It seems like every commercial is trying to be funny these days, and it makes sense because humor is a way to sell your brand without outwardly selling something.
By appealing to a consumers' funny bone, you’re able to engage with them and help them remember your brand.
Incorporating humor can work for almost any business or any product. Businesses with highly specialized or expensive products can take advantage by appealing to all audiences.
Businesses with small budgets can still take the time to make a clever joke.
The bonus is that someone who interacts with your marketing may not be your target customer, but they could very well share your information with someone who is. It's all about brand awareness.
When it comes to humor, it's important to be authentic. The brands that make humor work know their persona and their audience well enough to know what will make them laugh.
That being said, here are 55 funny commercials from the last five years and why we love them.
Pop Culture Commercials
This commercial turned heads in 2023, with big-name actors like Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul renewing their titular roles from Breaking Bad. The serious nature of the show juxtaposed the humorous nature of the commercial.
Bryan Cranston, as Walter White, tells Jesse to "Say. Their. Name." Paying homage to his infamous line in the show, "Say. My. Name." Ultimately, this funny commercial stole the show at the 2023 Super Bowl.
Pro tip: If you're using parody in your funny commercial, be sure to do your research and sprinkle in as many references to the original as you can.
2. Old Spice
Have you ever not laughed watching an Old Spice ad or interacting with them on social media? It seems like they can do no wrong when it comes to their marketing.
Most recently, Old Spice teamed up with the cast of The Witcher to make a commercial that pokes fun at how all those characters in old fantasy worlds really smell.
An indication of Old Spice’s success is how they’ve been able to make their marketing go viral. This is no easy task, especially when there is pressure on marketing departments to generate revenue.
But we can see that Old Spice’s decision to not be so focused on a hard sell is paying off.
What we like: Old Spice's marketing may seem outlandish, but when you interact with their brand, they work hard to be worth remembering.
This brand awareness serves them well when you go shopping and think of their over-the-top funny marketing.
Another favorite pop culture commercial is T-Mobile’s new ad featuring Zac Braff, Donald Faison, and bizarrely John Travolta, who sing a “Summer Nights” parody about how wonderful T-Mobile streaming is.
T-Mobile really covers their bases when it comes to nostalgic viewers, targeting lovers of the 1978 film Grease and the 2001 TV show Scrubs.
The trio of actors actually have quite a bit of chemistry together, helping sell the absurdity of a musical number about television streaming.
Pro tip: When it comes to picking who will star in your funny commercial, don’t forget about charisma. You will want someone who can really sell the humor in your commercial without coming off as goofy.
Ben Stiller stars in the 2023 Pepsi Zero commercial that pokes fun at the idea that actors in commercials are only acting; they don’t genuinely like the product. Ben Stiller acts as a superhero, a man proposing, and a friend of a robot, all proven to be disingenuous.
Pepsi is notorious for having celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Beyonce, David Beckham, and more sponsoring the brand. This funny commercial addresses the elephant in the room: Do these celebs actually like Pepsi?
The answer isn't as important as you might think because when you really think about it, who cares if Beyonce actually enjoys Pepsi? The commercial reframes the question by asking you to try Pepsi and decide for yourself.
Pro tip: Be self-aware of people’s preconceived notions of your brand and use those ideas as a jumping-off point for your commercial.
Sylvester Stallone steals the show in Paramount’s commercial “Stallone Face,” which also features cast from Paramount shows such as Dora, Reno 911, Beavis and Butthead, and more.
Stallone tries to climb up a giant mountain of his talking face when the stone mountain suddenly needs to sneeze.
Everyone watching, including his real-life daughters (who are not impressed), holds their breath, hoping the mountain won’t sneeze him off. It’s ridiculous and hilarious and showcases the shows on their platform well.
What we like: Absurdity can be a way to incorporate humor into your commercial without thinking of witty quips.
Another commercial that took an unexpected turn was the 2022 M&M commercial "Meet The Parents." A nod to the movie Meet The Parents, this commercial shows a young woman bringing home her boyfriend for the first time.
