Adweek Names The Year’s Best Commercial, And It’s All About Sacrifice

As it does each year, Adweek has run down the best commercials of 2016. Among the top ten were quite a few familiar spots from the year. Wes Anderson’s H&M Christmas ad with Adren Brody landed at number five, for instance. Meanwhile, OK Go’s splendid music video for Morton Salt — which saw the band set off 4 seconds of explosions only to slow them down to create a four-minute music video — landed at number eight. Number ten went to Taylor Swift’s Apple spot, which saw her listening to Drake while on the treadmill, an ad that not only helped promote Apple but that led to a jump in album sales for Drake.

This year’s best Super Bowl commercial, a simple-stripped down ad for Jeep, landed at number six. Elsewhere, the year’s most chilling and surprising ad was from a non-profit led by the family of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and it will shock viewers.

My personal favorite ad of the year was Spike Jonze’s terrific Walken-esque perfume ad with The Leftovers‘ Margaret Qualley, which landed at number seven and deserves to be seen again.

The year’s top ad, however, went to the sports and apparel company Under Armour for their “Rule Yourself” spot with Michael Phelps, which premiered before this year’s Rio Olympics. As Adweek writes:

The best ad of 2016 pulled a remarkable disappearing act, taking one of the world’s most famous athletes and dramatizing his solitude, his pain and his sacrifice away from the spotlight. And it did so with a haunting beauty that wrapped the hardship in romance, illuminating the athlete’s love of a sport whose cruelties have also brought fame, fortune and 28 Olympic medals.

While it doesn’t advertise any one product, it does a hell of a job in branding Under Armour. It’s a powerful ad that will make anyone think twice before deciding to become an Olympic athlete.

Check out Adweek’s full list of the year’s best ads.