OPINION22 January 2018

Around the world in five awesome ads

Asia Pacific Europe FMCG Healthcare Latin America Middle East and Africa North America Opinion Retail UK

Last week System1 published the 4th global edition of its FeelMore50 list in which it tested 705 ads and ranked the most emotional ones – as defined by its ad testing methodology. Tom Ewing shares some of his favourites.

One of the things I love about being involved with FeelMore50 each year is the opportunity to see the good, the bad and the frankly baffling ads from all around the world.

Here are five of my favourites from this year’s list, one from each of the regions we listed. They all got our highest, 5-star rating for emotion, which is the key to effective advertising. They’re also gloriously diverse and shed light on what works to make people happy around the world.

UK: Belvita – ‘Next Stop: Good Mornings’ (Gravity Road)


British viewers are a tough crowd. It can be really hard to get a high emotional rating here, which makes it impressive that Belvita managed to get the highest score – and the top position – on the entire worldwide list. Our first British winner! It’s an example of the ‘candid camera’ style ad, which was everywhere a few years ago but is falling off in popularity a little. Done well, though – like in this amusing but gentle ad – it can still give an authentic, home-spun feel to an ad.

EUROPE: Netto – ‘ Dann Geh Doch Zu Netto!‘ (Jung Von Matt/SAGA)


The German ads we see are some of the most sentimental, but they have a great line in dry humour too. This is a perfect 30-second ad – tight, clear plot, great acting from the kids involved, funny, and it remembers to finish on a final gag rather than on the brand ident. You don’t have to speak German to work out what’s going on. In fact, I think I like it more because I don’t – I can fondly imagine the final outraged shout translates as ‘F--- off to Netto then!’

NORTH AMERICA: Tim Hortons – ‘Welcome Home’ (JWT Canada)

It was Canada’s 150th birthday last year and a lot of Canadian ads got into the list. As one wise Canadian told me, the nation is always keen to distance itself from its southern neighbour. So, with Trump’s America frothing over immigration, trust an iconic Canadian brand to make the most unashamedly pro-immigrant ad of the year. There’s no plot to speak of – a man welcomes his family to Canada – so the emotional weight is all in the execution: great acting from the man and his wife, direction capturing the feeling of weariness and happiness you get in airports, and the heart-felt final line.

LATIN AMERICA: Skol – ‘Skolors’ (F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi)

Latin American ads are truly diverse – our list has everything from a fake soap opera, Avocados of Passion, to a long-running campaign centred on a grumpy roadside basket-maker. There’s no such thing as a typical one, so I picked this as an example of an ad centred on sheer style, choreography and aesthetics. ‘Skolors’ is a bold celebration of the diversity of Brazilian bodies. And yes, British drinkers of a certain age, this ad is indeed by THE Skol beer, though this is a far cry from pissed-up Vikings.

ASIA PACIFIC: Verena Sure – ‘Capture’ (McCann)

My favourite ad of the whole list is this masterpiece from Thailand – sinister, funny, surreal and very original, with fantastic acting and a great use of a minimal soundtrack. Asian ads often make brilliant use of the long-form format, and Thai ads in particular, seem to get away with quirkier and more negative emotions before everything resolves to happiness. A wonderful emotional ad in a category – diet pills – dominated by product claims.