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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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TIME's new Donald Trump interview is very, very worrying

Just when you thought he'd changed...

by Emily Badiozzaman
07 Dec 2016

Your £5 note is worth £50,000 if it has this secret doodle

by Sam Rowe
07 Dec 2016

Revealed: why Chinese tourists were going to that Oxford village

This actually makes some sense

by Dave Fawbert
07 Dec 2016

Polish Christmas ad outfoxes John Lewis

The advert has clocked four million YouTube hits and is jerking tears worldwide

by Sam Rowe
07 Dec 2016

This is how to get 18 days off work with just 9 days holiday in 2017

Get booking now before everyone else realises

by Dave Fawbert
06 Dec 2016

Prosecco and mulled wine tea bags are here

Have yourself a very merry festive time

by Dave Fawbert
06 Dec 2016

Here are the reasons why people stay in miserable relationships

A new study has explained why miserable couples stay together

by Tom Fordy
06 Dec 2016

London is getting its first gin hotel this December

We speak to the geniuses behind the opening of Portobello Road's epic sleep over distillery

by Jamie Carson
06 Dec 2016

Nigel Farage shortlisted for TIME Magazine's 2016 Person of the Year

Adolf Hitler held the title in 1938, so there’s that

by Joe Ellison
06 Dec 2016

Here are the words that other countries use to describe relationships

All the terms that would be much better to describe your 'life partner'

by David Cornish
05 Dec 2016