Ads for Old Spice body wash, John West salmon and Cadbury chocolate are the most memorable of the 21st century to date, according to the Gunn Report’s list of the 20 best television ads.
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Dumb Ways to Die, the cheerful yet grisly video encouraging Melbourne commuters to be safe around trains, muscled onto a list otherwise dominated by ads produced in the United States and Europe.
The Dumb Ways to Die ad has been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube and depicts a series of “dumb” deaths accompanied by a catchy song.
While Metro Trains had a massive budget to throw at the Dumb Ways to Die campaign, advertising experts believe there are still valuable lessons to learn from the commercial.
These include blurring the lines between advertising and entertainment, and using humour in order to capture attention.
Writing for SmartCompany when Dumb Ways to Die was first released, leadership and communications expert Gabrielle Dolan said the catchy commercial was a “brilliant” way to deliver a message.
“In business, we tend to think that because the message is serious, such as safety, compliance or risk, that the message has to be delivered in a serious, dry manner,” Dolan wrote.
“So with Metro, even though the message is a very serious one of “be safe around trains” it has not been delivered in a serious way – and it works because of that.”
Here are some of the most memorable television commercials of the 21st century, according to the Gunn Report:
1. Dumb Ways to Die
2. John West Salmon
3. Cadbury Diary Milk
4. Old Spice
5. Volvo Trucks