See the rest of TIME’s Top 10 of Everything 2013 lists here
10. Volvo Trucks: The Epic Split
Jean-Claude Van Damme did the splits between two Volvo Trucks to the tune of Enya in this bizarre, but instantaneously viral, commercial. It was viewed more than 50 million times in less than two weeks.
Ad Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors
9. GoldieBlox: “Girls”
Little girls smashed gender stereotypes to smithereens in a commercial for GoldieBlox, an engineering-themed board game for girls that found funding through a successful KickStarter campaign. Pink toys get destroyed to the tune of the Beastie Boys’ “Girls,” repurposing an anti-feminist song into a girl-power war cry. If it wins a Intuit sponsored competition, the commercial could secure a free slot in the 2014 Super Bowl.
Ad Agency: the Academy
8. Kmart: “Ship my Pants”
While having shoppers of all ages and races repeat the “ship my pants” catchphrase — which sounds a lot like… you know — to tout Kmart’s free delivery program might seem sophomoric, it certainly resonated with consumers and gave the struggling store a younger and relevant look.
Ad Agency: DraftFCB Chicago
7. Pepsi Max: “Test Drive”
One of the most prominent commercial trends of 2013 has been prankvertising, in which brands record tricks they play on potential consumers to share with the people of the Internet. One of the best examples of this was when Pepsi Max had racecar driver Jeff Gordon disguise himself and give a used car salesman the most terrifying, high-octane test drive of his life. Although there has been speculation that the salesman was in on it, the prank still made for great entertainment.
Ad Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day LA
6. John Lewis: “Bear and the Hare”
An English retailer created one of the most touching commercials of the year for the holiday season. The intricately animated ad, reportedly costing more than $11 million, follows the relationship of a rabbit and his bear friend, who always misses Christmas due to hibernation. Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know,” sung by Lily Allen, provides a soundtrack to the sentimental two-minute ad that shows how the hare gives his friend a gift to remember.
Ad Agency: adam&eve DDB
5. Budweiser : “Brotherhood”
Ridley Scott’s son, Jake, directed Budweiser’s 2013 Super Bowl spot that explored the close relationship between a Clydesdale foal and his trainer. The animal star of the film was born only seven days before the commercial was filmed.
Ad Agency: Anomaly
4. Skype: “Stay Together”
As a part of its “Stay Together” campaign, Skype told the true-life story of how two girls born without full arms, one from New Zealand and the other from Indiana, supported each other throughout adolescence via the video chat program. The three-minute video of their first time physically reuniting provided for some of the best, experiential advertising of 2013.
Ad Agency: Pereira & O’Dell
3. Geico: “Hump Day”
Geico’s “Hump Day” commercial, in which a hilarious spokes-camel runs through an office celebrating the middle of the week, was so popular that a Connecticut middle school banned students from quoting it while on campus. The day-related trigger encouraged viewers to send the spot to friends every Wednesday, which according to Unruly Media helped secure its spot as the most shared ad of 2013.
Ad Agency: The Martin Agency
2. Ram Trucks: “The Farmer”
Avoiding explosions, talking animals and other Super Bowl commercial tropes, Ram Trucks captured 108 million football watchers’ attention with its simple tribute to the American farmer. A slideshow of photographs played alongside audio of deceased radio host Paul Harvey reading a speech about farmers became one of the most memorable ads of the year.
Ad Agency: The Richards Group
1. Dove: “Real Beauty”
Since its April YouTube release, almost 60 million people have watched Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches,” in which an FBI-trained sketch artist was asked to draw women based on their own self-perceptions and then that of total strangers. Not only were strangers’ descriptions more stereotypically attractive, but they were also more accurate. The message that women are overly critical of their own beauty was contagious.
Ad Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Brazil
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