The five greatest ads in recent memory.


There’s something a little bit special about an ad you don’t want to mute.

Ads, after all, are intended to sell. By definition, companies and individuals use them to influence the way we feel about a certain product or line of thinking.

Most of the time, however, they don’t succeed. The finished product that hits our screen comes across as tacky and contrived and elicits little more than an eye roll and mash of the ‘mute’ button.

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Then there are exceptions. Every now and then we come across an ad that makes us laugh – not smirk – but genuinely cackle; an ad that makes us feel ashamed, or guilty at the effect we’re having on the environment; an ad that vindicates and lifts and makes the hair on our body stand on end.

Those ads – the ones that make us tingle and cover us in goosebumps – are few and far between.

Here are five TV advertisements that made us feel; five TV advertisements we can’t erase from our minds.

1. The Spirit of Australia – QANTAS, 2009

QANTAS’ ‘Spirit of Australia’ campaign went through several renditions in the 2000s, each one more spine-tingling than the next.

It’s not often an ad makes us proud of our nationality; proud to be Aussie. But the QANTAS Choir, their rendition of I Still Call Australia Home, and the mind-blowing cinematography of the Australian landscape managed to do just that.


The 2009 version of the ad intertwined English renditions of the song with Indigenous ones, a powerful acknowledgement of the Aboriginal land owners with whom we share our country, and mingled the traditional orchestra with didgeridoo.

The result, is nothing short of breathtaking…

Watch QANTAS’ 2009 ‘Spirit of Australia’ ad below. If you don’t have goosebumps afterwards, you’re probably not human. Post continues after video…

Video via QANTAS


2. Ultimate Death Scene – Sea Shepherd, 2015

One of the most harrowing things ever to hit our screens.

Sea Shepherd’s ‘Ultimate Death Scene’ ad confronts us with the brutality of the worldwide whaling industry.

Australian actor David Field plays out the harpooning and death of a whale in excruciatingly high definition.

No background. No music.

This ad is powerfully raw. It gives us goosebumps for all the wrong reasons, and while most of us disagree with the premise of the whaling industry, this ad thrust the reality into our face to an extent whereby we could no longer turn a blind eye.


This one might you cry.

Watch Sea Shepherd’s 2015 ‘Ultimate Death Scene’ ad below. Warning: ad contains content of a graphic nature. Post continues after video. 

Video via Sea Shepherd


3. You Never Lamb Alone – We Love Our Lamb, 2016

Whilst Meat and Livestock Australia’s 2017 Australia Day lamb ad brought about mass controversy, We Love Our Lamb’s 2016 one didn’t.

It celebrated Australian diversity in the most beautiful way.

Watching a mind-bogglingly diverse group of Australians – both famous and plain – join arms is something truly beautiful.

The script is magnificent. The delivery is superb. And, best of all, it’s funny.

This one gave us goosebumps of pride: there’s something about watching transgender Australians stand next to Indigenous Australians stand next to red-headed Australians stand next to Muslim Australians… that is, quite simply, beautiful.

It’s filmed outdoors, in the warm light of Australian sunshine. And it couldn’t be better.

Watch We Love our Lamb’s 2016 ‘You Never Lamb Alone’ ad below. Post continues after video. 



4. Everybody Knows Smoking Kills – Cancer Institute NSW, 2008

Anti-smoking ads always dabbled into confronting territory.

But in 2008, Cancer Institute NSW crossed the border well and truly.

Stormy, powerful Lenard Cohen track Everybody Knows beds the minute-long ad, a dark nod to the notion that smokers continue with their habit despite knowing the risk.

It puts a confrontingly human face to diseases often thrown around without impact – heart disease; mouth cancer; foot cancer.

We can’t say much more. It speaks for itself, this one.

Watch Cancer Institute NSW’s ‘Everybody Knows Smoking Kills’ ad below. Warning: graphic content. Post continues after video.



5. It’s A BIG Ad – Carlton Draught, 2005

There had to be a beer ad.

Carlton Draught’s ‘BIG Ad’ is a little bit… blokey. 

It has approximately zero women in it.

Because guys. Women don’t drink beer. Duh. 

Despite targeting an audience of blokes who drink average-beer (Carlton is as cheap as it gets), this ad is objectively fantastic. Why?


This ad – as the name would suggest – is huge. It’s big and funny and has great music and breaks the fourth wall with the audience in a refreshing way.

It doesn’t make us want to drink Carlton Draught – nothing does – but it sure does make us feel.

Watch Carlton Draught’s ‘BIG ad’ below. It won’t make you want to drink Carlton Draught, but it’s really cool. Post continues after video.

Video via Carlton Draught

Have we missed any? What are the Aussie ads that made you feel? Let us know in the comments sections below.