His face and body are covered in tattoos, and the yellow M&M says, "What’s all over your… shoes?"
Instead of pointing out the obvious tattoos, they talk about the flowers on his shoes and his occupation as a botanist, winning over the girl's father, who loves to take care of plants.
Pro tip: If you want a funny commercial that isn't generic, be sure to first address the situation in a way your viewers would expect and then take an unexpected turn.
7. Wonderful Pistachios
As society becomes more health-conscious, companies are finding ways to entertain consumers in their marketing while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Wonderful Pistachios is a brand that has paved the way by using humor to encourage healthy snacking.
Their motto has been "Get Crackin'" for a while now, focusing on the joy of cracking open their pistachios.
Wonderful Pistachios’ 2023 commercial features PAC-MAN, who eats the pistachios just like the dots in the video game.
Viewers will chuckle when he runs into a giant bag of pistachios and somehow expresses confusion despite his lack of facial features.
Pro tip: Nostalgia can play an important role in marketing. Identify your key audience or ideal consumer and ask yourself which era they might be nostalgic for.
Pop culture references that target their nostalgia can win you some brand awareness.
8. McDonald’s: Next Stop, McDonald’s
The second McDonald’s commercial on our list, the UK commercial "Next Stop, McDonald's," makes good use of the 80s "Oh Yeah" song by Yello, made famous in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
A family in a car notices that the next stop has a McDonald’s, and they all give each other a knowing look, raising their eyebrows to the beat of "Oh Yeah."
This look passes from car to car stuck in traffic, including a giant bus full of people, a tour bus, and a biker gang, all driving towards the upcoming McDonald’s.
What we like: This commercial gives off very retro vibes, not just from the popular 80s song, but with the color choices, outfits, and cars.
If you’re going to give your commercial a retro vibe, be sure to pay attention to small details like wardrobe and makeup.
9. GM (General Motors)
In the Dr. Evil General Motors ad, Austin Power’s nemesis, Dr. Evil, takes over GM and decides that he can’t be the number two worst enemy of the world, coming second to climate change.
Dr. Evil decides to help save the world first and then take over the world. Seth Green and Dr. Evil argue childishly before going to fix their carbon footprint by having 30 new electric vehicles by 2025.
What we like: One of the safest types of humor for a funny commercial is self-deprecating.
If your company has a reputation for something not great, consider poking fun at yourself and showing your audience that you’re aware and trying to be better.
10. Uber Eats
If you’re a fan of the Netflix show Bridgerton, you will love the Uber Eats commercial “Period Romance,” which stars Bridgerton lead actress Nicola Coughlan.
In the commercial, Nicola watches the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice and dreams of Mr. Darcy when she searches her Uber Eats app for period romance, and a man who looks like he’s straight from a Jane Austen novel appears at her door.
Be careful what you wish for, though, because her Darcy-esque man has some really outdated takes, like being shocked by her ankles, asking what is in her dowry, disbelief at her status as a working woman, and using her crockpot as a chamber pot.
In the end, Nicola really just wanted some period relief products delivered, not a period romance male lead.
What We Like: The Female Gaze is having a moment in pop culture, and this commercial really leans into this idea and how it might be too good to be true.
Different from Uber Eats is the car service Uber that serves as a modern approach to taxi cabs.
Similar to the Uber Eats ad in pop culture references is the ad "Airport Dad," which features the social media phenomenon where kids film their fathers being stressed and high maintenance at the airport.
The commercial includes many of the Airport Dad tropes, such as protecting the passports, ensuring pick up and drop off go smoothly, getting to the airport so early it's funny and more.
Pro tip: If you're going to use pop culture references, you'll need to do your homework like the creators of this ad did and get as many aspects right as you can.
12. Bud Light
Another 2023 Super Bowl commercial turned heads as a couple dances to hold music while drinking Bud Light. Bud Light commercial uses Opus No. 1, made by Tim Carleton and Darrick Deel in 1989.
