15 of the best


Every now and then, it’s good to down tools and fill up the inspiration tank. So last week we sat down and went through Ad Age’s top 15 campaigns of the 21st century.

Some of them we recognised. Lots of them we didn’t. But we all came away inspired, smiling and reminded of why we love doing what we do.

As part of this, everyone was asked to think about their favourite ad and jot down some thoughts on why they liked it. Here’s a taste of what people said.


My favourite ad is Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. I love the sense of humour, and how it pokes fun at the sexist ads that have been so commonplace in male bodycare advertising *cough*Lynx*cough*.


Dumb ways to die. It’s a classic and a fantastic public service ad. The song sticks in your brain, while the graphics juxtapose horrible and ridiculous deaths with cutie pie imagery. Memorable in a way many ads are not anymore.


My favourite idea was the 'Whasssup' campaign for Budweiser. I love the fun, playful nature of it and how you sort of can't not smile while watching it. Also love how it caught on and within weeks young men all around the world were 'Whasssup'ing.


My Favourite advert is the Dove ‘Campaign for Real Beauty – Onslaught’. It was particularly effective as it shows how the beauty industry can be quite persuasive on what you should look like in society. But Dove showed everyone that natural beauty is more beautiful. It encourages young girls and women to have more self-esteem with no insecurities about their own beauty and natural bodies and to embrace it fully.


My favourite was the Chipotle 'Back to the start' ad. A super simple idea executed and animated beautifully. It takes the viewer on a heart-wrenching journey, from free-range to factory and back again. When it's over, you're left with a tear in your eye but a smile on your face. 

Check them out yourself.

You can find Ad Age’s top 15 campaigns of the 21st century below. So grab a drink, take a look and let us know what you think!

Matt Watts