

You can see Allstate’s recent “Mayhem” commercials here.


IBM’s “Smarter Planet” Campaign

Over the last decade or so, IBM has remade itself from a product-centric company that sold computers and servers to an organization that is more focused on delivering services. Thus, the old commercials that highlighted products and features have given way to those that highlight IBM’s employees and the impactful work they’re doing.

That’s why I love IBM’s “Smarter Planet” campaign – it’s so perfectly reflective of the company’s corporate and brand strategy. When I watch these commercials, I truly get the feeling that IBM has brilliant employees who are working on projects that will improve the world and make it a smarter planet. There’s no fluff involved here; IBM just shows the problems they’re solving and the people who are solving them.

You can see a bunch of IBM’s “Smarter Planet” commercials here.


Let me know what you think in the comments; I’d love to hear your thoughts on these campaigns as well as others that you like, and why.

My next post will highlight the TV commercial campaigns that I like least. That should be fun!

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3 thoughts on “My Favorite Recent TV Commercials

  1. Totally agree with you on the AT&T and All State commercials. This is the first that I’ve seen the IBM commercials. I’m curious which commercials you don’t like. Maybe your next blog?

    1. The IBM commercials don’t jump out as much because they’re not humorous and have a more serious tone. But I love how they portray their employees and the work they’re doing.

      Yup, crappy commercials will be in an upcoming post!

      Mike Chan 415.710.3339 @mikewchan | LinkedIn | Google+ |

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