Thank goodness the media agrees. Just yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published a quick wrap up of the Best and Worst Ads of 2013, by Suzanne Vranica.
My favorite part is, of course, the ad by Goldie Blox. Goldie Blox is a company whose mission is to make sure more girls get the chance to experience science as a gateway to the amazing world of engineering, as opposed to playing with Barbie's until they turn into one. Founded by a female Stanford engineer, the inaugural commercial rocks. I only wish the Beastie Boys would have allowed their song to go along with the idea, but I guess some boys are intimidated by strong females. Too bad for them.
Other things that are too bad are the losers; namely Samsung, Kmart, Chipolte and Mazda. But let's not focus on boogers. That's not the proper way to attack a #NewYear. Instead, let's focus on winners: Chrysler with it's poignant To the Farmer in All of Us commercial, Unilever with it's heart-breakingly honest and beautiful Dove ads, Goldie Blox's pledge to innovative girls everywhere and Google's story about how a product can make the most humane connections possible.
In looking back and learning from what has passed, it's important to try and glean facts from the experience. Keep in mind that ad buying is more of a science than an art, and that anyone can purchase YouTube views, so that's not a real indication of success. Instead, the actual art of a good story and the act of actual connecting is what these winners do. When the stock price goes up, when the media writes stories for free, and when social content gets shared and when people buy more widgets, then we can measure just how much of an impact a brand story had on an intended audience. Or go ahead and take it personal. Ads that worked in the past were ads that made a simple human connection seem like a brilliant thing. For 2014, let's look for that in ads and real life. My hunch is that the data will prove this theory is a good thing for all parties.