It went on to become one of the most famous hold call music when one of the creators worked at Cisco as a Call Manager and implemented it into the calls.
What we like: The song choice for a funny commercial should be taken seriously. Check out trending sounds on TikTok and other platforms before committing to a song.
13. Life Cereal
Getting kids to eat healthy is sometimes an impossible task, to the point that it feels like a good ‘ol Western standoff. A dad tries to get his daughter to eat healthy, while his other child says, "She never eats anything healthy!" in the Life commercial "Standoff."
The cereal wins over the little girl, and the commercial ends with "Mikey likes it!" The ending tagline might be confusing for viewers who are on the younger side because it’s an inside joke referencing Life’s campaign "Mikey likes it" from the 80s.
Pro tip: If you’re going to reference past campaigns in your ad, be sure that your target audience fits the age range required to remember.
We've all got our favorite TV shows, and some may say that we can be a little obsessive about not hearing spoilers before we watch them.
In the commercial "Be Obsessed: Give In," Hulu fans plug their ears and scream "la, la, la" to avoid overhearing spoilers about their new obsession TV series.
The obsession worsens with couches that have an imprint on them that looks like you've never moved from that spot and fights between couples for watching new episodes without them.
The commercial tells the viewer to embrace it and be obsessed.
What we like: Some of the tropes in this commercial are nothing new, but the delivery is hilarious.
When the wife asks her husband if he watched The Bear without her, he is dressed like the main character Carmy and replies, "Yes, chef," which is what they say in the show.
Commercials Featuring Comedians
The second GM commercial we like stars Will Ferrell, who is being chased by zombies, with funny quips like, "If you're going to be kidnapped, why not be kidnapped in an EV (electric vehicle)?"
GM uses contradiction in this commercial, with easygoing, joking Will Ferrell contrasted with the grim, dusty desert swarming with zombies.
What we like: The entire commercial is about 30 seconds, making it one of the shorter commercials on our list. Yet, the important ideas are still conveyed, and the quick pacing matches Will Ferrell's witty nature.
A Peloton commercial went viral during the holidays of 2019, but not in a good way. In the commercial, a woman’s husband buys her a Peloton, and she uses it throughout the coming year.
Audiences were conflicted about the commercial, calling the commercial "only for rich people" and "sexist." So when the holidays of 2021 came around, the bar was pretty high for advertisers at Peloton.
Luckily, the 2021 commercial “A Fitness Carol,” which spoofs the character Ebenezer Scrooge in the classic A Christmas Carol, wasn’t controversial, just funny.
This commercial features comedian Bob Odenkirk and focuses on the absurdity of a grumpy Scrooge using a Peloton and finding Christmas joy played well in light of the controversy.
The commercial ends with the line, “When your workout’s a joy, it’s a joy to workout.”
Pro tip: Put careful thought into your tagline; you want something catchy and something people will remember.
The "Stay Golden" Lay’s commercial is one of the funniest commercials of 2022 due to its comedian cast of Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd.
The commercial begins with the two actors sharing a bag of Lays and reminiscing on all their experiences involving Lays, which include singing to Shania Twain in a convertible, extreme airline turbulence, being kidnapped, a turf war, buying a haunted house, and a wedding between Seth and the ghost from the haunted house.
What we like: If you’re going to show multiple, back-to-back funny scenes, they need to ramp up in both humor and intensity to keep viewer interest and get a big final laugh — just like Lays does.
18. Pepperidge Farms
Sometimes, your commercials can be funny and memorable for the wrong reasons, and that’s the risk you take when you create an earnest, serious commercial.
This may be why the current Pepperidge Farms commercials focus on being lighthearted and funny, making fun of themselves before anyone else can.
In the commercial “Tasteful Observations,” comedic actress Hannah Waddingham, known for playing a proper British lady, eats Pepperidge Farm cookies and remarks on their buttery and flavorful taste, saying, "There are a million ways to describe Pepperidge Farm cookies."
