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Commercials don’t need to be over the top and effects-driven to grab an audience’s attention. Sometimes, simple is better, and advertising agencies have proven time and time again that it’s better to outsmart the competition than outspend. Here are ten very clever, and very simple, adverts.

1 – Kettle Chips, ‘Simple is Better’

Perhaps the most appropriate way to kick off this list! This ad uses some charming stop-motion animation of kettle chips moving along a white surface, smarty forming images they do so. The ad’s simplicity matches the simplicity of the ingredients.

2 – The Natural Sweet Company, ‘Contemplative Sweets’

A series of ads rather than just one, these quirky commercials are simply still shots of sweets chatting to each other. They are not animated in any way, but the voice-over acting and writing are funny enough to give the fruity stars huge amounts of character.

3 – Burger King ‘OK Google’

Time constraint is one of the great challenges that advertisers face. But Burger King found a smart way to go around the problem in a 15-second commercial. After telling us that 15 seconds isn’t enough time to explain, a Burger King worker says ‘Ok Google, what’s in a Whopper?’ If the viewer has the popular Google Home device, it will answer the question itself. This ad smartly breaks through the fourth wall and uses new technology to its advantage.  Of course, it would have taken far less than 15 seconds to mention the ingredients, but where’s the fun in that?

4 – Innocent Smoothies – I Love…

There’s nothing like including an animal in an advert to boost the cuteness factor, and this rabbit certainly does the trick. Accompanied by his voice-over narration, the rabbit mentions all the fruits he loves and is delighted to find out they are all included in one smoothie.

5 – Apple, ‘Get a Mac’

These are a series of ads that Apple ran, where two actors represent and a Mac and a PC. ‘Mac’ (Justin Long) is a chilled-out dude, while ‘PC’(John Hodgman) is a pretentious and stuffy bore in a bland suit. Mac is effortlessly better in all kinds of ways, much to the vexation of PC. It’s classic character comedy, and they proved so popular the concept was remade in the UK with comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, of ‘Peep Show’ fame.

6 – Kmart, ‘Ship My Pants’

This is a childish use of wordplay to get cheap laughs… and, damn it, it works! Customers are astounded that they can ‘ship their pants’ right there in the store. You can be certain these ads were hits with school-kids, who discovered a new method to get away with naughty words. Kmart’s ‘Big Gas Savings’ ad is equally hilarious. Two very juvenile commercials, but very very entertaining.

7 – Mercedes-Benz, ‘Chicken’

To advertise the stability of their Magic Body Control suspension system, Mercedes eschewed the traditional suave-man-in-a-suit-explains-while-he-drives route most car companies take and instead presented us with this Chicken-based magic.  It’s truly eggsellent (pun, regrettably, intended).

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