Year in review: 7 memorable ads from 2023

Happy holidays! Every year, all year, our team keeps our eyes on ads seen on screens around the world. And when the holidays roll around, it’s time to celebrate— and share—some of the most memorable ones we’ve watched throughout the year.

When you see a great ad, you know it. It’s got the power to cut through the noise. Grab attention. Give you a laugh. Push you to tears. And, of course, the best ads have the power to change how you feel or even how you think.

Here are just 7 of the memorable ads we saw in 2023 from around the world.

Far Enough, Vote Yes – Voice Referendum Australia

Cheeky. Humorous. And effective. This ad cuts through voters’ excuses surrounding the Voice Referendum, urging Australians to just google it. “You need to tell people about that. The googling thing. They should know about that.”

Forward Faster – UN Global Compact

This is a two-minute video, but it starts with what every great ad needs: a brilliant hook, right off the top, that compels viewers to just keep watching.

Proudly the Second Best – IKEA

We aren’t a corporate ad agency and there aren’t a lot of ads selling products that we really love. But this series of ads from IKEA is smart. It proudly positions IKEA products as only the second best; the connection between parents and their kids will always be better. Talk about knowing your audience—and speaking directly to it. Kudos.

Deconstructed Closets – United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The UN Population Fund worked with one of the biggest ad agencies in Argentina to turn old closets into Pride murals, transforming symbols of oppression and prejudice into new artworks of celebration and solidarity.

The Polite Bouncer – Icelandair

Every year, our annual list of memorable ads seems to feature something we’ve seen – and loved – from Scandinavian advertising. (Last year’s OutHorse Your Email to Iceland’s Horses still makes us giggle with delight). This year, we saw Icelandair launch a social-first campaign with cute, on-brand ads like this:

Forgotten Places – John Fetterman’s Senate Campaign

Okay, okay, this ad isn’t from 2023! It’s from 2022. But we watched it again – and loved it again – so it deserves an honourable mention in this year’s list. It’s a beautiful ad featuring Fetterman’s central campaign message: “We can’t leave anyone behind.”

Vote Social, Vote SP – Dutch Socialist Party

A fun and upbeat get-out-the-vote ad from the Socialist Party in the Netherlands that delivers a simple message: Make sure you leave the polling station feeling good!

Enjoying the creative inspiration? Check out some of our favourites from previous years here and here.

From everyone at The NOW Group, happy holidays and happy new year!