Know the Top 10 Commercials of 2013 Like an Ad Exec

Commercials – they have almost nothing to do with the product they advertise, and yet we end up wanting to buy it. If you think about it, each commercial represents the collective effort of a team of artists at an advertising agency, hundreds of hours of work by a production company, and a ridiculous amount of money invested by the brand name. So, it seems worthwhile to debate and rank them based on their individual production value.

We live in an advertising society driven by cars and electronic devices, so let’s judge the Best Commercials of 2013 by the categories of retail or service, automobile, and technology company.


Best Retail or Service Commercials of 2013

1. K-Mart “Ship My Pants”

Ad Agency: Draftfcb, Chicago

Director: Zach Math

K-Mart’s low brow farce about an entire family that ships their pants was a huge success in 2013. The commercial was so popular they made a Dicksonian version called Ship My Trousers just in time for the holidays. 


2. Grey Poupon “The Lost Footage”

Ad Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Director: Bryan Buckley

This hilarious advertisement poses the question: What happens to the Grey Poupon guy after the commercial is over? In 2013, Grey Poupon uncovered this previously unknown footage that revealed the truth!

Spoiler Alert: In the 2013 commercial remix, the two gentleman engage upon the most dignified car chase ever.


3. Marks & Spencer Christmas Advert

Ad Agency: RKCR/Y&R

Director: Johan Renck

UK department store Marks & Spencer went all out for their 2013 Christmas commercial, starring actresses Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Helena Bonham Carter. The mystical scenario combines influences from Alice In Wonderland, the Wizard of OZ, 1,001 Arabian Nights, and more tales, all in the name of fashion.



Best Automobile Commercials of 2013

4. Volkswagen Beetle “Mask”

Ad Agency: Biscuit Filmworks (DE)

Director: Noam Murro

The simple and dreamy storyline of this crisp, clear commercial envisions a humorous scenario that could actually happen in real life. I mean, if you were on a snowy, mid-winter road trip with three buddies in a new Volkswagen Beetle Convertible.


5. Kia “Space Babies”

Ad Agency: David & Goliath

Director: Jake Scott

Japanese car manufacturers Kia had one thing in mind for their 2013 Super Bowl spot. A planet that was inhabited by only babies. It was a shameless attempt to appeal to every woman, or person that enjoys animals, in the US. Or, at least the ones watching football.


Best Technology Commercials of 2013

6. Three “The Pony”

Ad Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London

British mobile giant Three, based their entire advertising campaign on one precocious dancing pony in 2013. That included the Shetland ponies on their websites. Plus, the hashtag #danceponydance on Twitter, and of course the singing pony e-cards.


7. LG “Meteor Prank”

Ad Agency: LG, South Korea

This prank video was uploaded onto YouTube by LG last September 2013, to advertise the picture quality of their high definition TVs. Tricking applicants into thinking it’s the end of the world was a little mean, but very effective as a televised prank.


8. Xbox One “Invitation”

Ad Agency: Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Director: Bryan Buckley

The 2013 commercial for the new Xbox One is an interactive marvel that simulates the experience the game console will give you. Like all commercials, it’s completely exaggerated, but they do a great job showing off all of the special effects.

That’s two for Buckley and Crispin, the masterminds behind Grey Poupon “The Lost Footage.”


9. Skype “Stay Together”

Ad Agency: Pereira & O'Dell

Director: Peking

The video call is arguably one of the most important advances in recent years, and in 2013 Skype was bigger than ever before. Skype produced this compelling real-life story about two best friends with the same medical condition, one in Indiana and the other in New Zealand.


10. Canon “Inspired”

Ad Agency: Grey New York

Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

Although it was produced in 2012, this video stream of romantic imagery won the Emmy for Best Commercial of 2013, making it one of the best commercials of the year. Use a Canon digital camera to capture all of life’s beautiful moments. (See, it even worked on me.)

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