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2021 Ads: The 3 Best Ads of 2021

To some, advertisements are nothing but interruptions to their expected content flow. These people just don’t want to see ad campaigns, pop-ups, or other kinds of marketing between posts on social media or videos on YouTube.

What if companies took a different approach to advertising? Instead of interrupting entertaining content, what if advertisements were entertaining content?

That’s an approach most of the best commercials in the world take. Consider Super Bowl commercials. For some, these ads are the main reason they watch the Super Bowl in the first place. It’s a yearly event that causes all kinds of companies, from Apple and Coca-Cola to Disney, Amazon, and Nike, to bring their marketing A-game.

What if companies and ad agencies focused on creating initiatives like that for the rest of the year, not just when making Super Bowl ads? What if high-quality advertising became something viewers could expect from specific brands? That would change the game.

Here are some of the best ads from 2021, why they worked so well, and how you can take inspiration from them to increase your company’s quality of advertising!

Why Is Advertising Important?

First, it’s critical to know why having entertaining, impactful ads is essential in the first place.

The whole point of advertising is to make consumers aware of something, whether that’s a product, a service, or a brand as a whole. A good ad will leave a positive impression in the mind of a viewer and potential consumer.

But in many ways, it’s more complicated than that. You may need to prove to customers that you are clever, good-spirited, and adept in your field. If you need a rebrand to create a new image that’s appealing in the eyes of consumers, advertisements are one of the best ways to do that, too.

We use digital products like iPhones and tablets more than ever in the modern world. While billboards are still commonplace, most attention today is directed towards the digital world.

Creating a powerful ad campaign that features on digital platforms is currently the most effective method.

That’s why learning how to best use digital formats is so important.

Accomplishing those goals within the confines of a short advertisement may seem like a challenge, but with the right marketing team or ad agency, anything is possible.

Even amidst the pandemic lockdowns, companies put out solid ads last year. Take a look at how some of these companies created great advertisements that spoke to their customers in new ways.

Heinz: “Draw Ketchup”

One way to increase brand awareness is to increase your viewers’ understanding of their existing brand awareness. That might sound like a tongue twister, but we’ll break it down.

For most Americans, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of ketchup is a Heinz ketchup bottle, whether we realize it or not. This is the premise of one of the most effective advertisements of 2021. The Heinz advertising team asked people to draw what they pictured in their minds when they thought of ketchup.

This ad shows consumers that they believe in Heinz as a company, even if it’s subconscious. Heinz is a foundational element of American food culture, even today.

The main takeaway from this advertisement is that you can try to show consumers that they already agree with you. Create a commercial that has them nodding their heads in agreement, and it’ll create a connection between your brand and your viewers.

Visit Iceland: “Icelandverse”

Sometimes, the best way to get attention is by paying attention to what your viewers are already thinking about. This might come in the form of popular memes and cultural references. While it’s easy to miss the mark and do this poorly, it’s incredible when you get it right as Visit Iceland did.

Last year, Facebook rebranded as Meta or the Metaverse, which was poorly received by the general public. As such, Visit Iceland took it upon themselves to join the public opinion and make fun of the switch with an ad that connected with many.

The biggest takeaway from this ad is that riffing on public perception can win you a lot of fans. Approaching your advertising from a place of good humor and comedy can impact potential consumers. Doing this on social media platforms like TikTok, Linkedin, and Instagram is especially powerful since viewers who appreciate that kind of advertising are already on those platforms.

Just make sure that you are still operating from a place of kindness and agreeableness — starting interbrand drama might get you attention but may make you more enemies than friends. In most cases, as long as you are aware and know your audience well, this strategy can work out well.

State Farm: “Drake from State Farm”

At this point, the ad campaign based on “Jake from State Farm” is already well known. It was a funny, smart, and informative campaign. So how could State Farm take that format up a notch? By including cameos.

This Super Bowl advertisement featured cameos from celebrities like Aaron Rodgers, Paul Rudd, Patrick Mahomes, Drake, and everyone’s favorite insurance rep, Jake himself. This advertisement associated the company with famous people, artists, and sports heroes of all kinds. If the original ad campaign didn’t grab your attention, this ad sure did.

The primary takeaway from this advertisement is to work with concepts and people that are already familiar to your audience. Instead of doing all the work of introducing new characters and ideas to viewers, find ways to maximize what they already know and associate them with your existing brand!

This doesn’t have to mean pulling A-list celebrities into your advertising — even just referencing something that they’re already familiar with can do the trick. The easier you make it for someone to associate your brand with something positive, your advertising will be more effective.


While these three ads were indeed highlights from 2021, there are countless other brands and companies to consider. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can quickly gather quality ideas from watching ads by brands like McDonald’s, Adidas, Toyota, Pepsi, Bud Light, Doritos, Ikea, and more. Gathering takeaways from these ads can help inform you of how to approach advertising as a whole.

If you are looking to increase your brand’s performance in the advertising world, look into an ad agency like 7 Wonders. We’ve learned from years of experience to make an ad that will connect with viewers, make an impact on your bottom line, and stick in potential customers’ minds for years to come.

We exist to see brands reach their creative and functional potential, and we have all the tools needed to get them there! If you’re interested in working with the best of the best, don’t hesitate to reach out or check our website for more information!


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