In March, we highlighted five minimalist print ads that were both aesthetically pleasing and effective. It’s difficult to achieve the same design in television commercials, so advertisers go for a smart hook or angle to win over viewers. They’re also willing to pay massive bucks to do so. According to, a 30-second spot during the Super Bowl cost almost $4 million and companies weren’t afraid immediately to buy out the space.

But big budget or not, some commercials rise above the others concerning originality and concept.

1. ‘Ship My Pants’ (Kmart)

Looming in Wal-Mart’s shadow, big box retailer Kmart went for gold with their latest “ship my pants” campaign. The play on words speaks for itself, and it’s a bold and hilarious move from the company relatively unknown for successful advertising. The commercial even concludes with a “#shipmypants” Twitter hash. It will be entertaining to see if this helps Kmart cover any ground against Target and Wal-Mart.

2. ‘Smell Like a Man’ (Old Spice)

With its campaign of new commercials, Old Spice transformed from your father’s cologne to a trendy new product that appealed to younger buyers. This commercial is one of many that helped Old Spice reinvent itself into the brand it is today.

3. ‘Touch Turns to Skittles’ (Skittles)

One of my personal favorites, this commercial has it all — it’s funny, awkwardly dark, and the special effects are just enough to deliver a good punch. Skittles is a brand known for funny commercials and this one sites exceptionally high on the list.

4. ‘Embrace Life’ (Sussex Safer Roads)

Clever advertising isn’t always about humor. This public service announcement will hit home with any family man watching, giving the message always to wear your seatbelt. It’s simple, light on effects, serious and to the point. And in the end it makes for a great and effective ad.

5. ‘The Next Big Think is Already Here’ (Samsung)

Samsung and Apple have been locked in a heated rivalry for years. Ongoing patent lawsuits keep the two companies combatant in the court room, and competing smartphones keep them head-to-head in the marketplace. Since 2007, Apple’s iPhone has dominated the race, and in many ways still does. But Samsung’s newest creation, the Galaxy S3, wants to change that. The newest series of ads targets the exact fans who devote themselves to the cult-like tech company, and the results are hilarious.

6. ‘Dikembe Mutombo’ (Geico)

If you were an NBA fan in the late ’90s than you know all about the dominance of big man Dikembe Mutombo; But even more known were his taunting finger waves after shooters were denied entrance to the basket. Geico, known for their funny commercials, hired Mutombo to run around town, blocking any objects that stood in his way.

Bonus: Take a look at Mutombo blocking NBA legends like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

7. ‘Our Blades are F***ing Great’ (

This commercial was a viral sensation in 2012. So successful, in fact, that it drew more than 10 million hits on YouTube and actually overflowed the website with potential customers when the video launched. The best part? Not a dime spent on television advertising. That’s success you literally cannot buy.



Author: Bj Decker As an actor for TV and commercials, BJ can appreciate the effort and time that goes into producing a great television show.