THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best International TV Ads


A man is tagged and then tears through the city trying to tag the next victim. This ad won the Cannes Grand Prix, impressing the judges with the original idea of an entire city playing tag. Another ad "shade running", showed a female runner chasing the shadows so that she was constantly running in the shade. Both ads maintained Nike's tradition of quality advertising.

Country: US

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Portland

Copywriters: Mike Byrne, Kash Sree

Art directors: Monica Taylor, Andy Fackrell

Director: Frank Budgen


With the imperative "tidy up", these ads showed the danger of letting the mess get so bad that you end up eating a shoelace from a smelly pair of trainers instead of spaghetti and getting a fork stuck between your shoulderblades when you're making out on the sofa.

Country: France

Agency: Leagas Delaney Paris Centre

Copywriter: Aude Mee

Art director: Sylvain Thirache


These ads show a poorly made boat wreaking havoc, a leafblower causing destruction in the garden centre and a nail gun firing at an innocent family. Cut to the factory workers where the goods are being made and they're totally engrossed in watching the MCB play-offs on Fox Sports. The slogan reads: "Beware of things made in October."

Country: US

Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day

Copywriter: Scott Wild

Art directors: Eric King, Jeff Labbe


These 15-second spots show a red Toyota Celica parked in American suburbia. "Dog" sees one of our four-legged friends tearing out after the car and then crashing headlong into it. As he walks away despondently, the words "looks fast" flash on screen. In "old man", a neighbourhood busybody yells at the parked car ranting about it being a quiet neigbourhood. Both ads demonstrate the speed of the car without depending on the usual hairpin bend shots.

Country: US

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Copywriter: Sherry Hawkins

Art director: Verner Soler

Director: Chris Smith


Two guys break into their neighbour's house via a partition wall and give their neighbour the fright of her life as she opens up her fridge door and sees a human head nestling next to the six-pack of Bud Light. She screams and her husband jumps up to see what the fuss is about and then screams himself when he sees his beers have been swiped. These cheeky ads from Bud are in keeping with the brand's long-standing tradition.

Country: Canada

Agency: Downtown Partners Toronto

Copywriter: James Lee

Art director: Dan Pawych

Director: Paul Middleditch


After a veritable dousing in Axe (Lynx), our hero is an instant magnet to the laydeez - and a mosquito. A frog munches on the mosquito and, seconds later, he's getting it on with his other half. Cut to a man of mature years munching on a plate of frogs' legs who suddenly becomes irresistible to a passing temptress. After some energetic sex, he ends up in his grave where the maggots, forming a heart shape, are the sign-off to this brilliantly executed ad.

Country: Argentina

Agency: Vegaolmosponce

Copywriter: Pablo Minces

Art director: Norberto Vatrano

Director: Laurence Dunmore


A dog rushes into his house, looks confused, checks he's got the right number and continues to look slightly mystified by his stunning new environment courtesy of Ikea. A simple and subtle idea.

Country: Singapore

Agency: Lowe & Partners

Copywriter: Gwee Wei Ling

Art director: Claire F Chen

Director: Nicholas Reynolds


This thought-provoking ad pays an ironic tribute to Hollywood musicals. Protesters link arms and dance around hospital beds with tobacco company executives who are encouraging them to "focus on the positive" aspects of smoking.

Country: US

Agency: Cripsin Porter & Bogusky Miami

Copywriter: Bob Cianfrone

Art director: Paul Keister

Director: Gareth Francis


A pair of hands and a rack of CDs or DVDs advertise the opening of Fnac in Brasil. The hands go flicking through the CDs or DVDs to the rhythm of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Mission Impossible, Star Wars and Jaws. An efficient idea, executed with economy.

Country: Brazil

Agency: W/Brasil

Copywriter: Rondon Fernandes

Art director: Rodrigo Corbari

Director: Jarbas Agnelli


A young Korean is eyeing up the French fries of the sleeping man next to him on the bus. He grabs one and the bus grinds to a sudden halt, spilling the fries and waking up the sleeping man. He then turns to the young man who offers the only remaining chip. A huge hit in Korea where eating fries on a bus is de rigeur, apparently.

Country: Korea

Agency: Leo Burnett

Copywriter: Hyejin Won

Art director: Myongjin Won

Director: Kyunghyun Park

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