Two cents blog

What makes a good ad great?

by BCM Group on 21 June 2017

We are exposed to hundreds of advertisements every day across a variety of platforms. For all of the bad advertising out there, there are a small number of ads that stand out from the rest. They may not be equipped with the largest budget, produced by the most successful ad agencies or for a product you necessarily want to run out and buy, but for some reason you just can’t seem to get them out of your head.

So what differentiates a good ad from a great ad?

A good ad effectively communicates the message that the brand is trying to send to consumers. A prime example is that despite never being in the market for curtains, I can (conveniently) recite the phone number for Victory Curtains and Blinds off the top of my head (13 13 99). Similar to the approach of Lube Mobile and “Frank Walker from National Tiles”  – this ad lacks any form of humour, wit or entertainment. However, it can still be considered good in that it achieves what it sets out to do – making the product top of mind for consumers.


Ads that are considered great on the other hand, all seem to have something in common. Whether they are serious, thought-provoking or just plain nonsense, they have gone beyond simply communicating a message to taking a risk and approaching advertising from a different perspective.

My top pick of the “best ads of all time” won’t be the same as the next person’s, but that’s the beauty of advertising – appealing to different people in different ways. These are my favourites:

1. Carlton Draught: “It’s a big ad” has stood the test of time for me – and that definitely isn’t for my love of the beer.


2. JC Penney: “The Dog House”


3. RACQ: “Charter Boat”


4. Yellow Pages: “Not Happy Jan”


In a world of recycled content, these ads break the mould, flip a category convention on its head and challenge the run-of-the-mill formula many ads tend to follow.

I just like them because they’re funny.

What comes to mind as your favourite ad?

Alison Prowse is a Media Coordinator at BCM

- Laura Furness on June 21

Great post Ali! I also love the Charter Boat ad & Not Happy Jan - such classics. I still use the catch-phrases from time to time. One of my favourite ads is the Cadbury Gorilla 'In The Air Tonight'!

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