Are those that sell. Borrowing from science, we could say that -
You may recall a few years ago, Nissan had a fun TV ad campaign with vignettes ranging from the happy farmer chasing at high speed around his animals, to the guy stopping cold in front of a glass window displaying one of their cars. The ads were greatly entertaining. But they did not sell.
Nissan has come a long way since then, shifting from hard sale to heart-sell and switching their tagline from "driven" to, well "shift". The series of ads that featured important events in life and history -- a clip of a home video showing a child's first step; immigrants landing at Ellis Island; etc. -- may very well have been borrowed.
Toyota has been doing just that for many years, especially in Europe, with the help of idea company Saatchi & Saatchi. In 2001, Kevin Roberts presented some very moving commercials at Fast Company RealTime conference in Philadelphia. View some of those TV ads and Saatchi & Saatchi top TV commercials here (note, the site is undergoing a makeover). I guarantee the Toyota Celica "Dog" will give you a roaring laugh; look for it under mystery.
When it comes to advertising, we may feel we're all experts. After all, we are showered with 3,500 to 5,000 messages per day (Source: Yankelovich). I'm with Kevin Roberts: when the story involves mystery, sensuality and intimacy, it connects with my imagination. I also wrote elsewhere that standing out might be easier than ever: make us want to invite you into our lives. Listen, follow through, keep your promises.
What ads work for you? Why?