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The (b)AD of the Century
By: Cameron Kirkwood
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As I’m sure you all know, YouTube was hosting a contest to decide the ad of the century in honor of the video service’s 10th year anniversary. Ah, yes; I remember when YouTube first hit the streets. Not long after it launched as a video dating service, and the streams were filled with David Blaine’s street magic specials. Before the Internet was obsessed with cats and Isaiah Mustafa turned a smelly old man cologne into the digitally pioneered Old Spice we know today.
And with that, the results came in. YouTube named Turkish Airline’s “selfie shootout” the ad of the century! Hooray! Wait. What? Out of all the digital breakthroughs, emotional spots, and innovative experiential campaigns, the selfie shootout was crowned supreme?
Now don’t get me wrong. I was equally as giddy to see sports legends Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi together in a fluent, beautifully shot TV spot. It was CP+B that produced it, after all. Yet I can’t help but feel cheated. Who is YouTube to judge what’s deserving of the best ad anyway?
Old Spice’s “Like a Man” was revolutionary to both the brand and digital marketing. It even expanded into a plethora of other videos and mini series, taking in the requests of fans all over the world. And where was all this done? YouTube.
And of course, runners-up included the likes of cheesy, way over-played spots like the dare I say it--#LikeAGirl campaign. It just seems to me that YouTube bunched up a group of the most popular, mainstream spots and slapped a false title over top, completely ignoring the beautifully written, truly insightful commercials the 2000s had to offer. (Although I was happy to see Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Volvo spot make the list.)
Just like in real life, the most popular doesn’t always necessarily mean the most talented. I just hope YouTube picks up on this by their 20th anniversary.
Disagree? Post your comments below. See the top five here.

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About the Author
Cameron Kirkwood is a recent graduate, but a forever student of advertising. An aspiring brand strategist and digital aficionado, Cameron seeks to change the game through new and different channels of advertising in an ever extensively growing industry.
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