Video Content

25 Best Commercial Ads of All Time (2024)

Laura Chaves
April 8, 2024

The State of Video in 2024

Imagine your commercial ad being the talk of the town, shared on social media, and sparking conversations everywhere. That kind of buzz is priceless!

But it’s not just about getting noticed—it’s about making a lasting impression. The best commercial ads stick in people’s minds long after seeing them, creating brand recognition and loyalty.

Here are the most captivating and unforgettable ads that will make you laugh, cry, and leave you with questions, thoughts, and maybe even a few goosebumps.


    Top 25 Commercial Advertisements of All Time

    1. “Dumb Ways to Die” (Metro)

    Brand: Metro Line

    Number of Engagements: 303+ million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: “Dumb Ways to Die” ad aired in 2012, and it quickly became a hit with its funny and colorful characters.

    The funny ad showed these characters meeting silly, exaggerated deaths while singing a catchy song. But here’s the surprising part: it was a public service announcement for train safety [1]!

    Instead of a boring safety message, the viral video used humor and fun to grab people’s attention. And guess what? It worked! More than 127 million folks pledged to be safer around trains after watching it.

    2. “Magical Place” (Toys R Us)

    Brand: Toys R Us

    Number of Engagements: 281,123+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: The beloved ad we’re talking about first hit the screens in 1989. Decades later, Toys R Us decided to give it a fresh spin to celebrate its 25th year in the UK. And boy, it did bring back memories!

    The catchy soundtrack made the ad campaign popular and remarkable. Scientists say music can light up our brains like fireworks, especially the part responsible for emotions and memories. That’s probably why those catchy jingles on commercials stick with us for years.

    3. Red Bull Barber Shop

    Brand: Red Bull

    Number of Engagements: 19,000+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Red Bull’s commercials are unlike any other, and their animated style is instantly recognizable. You see one, and you know it’s theirs—that’s what makes them some of the best ads ever.

    One of their funniest ads features three barber shops, but instead of the usual signs, one says “entrance” and boasts, “Red Bull gives you wings.” It’s a humorous twist on a TV commercial that leaves you chuckling.

    4. “The Last Game” (Nike)

    Brand: Nike

    Number of Engagements: 872,000+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Clocking in at 5 minutes, some might consider it lengthy for an ad. But the concept of time fades away when immersed in such a gripping narrative with famous characters and breathtaking visuals.

    This ad feels more like a captivating short film than a traditional advertisement. With a crew of over 300 professionals working tirelessly for over three months, it’s no wonder it’s considered one of the best commercial ads ever.

    This piece has gorgeous animations, iconic characters, and a thrilling storyline that draws you in completely and makes you forget about the ad’s length.

    5. Cog

    Brand: Honda

    Number of Engagements: 13+ million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Released in 2009, the two-minute video ad cleverly presents Honda Accord parts interacting with each other like a Rube Goldberg machine.

    The ad’s sole purpose is to capture your attention – and it succeeds brilliantly. After all, you watched the whole thing, didn’t you? It’s so satisfying to watch that you might find yourself hitting replay repeatedly.

    It’s remarkable how seamlessly everything falls into place, leaving you feeling pure satisfaction. Isn’t it nice when things… work?

    6. Cadbury Aliens

    Brand: Cadbury

    Number of Engagements: 129 million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Released in 2016, this TV commercial proves that even the craziest ideas can capture an audience’s attention.

    In just 40 seconds, the short video showcases the product’s texture and flavor playfully, featuring aliens dancing to show how good it is. The ad’s quirky charm and captivating visuals linger in our minds, making it a memorable and effective piece of advertising.

    7. Our Blades are F***ing Great

    Brand: Dollar Shave Club

    Revenue Generated: $1 billion

    Number of Engagements: 28 million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Here’s one of the best commercials that catapulted a virtually unknown startup into the spotlight, making them the talk of the advertising world since 2012.

    Moreover, it led to a staggering $1 billion acquisition later! It’s truly impressive how popular commercials could achieve such incredible results.

    Also read: Controversial Commercials of All Time

    8. “Back to the Start” (Chipotle)

    Brand: Chipotle

    Number of Engagements: 561,000+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Chipotle’s animated ad is a heartwarming portrayal of the company’s dedication to sustainable farming. A more uplifting approach proved to be immensely successful.

    Chipotle’s commercial resonated with audiences by offering a refreshing departure from the norm. The choice of music heightens the ad’s emotional impact – a country cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” by Willie Nelson.

    9. Amazon Appstore

    Brand: Amazon

    Number of Engagements: 3,500+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Amazon Appstore has one of the coolest commercial ads online. The great commercial earned its place among the best as it brings the brand’s message to life and makes complicated service descriptions interesting and easy to understand.

    The colorful animations and smooth transitions keep you glued to the screen, ensuring you don’t miss a thing.

