Ads worth having a little chat about

Last week TED announced its ten Ads Worth Spreading (AWS) – commercials they believe inspired, moved and helped “reset world views”. While the spots from the likes of P&G and Dove are heart-warming (or nauseating depending on your tolerance for schmaltz and piano soundtracks) their world-shifting-ness is less certain. It also begs the question of whether a mere ad can ever really shift things that fundamentally. You can make up your own mind by taking a look at TED’s AWS here. Meanwhile, here’s our list of ads from recent times that didn’t necessarily change the world but did perhaps shift views a little. Sainsbury’sGood Values (2014)

With the message “Because good value can mean good values”, Sainsbury’s TV campaign for its Value range sets out to show that cheap shouldn’t mean nasty. With Asda, Tesco and Morrison’s continuing to aggressively compete on cost, it’s encouraging to see the other member of ‘the big four’ reminding shoppers that the ethics of a product should count for just as much as its price. Save The ChildrenMost Shocking Second A Day (2014)

We have to mention this – the 90 second ad from Save the Children that brings the plight of Syria’s children home, literally, by transporting the war zones of Syria to suburban Britain. It’s a powerful analogy and, with 27 million views and counting since its release earlier this month, a film that seems to have struck a chord with UK (and global) audiences. Channel 4 ParalympicsMeet the Superheroes (2012)

Unsentimental and in your face, Channel 4’s heroic ad for its coverage of the 2012 Paralympics presented disability in a way we just hadn’t seen before – as a strength. Whether it was the ad or the Games themselves, it certainly felt like, that summer, a tangible shift in popular perception of disability took place. St John’s AmbulanceHelpless (2012)

A controversial ad that divided opinion across the UK and in the Neo office when it was aired in 2012. But in terms of shifting perceptions of first aid courses from something that someone from HR should probably go on to a urgent essential for every one of us, it worked – the charity reported a record number of requests for its free pocket guides and courses. AmnestyNorth Korea’s Death Camps (2013)

Not a commercial but sometimes a press ad can pack just as much punch, and this from Amnesty hits you straight in the gut. It’s a master class in fundraising copy that sears the horrors of North Korea’s death camps into your mind. Unforgettable.

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