Viewers around the world are compelled by ads that tickle their curiosity. Constant exposure to tons of visual content, audiences are getting smarter and savvier. They are left bored of the usual ad images — cool cars, shiny hair, amazing beers and all things spectacular that have now become the norm. Providing a little bit of glance at the “behind-the-scenes”, playing with the stereotypes of commercials, or personalizing the techniques and brands make the commercial likable, funny, and more importantly, authentic. Such ad campaigns become viral and introduce a new pop culture or memes. They become subjects in conversations that flood social media. We want to share what makes these ad campaigns the favorites amongst millions of viewers. Let’s take a look back and see what made them special.

“Alexa Loses Her Voice”

The first campaign is a funny and gorgeous one by Amazon. Alexa loses her voice in this world — and Amazon executives come up with an idea to solve the problem. Now Hollywood stars such as Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson and Anthony Hopkins try taking over Alexa and — spectacularly fail.

With a lot of cameos and multiple situations, this advertisement stirs up the audiences’ curiosity. The audience start questioning, “who’s coming next?”, “what’s happening next?”. And this fantastical situation makes the audience think – “isn’t it so funny if the machine connects me to these celebrities?” and then, “what if I use Alexa?”. When the viewers start imagining themselves in similar situations using the product the campaign’s goal is achieved.

“It’s Yet Another Tide Ad”

This is an amusing, clever, meta-commercial. The first image looks like a car commercial– with David Harbour in the driver’s seat of a fancy car. However, the scene transitions and Harbour is now sitting at a bar with his peers – this scene resembles a beer commercial. Then he’s popping out of a clamshell in a white suit. Yes, this Tide commercial mimics many “typical ads” of various products. And then Harbour finally reveals he is, in fact, the pitchman for Tide.

Harbour tells us that all the commercials are “Tide commercials”. How come? Because all the characters are wearing clean clothing.

Thus, this Tide ad makes us unable to avoid connecting every clean clothing to the Tide brand or products. This ad made me want to say “you got me!” but in a pleasant, funny way.

“Hair You Can Believe”

This ad starts with these images of typical hair commercials. Shiny, gorgeous, wavy hair. And they start revealing the crazy tricks by hair brands to make these perfect images. They are actually very disturbing and deceiving. We might even feel upset. However, after showing these extreme hacks, Suave declares that they had a different idea and had their models style their own hair on set. Seeing the Suave models’ happy, relaxed atmosphere, we, the viewers get positive feelings for Suave’s more authentic advertising than those perfect, fake ad images. Authenticity always wins.

“Raising Voices”

This is a staff’s pick. In this simple yet strong ad, children – mostly girls — ask straightforward questions about the prejudice and stereotypes, including “why are almost all superheroes men?” and “why have there been so many male presidents, but so few women?”

When the children ask their honest feelings, we, the audience, feel embarrassed and often ashamed of this world and ourselves, who are taking the gender inequality for granted. Brands who support social and moral advocacies help shape brand perception and the message they stand for.

We introduced four works from this years’ ad campaigns. They are very different but they all value the viewers’ experiences, beliefs and their emotions.

Hideoki Productions is expanding its roots in the world of narrative. Besides producing various visual contents, we also co-ideate the wider storytelling, including the concepts and the viewers’ experiences.

We work together with our clients to help bring their brands more relevant, relatable and often touching.