Most emotional commercials...another survey.

So, we've solved the most epic commercials quandry. As well as the funniest. Now, here's another "most" survey.

What are the most successful emotional commercials you've ever seen? What come to mind for me are the eToys campaign from a few years ago. Some of Hill Holliday's work for John Hancock Financial Services also comes to mind.

(For purposes of this survey, I think we should omit public service ads. While some of the Australian drunk driving commercials and American AIDS awareness commercials pull some heart strings, I think it's harder to do a commercial for, say, a baby food that doesn't just reek of stale cheese.)

What do you all think?


eToys - Snorkel

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Comments (11)

  • concernedadguy's picture

    Ah yes, Hallmark. A couple of years ago in my old agency we were doing the pizzas and beers thing and watching one of the international reels, (maybe Shots, maybe some awards reel) and an ad came on which featured a now-grown up ex-student returning to her college professor (I think he was retiring or dying or something) with a Hallmark card, which, as the dialogue told us, was a token of thanks for his inspirational teaching and the profound effect he had on her life. We chewed on our cooling pizza slices in expectation of the gag that had to give some sort of point to this sickeningly po-faced sentimentapalooza. It never came.
    Quite put me off my fourth slice of thin crust pepperoni onion and olive.
    I see your "used and dirty" and raise you "used, dirty and nauseous".

    Sep 03, 2005
  • johndoom's picture

    I know you asked not to include any public service ads and that also probably means charity ads, but I just can*t resist mentioning the RSPCA ad that aired a couple of years ago. It featured a little doggy whose thoughts we heard in voiceover - all about how he and his "friend" (owner) used to go on long walks and how much he liked that. About how his "friend" doesn*t seem to have too much time for him any more, but wait - he*s bringing him out on another walk! Hurray! it will be just like the old times. Except his friend has brought him for a walk by a river; his friend is putting him into a bag. It*s dark and cold. He*s scared...he doesn*t understand this game...he doesn*t like it in there...

    I used to see this ad from the comfort of my sofa usually in a fragile state on a Saturday morning having had a tipple or two the night before. It was always guaranteed to reduce me to tears (clever media buying, that).

    Sep 19, 2005
  • concernedadguy's picture

    Wow. I almost cried reading your description of it. Sounds powerful.

    Sep 22, 2005
  • SupaDawg's picture

    Any idea where I could find this ad? I*m intrigued.

    Sep 26, 2005
  • Brianmcarr's picture

    Crumbs my first proper visit here and I am wet eyed. It would have been a real hazard as a radio ad. Not suitable listening for emotional softies in lane 3 M25 on a dark wet night............especially if followed by Sinead O*Connor and a cig falling in your lap. cry

    Oct 16, 2005
  • johndoom's picture

    Damn, I've looked all over and can*t find this ad - now that I've reduced so many hardbitten ad hacks to tears merely describing it, I figured the least I could do was traumatise you all permanently by making you actually watch it. Fairly sure it was the RSPCA, which would mean it was probably done by AMV London, but neither site helps.
    And as for Sinead O'Connor and a cigarette falling in your lap - that*s just crazy talk. She doesn't smoke.

    Oct 17, 2005
  • LPikon's picture

    >>So, we've solved the most epic commercials quandry. As well as the funniest. Now, here*s another "most" survey.
    >>What are the most successful emotional commercials you've ever seen?

    I*m assuming that by *emotional* they don*t have to be *tear jerkers* right? Because if that is the case, it does kind of limit this cold heart to some charity work and social marketing / public service ones.
    There are however, some *commercial-commercials* that can grab me, and I think the main components of ads that work on me in that way are
    -Music, a great sound bed can lift an ad
    -Subject matter such as good old sporting patriotism, or the being away from home stuff.
    Examples that do this very well in my mind include Saatchi*s Telecom NZ*s "Keep in Touch" campaign from a couple of years ago, especially the one about the bloke who*s on business in China, his *liddle wifey* is stuck at home, pregnant. He gets back to his hotel, hooks up onto his email and... she*s emailed him a piccy of her upheld hand, he places his hand onto the screen, sighs, smiles and the "Keep in Touch endline comes up..... sniff, it*s just beautiful thing!
    Another great Telecom NZ one was all about *Good ol* Kiwis* doing great things internationally, all by having a website - well produced, but made ace by the use of a classic music track from the 80*s called *Life*s what you make it* by Talk Talk.
    And finally, just to show my true colours - there*s many an All Blacks rugby related ad that can make the hairs on the back of my neck stand-up on end (well, I no longer have any hair on the top of my head)
    Nitey nite

    Oct 24, 2005
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified) One of the best ads I have ever seen. The music ("devenire") is astounding and the ad provokes strong emotion

    Mar 14, 2013
  • caffeinegoddess's picture

    A couple weeks ago while flipping through channels I came across a spot for Hallmark that could be considered a "most emotional". They are spots which tell stories of people and hallmark cards. The spot I saw was "Paula and Tiffany". The thing is, at the end of the spot I felt sort of used and dirty.
    See the spots here at hallmark's site

    Dec 07, 2005
  • Dabitch's picture

    We have the Best job in the world ad here you know, no need to add (I presume *your*) Vimeo channel link to a 6-year old thread like some linkspammer. And since that Vimeo-account is Dutch, and isn't called "w+k portland" or "Procter & Gamble" it means that they broke the Vimeo TOS by uploading that clip there. It's been flagged as "user did not make this". Have a good day.

    Mar 14, 2013