    10. Google Home Alone

    Brand: Google

    Number of Engagements: 7+ million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Who doesn’t love a blast from the past? I know I do, and so do many others. Google tapped into ’90s nostalgia to create videos that resonate with the target audience.

    But here’s the twist: imagine if Kevin [2] had access to Google Assistant to set up his traps and defense strategies!

    It’s a fun and nostalgic trip down memory lane, reminding us of a beloved classic while showcasing Google’s innovative technology.

    11. “Get Some Nuts” (Snickers)

    Brand: Snickers

    Number of Engagements: 3.3+ million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: As the world’s best-selling candy bar, Snickers could get away with simple, no-frills or no ads.

    Instead, Snickers goes all out with wild and the best commercials, like this one from 2007 featuring the A-Team’s own Mr. T.

    Picture this: Mr. T bursting onto a football pitch in a tank, yelling and tossing a Snickers bar at a player faking an injury. It’s so outrageous that you can’t help but be shocked, laugh, and reach for a Snickers.

    12. The Force

    Brand: Volkswagen

    Number of Engagements: 17 million views

    What Made It Popular: This ad featured a cute kid, a humorous storyline, and even a Star Wars reference—the perfect ingredients for one of the best Super Bowl commercials.

    Volkswagen’s decision to release the ad online before the big game was bold, especially considering they hadn’t aired a Super Bowl spot in over a decade. They knew they were up against stiff competition from other automakers with bigger Super Bowl ads.

    And boy, did it pay off! The memorable ad racked up 17 million views before kickoff, essentially paying for itself before the game started.

    13. “She’s Always a Woman” (John Lewis)

    Brand: John Lewis

    Number of Engagements: 2.2+ million views

    What Made It Popular: The “Always a Woman” ad focuses on a woman’s journey through life, depicting key moments from childhood to adulthood. It is one of the emotional commercials in this line-up.

    The great ad is accompanied by a poignant cover version of Billy Joel’s “She’s Always a Woman,” performed by Fyfe Dangerfield, heightening the story’s emotional resonance.

    Its sweeping narrative captures the essence of the John Lewis brand, highlighting themes of love, family, and the passage of time.

    John Lewis is renowned for its emotionally charged Christmas commercials, designed to pull at viewers’ heartstrings. This approach makes the ad much more memorable and impactful.

    14. They Do Exist!

    Brand: m&m

    Number of Engagements: 1.4+ million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: I’m sure you’ve seen this ad before. It’s an iconic piece that aired annually for over 25 years! Pretty crazy, right? Not many commercials have a lasting impact, so it is one of the best commercials of all time.

    Even more impressive is that this ad is only 15 seconds long, so there’s little time to convey a message. It’s a timeless classic, one of the funniest commercials of all time, and it continues to bring joy year after year.

    15. “Get Shaved in the Head” (Old Spice)

    Brand: Old Spice

    Number of Engagements: 33,873 views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Released in 2014, Terry Crews became the face of Old Spice for a decade, starring in numerous hilarious video ads like the one above.

    This hilarious ad is memorable for its funny and bizarre contrast featuring Terry Crews and his energetic and boisterous delivery.

    Terry Crews’s larger-than-life personality and comedic skills brought excitement and humor to Old Spice’s advertising campaigns, replacing the previous, more conventional approach.

    16. Rock, Paper, Scissors

    Brand: Android

    Number of Engagements: 191,000+ views

    What Made It Popular: The best commercial ads often break the mold, and this piece from Android is a perfect example. Instead of the usual smartphone-related ad, Android featured animated characters coming together to combat bullying.

    The commercial ad is so good that it goes beyond simply selling a product. Instead, it aims to connect with the audience and share the company’s values.

    By focusing on a meaningful message rather than pushing a product, Android creates a deeper emotional connection with viewers and demonstrates its commitment to important social issues.

    17. “Alexa Loses her Voice” (Amazon)

    Brand: Amazon

    Number of Engagements: 1.3+ million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: This Amazon video debuted during the 2017 Super Bowl, and the ad features a star-studded cast.

    The premise, centered around Alexa losing her voice, is original and humorous, but the celebrity guests in the Super Bowl ad take it to another level.

    From Gordon Ramsay’s classic insult to Anthony Hopkins reprising his role as Hannibal Lecter and even Jeff Bezos making an appearance, this Super Bowl ad is undoubtedly one of the best commercials ever.

    18. Evil Is Back for Good

    Brand: General Motors

    Number of Engagements: 1000+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: This commercial ad returned everyone’s favorite movie villain to our TV screens.

    Unlike other TV commercials, this piece is ingenious because it highlights the company’s line of electric cars and eco-conscious focus without being overly promotional.

    The best part? Watching for audiences of all kinds is delightful and thoroughly entertaining.

