Ad Optimum: A Look Back at the Most Insightful Ads of 2016
Nathan Whipple | On 31, Dec 2016
It’s What Isn’t Seen That Matters the Most
Not only was H&M’s ad about bright spots in tough times, it shined a light on the events that we don’t necessarily witness, but impact us all the same. Where Edward Norton strove to deliver the best Christmas possible with what little he had, Under Armour reminded us that behind all the medals and magazine covers, Michael Phelps’s road to Olympic gold was paved with long nights and cold swims. On the topic of athletics, you have Nike’s “Switch” ad, which presented an interesting hypothetical: what would happen if one of the world’s greatest footballers changed places with a “no-name” teenager?
It’s easy for the humorous aspects of this ad to shine through, but where it really excels is the story it weaves in between the laughs. Sure, the Ronaldo-in-a-kids-body character could have spent his time fighting to reclaim his identity, while his counterpart could have taken an early retirement and lived the high life, but they didn’t. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, they kept pushing themselves harder and harder to be even better than they were before, regardless of the expectations placed before them, and herein lies the universal truth behind all of these spots, and what really defined 2016, which is:
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