Picks of the decade: top film ads from 2010 to 2019

Campaign went back through the archives to uncover the best film ads of the past 10 years.

Nike: portrayed real Londoners in 2018 campaign
Nike: portrayed real Londoners in 2018 campaign

Campaign has compiled its top TV and cinema ads from the past decade, from John Lewis’ Christmas stronghold and Channel 4's superhumans to Nike's youthful anthem and Marmite’s nation-dividing spread. 

2010: Ikea 'You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties' by Mother

Ikea repurposed Jona Lewie’s 1980s bop You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties to kick off the new decade.

Performed by turn-of-the-decade duo Man Like Me, the ad follows the band as they experience four house parties – or, rather, the kitchens at those parties. Lewie also makes a cheeky appearance during the three-minute video.

Campaign wrote at the time: "The flat-pack furniture giant’s pairing with Mother this year has proved anything is possible. The spot/music video is what all great advertising should aspire to be: stylish, witty and, most importantly, fun."

The work was directed by Kim Gehrig through Academy.

2011: John Lewis 'The long wait' by Adam & Eve

This decade has seen John Lewis dominate the festive season with a series of heart-warming ads, including 2019's "Excitable Edgar".

2011's seminal Christmas ad "The long wait" follows one boy’s impatient countdown to 25 December. Although it’s fair to assume he is excited for Santa’s visit, the spot ends with the boy handing his parents a haphazardly wrapped present. It is set to a cover of Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths.

The campaign led to an impressive 9.6% rise in sales for John Lewis compared with the year before and was named by Adam & Eve co-founder Ben Priest as one of his favourite ads by the agency. It was created by Matt Gay and John Long, and directed by Dougal Wilson through Blink.

This year, Adam & Eve/DDB was named Campaign’s Advertising Agency of the Decade, while John Lewis is Advertiser of the Decade.

2012: Channel 4 'Meet the superhumans' by 4Creative

Channel 4 launched a massive campaign to promote its coverage of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

The spot showcases the efforts and abilities of UK Paralympians across a range of disciplines, including  swimming, wheelchair basketball and athletics.

"Meet the superhumans" was named Campaign of the Year in Campaign’s 2013 Annual after winning the UK’s only Grand Prix at Cannes.

The work was created and directed by Tom Tagholm through 4Creative.

2013: Marmite 'Love it. Hate it. Just don’t forget it' by Adam & Eve/DDB

Marmite spoofed animal-rescue shows as part of a £2m campaign promoting the spread.

The ad follows the dedicated Marmite Rescue Team as they travel across the country saving neglected jars from people's homes.

It provoked more than 500 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, but escaped a ban. The brand went on to create a "Marmageddon" helpline for forgotten jars in 2015.

The work was created by Nick Sheppard and Tom Webber, and directed by James Rouse through Outsider.

2014: Sainsbury’s 'Christmas is for sharing' by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Sainsbury’s cinematic ad for Christmas 2014 commemorated 100 years since the beginning of the First World War, telling the tale of the Christmas Day truce between British and German troops in 1914. 

Despite the ASA getting 727 complaints from the public who found the campaign "distasteful" for its depiction of the war, the ad was the most watched spot on YouTube in 2014 and was named one of Campaign’s best ads of the past 50 years.

It was created by Tim Riley and directed by Ringan Ledwidge through Rattling Stick.

2015: Moneysupermarket.com 'Epic strut' by Mother

Sharon Osbourne lends her shrill voice to narrate Moneysupermarket.com’s "Epic strut".

Reigning supreme as the ASA’s most-complained-about ad of 2015 with 1,513 complaints, it follows a man called Dave who – after saving money on his car insurance – proceeds to strut down the streets of Los Angeles in hot pants and heels.

The ad propelled Moneysupermarket to become Campaign’s Campaign of the Year in 2015, with the brand releasing a a series of sequels in following years.

Campaign wrote at the time: "The casting of Dave and his delicious bottom, matched with tight denim shorts, killer heels and a bootylicious walk as he strutted through Los Angeles, made for a brilliantly fun and memorable ad."

The work was created by Mother and directed by Fredrik Bond through Sonny London.

2016: Channel 4 'We’re the superhumans' by 4Creative

Channel 4 continued the success of its 2012 Paralympics campaign with "We’re the superhumans", which served as a central part of the brand’s Year of Disability.

Set to a cover of Yes I Can by Sammy Davis Jr, the spot features a range of Paralympians alongside disabled musicians as they perform a blend of Herculean and mundane activities, from one-legged long jumps to the weekly grocery shop.

Hailed "a joyous ride from the first frame" by data analyst company Unruly, the film saw Channel 4 crowned Campaign of the Year in 2016.

It was created by Jolyon White and Richard Briggs, and directed by Dougal Wilson through Blink.

2017: Audi 'Clowns' by Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Audi sent in the clowns for a multimillion-pound campaign, courtesy of BBH.

The ad follows a group of reckless clowns as they cause havoc in their comically decorated cars, with all potential road accidents avoided thanks to Audi’s tech-savvy models.

The soundtrack is a cover of Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns, performed by Irish singer Lisa Hannigan.

Deemed by Unruly as a "delightful fantasia of a spot", the ad was named best of the best across all category winners in Campaign’s Creative Grand Prix 2017.

The work was created by Mikael Alcock and Dough Fridlund, and directed by Ringan Ledwidge through Rattling Stick.

2018: Nike 'Nothing beats a Londoner' by Wieden & Kennedy London

Nike celebrated the Big Smoke with a sporty ad, shot on the streets of London, from Dalston to Peckham.

Featuring 258 real young Londoners – as well as cameos from Skepta, Sir Mo Farah, Harry Kane, Dina Asher-Smith and Gareth Southgate – it highlights the enthusiasm, dedication and talent of the capital's youth.

The ad went viral as soon as it launched, with fans including London mayor Sadiq Khan sharing it on Twitter.

Wieden & Kennedy London also bagged a Social & Influencer Grand Prix at Cannes for the campaign. It was created by Tom Bender and Tom Corcoran, and directed by Megaforce through Riff Raff.

2019: Bodyform 'Viva la vulva' by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO

Bodyform hit back against body shaming with a spot celebrating vulvas in all their shapes and sizes. 

Set to Take Yo' Praise, the three-minute film shows a series of avant-garde representations of female genitals – including a grapefruit, conch shell and fortune cookie, all of which sing along to the track. 

The campaign won big at the British Arrows, Brand Film FestivalD&AD Awards and Cannes.

AMV was named Agency of the Year at the Campaign Big Awards, while "Viva la vulva" was the top film ad of 2019.

It was created by Caio Giannella and Diego de Oliveira, and directed by Kim Gehrig through Somesuch.

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