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The Best Adverts Of 2013


Sometimes they're the thing you skip through to get to the next part of your favourite TV show. And much too often they're lazy and tacky and feature a terrible jingle. Now and again, though, adverts can be perfect little short films, either funny, affecting or so bafflingly weird that you want to watch them again and again.

This is our selection of the best adverts released in the past twelve months.


This advert for the World Cup in Brazil hits every Brazilian and football cliche, but you can't argue with exceptional skills edited together with exceptional skills.


Mercedes Benz

The usual tactic with car adverts is to spent huge amounts of money on beautiful locations and some rock song or other. The biggest budget expenditure on this Mercedes commercial was a few chickens. Money well spent.


Smart Car

Top marks for subverting the off-road car cliche.



Good adverts don't have to be funny or have a winking pay off. They can just be very, very beautifully shot. Which makes sense for a camera brand.



It's like The Fast & The Furious, but with bulls instead of Vin Diesel.


Old Spice

Old Spice has become excellent at TV ads over the past few years. If this doesn't quite match "I'm on a horse" it is still vastly smarter than most soap commercials.



A staple of the Japanese horror movie world is put to use in order to sell tyres in this heart-attack inducing promo. You could say it effectively demonstrates how well the company's tyres perform when the driver is driving in nerve-wracking conditions. Whether anyone is likely to have sufficiently composed themselves to remember the brand name at the end of the ad is quite another matter.



Volvo again, this time with the much shared clip of Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two trucks to demonstrate the precision handling of Volvo vehicles. Given an extra lease of life when Channing Tatum spoofed it.


Doctor Who

The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who was obviously a huge event to fans, but this slick teaser did a good job of making it attractive to casual observers too. A single shot dash through every Doctor in the history of the show it was packed with small details for the die-hards and just a technically dazzling short film for everyone else.


Playstation 4

For its launch trailer, Sony posited a world in which you, the player, are so amazing that to not play Playstation 4 would be to deny the entire universe of video game characters their destiny. The fun is in spotting characters from everything from The Last of Us to Assassin's Creed.


Carlton Draught

A hilarious take on the beer advert with a group of robbers surrendering their loot but not their beer as they're chased through the streets by a pack of cops, all the time desperately trying not to spill their drinks.



Perhaps this won't mean anything to you if you're under about 25. But to anybody who remembers Wacky Races this is absolute joy.



A simple message spectacularly delivered. If you want a drink, earn it.


Internet Explorer

Bunging together a load of nostalgic bits and bobs is always an obvious but effective way to get people to pass an ad around. This commercial for Internet Explorer played on the fact that almost nobody had used the browser since the last century and made its return seem as comforting as a comeback for Pogs or Reebok Pump. People in their early thirties lapped it up and it quickly went viral.



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This TV show map of the UK by an American is excellent

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08 Feb 2016

Ingenious teens manage to sneak into cinema by dressing as one person

Dream big people, dream big.

08 Feb 2016

Jackie Chan blew up a bus in London & almost caused a terrorist scare

A bit of warning might have been nice

08 Feb 2016

The ShortList news quiz of the week

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05 Feb 2016

Guy heads to Craigslist to ask who "took a sh*t" on his car

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05 Feb 2016

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05 Feb 2016

Drone footage reveals scale of devastation in Homs, Syria

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04 Feb 2016

Julian Assange may finally be giving himself up

It's only taken three-and-a-half years

04 Feb 2016

Bradley Cooper's doppelgänger wreaked havoc at Sundance Festival

by Chris Sayer

03 Feb 2016