She stops, realizing that "It’s not proper to talk while you’re eating." There's a pause as she eats, and then her rigidness leaves when she says, "That is a damn fine cookie."
What we like: Making your audience laugh can also influence them to buy more, as long as they can also reference the joke to the brand. So, make sure to mention your brand name multiple times to increase your chance of future association.
19. Old Navy
Another contemporary comedian, Natasha Lyonne, stars in the Old Navy commercial "The Pixie Pant." In the commercial, Natasha is walking on the set when someone compliments her pants.
She goes through a stressed inner dialogue where she says, "Love to hear it, hard to own it, the overthinking begins and bingo-bango. Just own it!" She turns to the complimenter and says, "Thank you, they’re Old Navy."
What we like: Natasha Lyonne is a great example of a comedian who appeals to younger crowds, which is important for a brand like Old Navy.
The most watched ad on YouTube in 2022 was Amazon’s Alexa commercial featuring Scarlett Johansson and SNL comedian Colin Jost.
Colin tells Alexa to turn on the football game, and Alexa closes the curtains, chills the rose, and dims the lighting.
Scarlett remarks it’s like she read his mind, and then it cuts to a scene where they both wake up, and someone has bad morning breath because Alexa immediately orders mouthwash.
Alexa turns on a blender to drown Colin out and basically just exposes all their secret inner thoughts for comedic effect.
What we like: This commercial plays on gender or relationship stereotypes, yet the jokes are new and not the outdated misogyny the advertisement world is occasionally prone to, making it a fresh take.
A room full of babies gets a pep talk from comedian Bobby Cannavale in the Nike commercial “Unlimited Future.” Bobby lectures them about how unfair life is and how they don’t even get to choose their names.
As the camera zooms into their name plates, you realize they are all famous athletes.
Bobby says, "You don’t get to decide how your story begins, but you get to decide how it ends," and a baby gets excited and stands for the first time at these words.
What we like: Similar to other commercials on this list, you really can’t go wrong with a lot of cute babies and a comedian as your spokesperson.
Commercials Starring Celebrities
22. Mountain Dew
Star basketball players Zion Williamson and Zach LaVine play themselves in a video game in the commercial "Level Up Your Game." The game trash-talks them as they miss slam dunks and other throws, getting more and more personal.
The basketball players take a Mountain Dew break and are able to get the hang of the game and finally score points.
What we like: Food commercials are different than a lot of other products because you watch the actors or, in this case, basketball players, consume the product on camera.
Mountain Dew does a good job of making their drink look delicious and energizing in this funny commercial.
You know a commercial is going to be good when it begins with the disclaimer "based on a true story." Ed Sheeran explains his vision for a Heinz commercial in the video "Ed's Heinz ad."
He sets the scene by describing a super posh restaurant with pictures on the wall, fancy silverware, a jazz piano player, and a hostess who leads him to the table.
The waiter comes over and describes the specials, which are fancy meat, fancy vegetables, and so on, as Ed says, "Sounds fancy!"
Ed says the food looks good, but there’s something missing, and reaches into his bag to pull out a bottle of Heinz ketchup, to everyone’s shock and horror.
Time slows down as he adds ketchup to his meal, the waiter screaming. The ad ends with Ed asking, "So, that's my idea. Do you want to do it?"
What we like: There’s something so clever and meta about having a commercial idea come from a celebrity, having them narrate the ad, and then end by asking if Heinz wants to make the commercial, essentially making it a non-commercial.
24. Frito-Lay & Pepsi: Unretirement
In the commercial "Unretirement," former NFL players watch a game and reminisce on how much they miss playing when one of the players suggests that they unretire.
Eminem's song "Without Me" starts playing with the chorus of "guess who's back" while they suit up again.
At first, fans are enthusiastic about these legendary players joining the team again.
Still, this enthusiasm is short-lived as their age begins to show, falling asleep on the sidelines and asking for a senior discount on Pepsi and Frito-Lay products.
