Table of Contents
What’s more meta than watching an ad for an agency that creates ads? That’s exactly what we’re going to do in this article. We’ve collected the best advertising agency ads to get under the skin of how trendsetters serve themselves. And as one can expect, the results are immensely creative. From bombastic showreels to slight WTF, here are the ad agency ads you have to know.
1. Ogilvy – Change Is Our Lifeblood
Why: when the agency has been around for over a century, you gotta show some respect. Ogilvy was founded in the super distant 1850 (yes, 1850, that’s the 19th century without cars and electricity) as a London-based Edmund Mather agency. In 1948 David Ogilvy founded another agency in New York and the two merged in 1968 forming Ogilvy & Maher. The glorious era of advertising followed. And the company still rocks now producing killer campaigns year after year.
As for the “Change is our lifeblood” video, it’s among the best advertising agency ads ever. Ogilvy chooses a minimalist approach and intense Birdman-like drum soundtrack to include the footage from the best-known campaigns they produced. This is a showreel but a showreel of epic proportions for a company that has nothing to prove. We love the storytelling with font and the inspirational element.
2. WPP – Net zero by 2030
Why: crafting simple yet powerful visual stories is always welcome. That’s exactly what London-based WPP does with their “Net zero by 2023” campaign. While there may be different opinions on the whole concept of “net zero”, the fervency of this ad’s delivery and the creative approach to communicating the message wins our praise. The footage is very dynamic, it has several hilarious points to not seem too dull, and, most importantly, it is extremely persuasive. When the clip ends you believe that the company is fully committing to environmental goals and the planet will (maybe) be saved after all.
3. Publicis Groupe – Useful Wishes
Why: one of the most surprising ad agency ads and also quite a powerful PSA, “Useful Wishes” is truly in a league of its own. The video starts quite mundane. Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, the top executives of Paris-based Publicis Groupe, are discussing the successes of 2022 for the company. Then all of a sudden Arthur Sedoun says a phrase that should be inscribed in the pantheon of the most “wait, what” moments in advertising. “Maurice, did you know that 80% of adults have the HPV virus?”. Let us remind you that we’re still watching one of the advertising agency ads. Maurice suggests that the holiday wishes video should rather include something joyful, like a video of minions DJing at a beach party. But the mood is set and Arthur proceeds with facts about the HPV virus.
Just when you thought that the ad was already quite like nothing you’ve seen before… Michael Douglas enters the room. Yes, two Academy Award-winning actor is now discussing cancer with executives. Suddenly, it all starts making sense. For both Douglas and Sadoun, the topic is personal, both have been diagnosed with cancer and are using this platform to raise awareness and promote the vaccination. We think that’s a brilliant ad that is extremely humane, hilarious, and creative at the same time.
Special mention goes to Maurice Lévy’s mispronouncing Michael Douglas’ surname. He’s probably the best-acting Chairman of the Supervisory Board in the world if the chemistry with the Hollywood star seems so effortless.
4. Dentsu VI – Dentsu
Why: the Japanese advertising giant jumps on the AI bandwagon and creates a personalized virtual reality avatar or “virtual identity” as the company calls it. The video is among the best recent ad agency ads. It’s always great to see the companies push the boundaries of the marketing status quo and Dentsu is definitely on the verge here.
AI and AR got really big in 2022-2023 and brands worldwide are increasingly looking for ways to capitalize on this technology. Dentsu VI seems like a great idea to give businesses a more personalized and intimate way to interact with the consumer. Also, it kinda looks like Joi, an AI-powered entity from Denis Villeneuv’s Blade Runner 2049. The future is already here, guys.
5. Disrupt Manifesto – TBWA\
Why: when the man behind Apple’s century-defining “1984” commercial speaks, we listen. The man is Lee Clow and he’s the chairman and global director of American TBWA\Worldwide. One of the finest advertising agency ads ever, “Disrupt Manifesto” is a slow-burning, goosebumps-inducing showreel-like video narrated by Clow that is guaranteed to give you a motivational boost and a desire to disrupt and do the brave things.