Everyone likes a funny ad. These are the commercials we talk about at the proverbial water cooler. Our "did you see…?" reaction to amusing spots has launched countless conversations, edging its way into friendly banter and dinner table talk. Many a Thanksgiving feast this week will include references to Kmart's tongue-in-cheek take on "Jingle Bells."
When funny ads are online, the phenomena mushrooms into a global event. Millions of people tune in. Laughter is universal. Lucky for us, 2013 brought some particularly entertaining ads to the Web.
Pepsi NEXT - "Behind the Scenes at Coke Chase"
Remember Coca-Cola's epic Super Bowl spot in which teams of cowboys, showgirls, and "Mad Max"-ish "badlanders" raced through the desert to reach a giant bottle of Coke? Rival Pepsi responded with a spur-of-the-moment online spoof that used humor to rob Coke of its thunder - and its ad buzz.
Volkswagen - "Mask"
Volkswagen wowed us with The Force in 2011, but it's long been known for producing funny commercial spots (you can watch a lot of them here). This 2013 video for the new Volkswagen Beetle Convertible flew under the radar, but in my book it's one of the funniest ads you've never seen.
Old Spice - "Meet the Wolfdog"
We expect a lot from Old Spice, purveyor of "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" and over a dozen other amusing online videos. This year we met Mr. Wolfdog, self-proclaimed new Executive Director of Marketing for the Old Spice Wild Collection. With lines like "That's marketing that I just did to you" and his own Twitter feed, Mr. Wolfdog delivered all the quirky Old Spice humor we've come to love.
Kmart - "Ship My Pants"
Kmart posted an online ad to YouTube this year that used a play on words to shore up interest in its free shipping policy. "Ship My Pants" instantly went viral, and has since been viewed nearly 20 million times. As one of those videos you have to see to believe, it's been ranked among the 20 most shared ads of the year.
Evian - "baby&me"
This year also brought us Evian's "baby&me," a follow-up to the wildly popular Roller Babies spot from a few years back. Why the ongoing focus on babies? The idea is to make us associate Evian with purity and vitality (the campaign tag line is "Live Young"). Whether that comes across or not, Evian has certainly tapped the fountain of fun.
GEICO - "Hump Day Camel"
This ad didn't run on the Web alone, but it was one of the most viral commercials of 2013, generating upwards of 18 million views, over 4 million shares, and memes galore. It also made a star of Caleb the Camel, who has gone on to strut in additional ads.
What was your favorite funny ad of the year? Share your top picks by leaving a comment below.