The Ads We Love; The Ads that Tell Stories

In a recent copy of Adweek (Vol. LII, No. 42, to be exact), there was an article regarding the 10 best ads of 2011. Shockingly, I hadn’t seen (or heard of) several of them. But, of the ones I had heard of, I wholeheartedly agreed.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the online version of the article can be found here on Adweek‘s website.

So, what were the top 10 ads of 2011? And do I even agree with them?

10. “Focus Group” – Snickers
9. “Gas Powered Everything” – Nissan Leaf
8. “Cats With Thumbs” – Cravendale
7. “Dead Island Trailer” – Deep Silver
6. “The Bear” – Canal+
5. “Homes Within Homes” – TalkTalk
4. “Dear Sophie” – Google Chrome
3. “Born of Fire” – Chrysler
2. “Back to the Start” – Chipotle
1. “The Force” – Volkswagen

Of the ads listed, I have already admitted to loving Google Chrome’s “Dear Sophie” ad. It’s heartwarming. It tells a story. It is, hands down, an amazing piece of advertising.

Of the ads I hadn’t seen, I also agree with Adweek labeling them the best of 2011, with the exception of one: “Homes Within Homes” for TalkTalk. I don’t know why, but I do not like that ad. Sure, it was OK, but it was by no means the fifth best ad to come out of 2011. Unlike the others, I found it to be slow, a little stupid and lacking on the storytelling. Ultimately, it didn’t do what a commercial should do; it didn’t sell me the product.

In addition to storytelling, many of the ads reached out to consumers through humor (Snickers, Canal+, Cravendale, Volkswagen and Nissan Leaf). Others connected with consumers through emotions (Deep Silver, Google Chrome and, to a point, Chipotle). Either way, the ads message was successfully communicated (with the exception, in my opinion, of TalkTalk’s ad).

All-in-all, a handful of great ads can be found among the advertising horrors of 2011. Though I don’t expect that to change, I can happily say that I am looking forward to the closing of one year and the beginning of a new one, full of advertising potential (especially with next year’s super bowl just around the corner).

* I highlighted my favorite ads in bold.

** Clips of all the ads can be found on


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