remember me! the best commercials of 2011


by Sofia Qureshi, Graphic Designer

As the year comes to an end, most of us are left with full bellies, empty wallets and having spent a lot of time in front of the TV. Over that time we’ve been blasted with tons of commercials, but do we really remember any of them? Here’s a short, sweet list of  the most creative and memorable ads of 2011. Why do I have the authority to say they are the best of 2011? Nostradamus predicted it. And if it’s online, it’s gospel.


Drumroll please….da-da-da-da-da-da-da-dummm.


Nokia: Smart Data

It may seem simple at first but if you watch more than the first few seconds you’ll see this ad is deep. The use of basic shapes and analog symbols greatly illustrates how Nokia’s system helps make the mountains of data that surround us more useful through better personalization of services.

Each frame transitions seamlessly into the next, drawing the viewer into a world like that of a childhood picture book. No text is used and everything is illustrated with simple vector graphics, vivid colors and soothing narrative. The brilliant script and narration combined with beautiful colors and imagery help make this advertisement memorable.

Mercedes: Escape The Map

Those crazy Brits do it again. Although you won’t see this ad on TV (it was for an online microsite), we’ll let it slide since it is freaking awesome. Set in a video game-like atmosphere packed with ominous scenery and grim music, the ad pulls the consumer in with its unusual point of view (first person). You almost instantly feel less like someone is trying to sell you something and more like you’re being entertained. You’ll notice after the first few seconds you actually become vested in the story. What’s going on here? Is this a preview for a movie? Will they make it? More movie than ad, this spot gets a big thumbs up from for its out-of-the-box approach to marketing a car.

If you go to the microsite, you are forced to interact with the ad…or Maria gets blurred. Oh, and buy a Mercedes.

Kia Sol : Party Rock Anthem

Kia’s dancing hamsters are back…and doing The Shuffle. But of course they’re back. Hamsters breed like…uh, hamsters, and people like them. In a second carnation of the popular rodents, the ad begins in a war-torn, video game-like world where everything is gray and bleak—That is until the bright green Kia Sol and its passenger hamsters arrive.

Like the original spot, the furry animals dance to the infectious Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. Though, the Kia Hampsters are nothing new, this ad makes the list because not only is there a pop-culture reference, but also a video game reference and appeals to a larger audience than its last commercial. The ad went viral, had dozens of people “shuffling” and even more wishing they had their own dancing hamsters.

Chipotle: Back To The Start

The best spots are the ones that tell a story—And this spot tells a good one without saying a single word (excluding the music, of course). Using Coldplay’s familiar and magnetic song The Scientist, the spot turns the tune on its head by having Willie Nelson cover it, changing the style of music from alternative rock to country. The visuals are anything but typical and open on a cartoon-like world that narrates a wonderful story. There isn’t any narration in the entire spot, thus relying solely on the music and graphics to tell the story of creating a better world. Not long after watching this spot, reports began surfacing that it made me cry like a baby. I can neither confirm nor deny those reports at this time.

Well, there you have it—The best commercials of 2011 as chosen by me and predicted byNostradamus…or something like that. Now on to 2012!

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