    19. “Gorilla” (Cadbury) Ad Campaign

    Brand: Cadbury

    Number of Engagements: 902,000+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: This ad is one of the most famous of all time and was voted the nation’s favorite by the British public. It features a man in a gorilla suit playing “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

    Surprisingly, this ad has nothing to do with chocolate! Yet, it captured people’s hearts and boosted Cadbury’s sales by 9%, helping the brand recover from a salmonella scare.

    However, Rumbol notes that other brands often seek similar unconventional approaches since the ad’s tremendous success. “Give me a gorilla” has become a catchphrase in marketing circles, reflecting the enduring impact of this iconic advertisement.

    20. “Don’t Drink & Drive” (Budweiser)

    Brand: Budweiser

    Number of Engagements: 25,000+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: Released six years ago, this beer commercial skillfully manipulates viewers’ emotions. It starts with an endearing montage of familiar moments shared between dog owners and their beloved pets, creating a sense of warmth and connection.

    Unlike other beer commercials, this clever approach spreads an important message for those who love to drink beer, ensuring that it resonates deeply with audiences long after the ad has ended.

    21. “Thank You Mama” (P&G)

    Brand: P&G

    Number of Engagements: 1.6+ million views on YouTube, 76 billion impressions, over 74 million views, and a staggering 370,000,000 Twitter interactions

    What Made It Popular: Released to coincide with the 2010 Winter Olympics, this ad feels more like a short film portraying the sacrifices and dedication of mothers in their children’s lives.

    From a commercial standpoint, this ad proved to be a game-changer for P&G. It became the most successful global campaign in the company’s 175-year history, resulting in $500 million in global incremental P&G sales. Its impact was truly remarkable.

    22. This Is a Special Time Video Ad

    Brand: Little Baby’s Ice Cream

    Number of Engagements: 20+ million views

    What Made It Popular: We have a commercial ad distinguishing between weird and disturbing. For many, it is one of the weirdest commercials aired. The premise is simple: an ice cream creature is eating its head with a spoon.

    Honestly, it’s a bit weird and haunting, but the effective ad deserves recognition among the best commercials precisely because of its bizarre nature.

    23. “The Epic Split” (Volvo Trucks)

    Brand: Volvo Trucks

    Number of Engagements: 110+ million views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: When Volvo aimed to showcase the stability and precision of the dynamic steering in their trucks, they brainstormed various approaches.

    However, they found no better way than featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme performing his iconic splits while delivering a motivational speech to the soothing sounds of Enya in the background.

    Released a decade ago, the Car Company video is close to marketing perfection! Audacious ideas can seize attention and leave a lasting impact, even for smaller brands.

    24. “Hare Jordan” (Nike)

    Brand: Nike

    Number of Engagements: 129,000+ views on YouTube

    What Made It Popular: While this may resemble a Space Jam advertisement, it’s older than the movie! (Ouch, that hurts to admit!)

    Upon its release in 1993, it offered something fun and universal appeal to parents and children.

    Parents were drawn in by the presence of the legendary Michael Jordan, while kids enjoyed seeing the Looney Tunes characters interacting with real-life props and scenarios.

    25. “Colour Like No Other” (Sony Bravia)

    Brand: Sony Bravia

    Number of Engagements: 

    What Made It Popular: Many people own a television, making it seem easy to market and sell them. However, the challenge lies in how to make your product stand out.

    Sony is one of the best TV ads that focuses on color. It did so in a unique and creative way that garnered a lot of buzz and attention for its brand.

    The mesmerizing footage was captured over four days using one hill in San Francisco, 250,000 bouncy balls, six takes, and 23 camera people.


    What is the most famous commercial of all time?

    One of the most famous commercials of all time is the M&M commercial titled “He Exists,” originally aired in 1996. In this iconic ad, the red M&M character faints after realizing that people are eating him, and he exclaims, “They do exist!”

    This memorable and humorous commercial videography contributed to the enduring popularity of M&M’s brand.

    Which ads are most effective?

    Various metrics, such as brand recall, purchase intent, and return on investment, can measure ad effectiveness.

    Some ads that are often cited as highly effective include Budweiser’s “Whassup?” campaign, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, Coca-Cola Company ad, Burger King, Nope, it’s a Tide Ad, and Puppy Monkey Baby, McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign.

    What is an example of a commercial advertisement?

    An example of a commercial advertisement could be a television spot promoting a product or service, a sponsored post on social media, a billboard displaying a brand’s message, or a radio ad with retro music airing during a broadcast.

    What is the oldest commercial ad?

    The oldest recognized television commercial dates back to July 1st, 1941, in New York City. It was broadcast by WNBT (now WNBC channel four) for the watchmaker Bulova, airing just before a baseball game [3].

    Key Takeaways

    The world of commercial advertising is rich with creativity, innovation, and memorable moments.

    From iconic campaigns that have stood the test of time to groundbreaking ads, the best commercial ads leave a lasting impact on audiences around the globe.

    What do you think is the best commercial ad ever made and why? Share with Vidico your favorite commercial, along with what makes it stand out in your eyes.


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