The scene ends with the players realizing they’d rather just watch the game at this point in their lives. This commercial was popular enough that Pepsi and Frito-Lay later made it into a series.
What we like: A collaboration between two products can be an excellent way to get more bang for your buck. Before choosing a partner, be sure that their product values and offerings align with yours.
25. Frito-Lay & Pepsi: Road to the Superbowl
The second Pepsi + Frito-Lay commercial on this list is "Road to the Superbowl," featuring Eli Manning, Jerome Bettis, Terry Bradshaw, and Victor Cruz as they make their way to the 2022 Super Bowl in a giant bus that says "Super Bowl LVI or Bust."
Peyton Manning is not enthusiastic about leaving, so they attach a hitch from the bus to his living room to bring him and Eli along. Victor and Eli end the commercial by jamming to an Olivia Rodrigo song.
Pro tip: Enthusiasm and great acting are the best ways to sell the jokes you feature in your commercial.
"Jack's New Angle" features Jack Harlow, who, while in the recording studio, sees someone eating a perfectly triangular Dorito chip and becomes obsessed with the triangle musical instrument.
Jack finds unexpected success by involving the triangle in his music, becoming more famous, and autographing fans’ triangles.
The commercial gets more chaotic as people become increasingly obsessed with triangles, replacing the British pound and getting its own award, "triangle player of the year."
What we like: This commercial’s take on absurdity is engaging, which is what makes it actually funny. If you want to make a funny commercial that focuses on a ridiculous situation, be sure to use fast clips and rapid pacing.
27. BIC Lighters
One of the most iconic friendships has to be between Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. What do these two have in common? Well, it involves a BIC Lighter, which can be used for grills, candles, and other items that need fire.
This commercial is a tongue-in-cheek approach to suggesting that BIC lighters can be used for recreational drug use, but it is not obvious enough to get anyone in any real trouble.
What we like: Your product could be used in an unexpected way; listing off all the ways it can be used is a great way to show its value.
Another example of a commercial that isn’t afraid to get meta is the Lebron James Sprite commercial featuring Lil Yachty.
The commercial begins with Lebron telling us he will never tell us to drink Sprite, even if he was in a commercial (which he is) and it was on the cue cards (which it also is).
The director is upset as Lebron walks off set and approaches a table of men who are eating hot tacos. A cold Sprite could ease their burning mouths, but he still won’t tell them to drink Sprite.
He would only tell you to if you “wanna Sprite,” which is the tagline for the commercial.
What we like: Reverse psychology is what makes this commercial funny and also what makes the Sprite look delicious.
29. Coors Light
When you’re a brand as big as Coors Light, you have more than one product you need to buy commercial space for.
But what if you’re buying astronomical Super Bowl ad time? Coors Light products such as Miller Lite, Coors Light, and Blue Moon all compete for the same commercial in the ad “The High Stakes Beer Ad.”
In the style of a Mission Impossible movie or other action thriller, this commercial features different Coors Light product lovers fighting each other in ridiculous combat to get the most screen time.
What we like: If you’re going to feature more than one of your products in a commercial, you’ll want to do it in a memorable way, like this ad. Make sure that each product gets sufficient screen time and viewer attention.
30. Google Fiber
Google Fiber’s commercial "What’s happening with the internet?" is unusually menacing.
In the ad, a girl clicks through her laptop, downloads tons of content with her super fast internet, and mocks Google Fiber’s ability to be so quick. The commercial parodies common horror movie tropes and pacing.
The ending tagline suggests that this kind of speed might take some getting used to.
What we like: Quick, succinct commercials can make a big impact if done correctly. If you’re limited to less than thirty seconds, use that time to make your viewers laugh and showcase your product.
Voted the "sassiest" brand on Twitter, Charmin has found a way to stand out in a highly saturated market. Bathroom humor is a topic that is often perceived as being overdone, but when you see one of Charmin’s ads, you don’t feel that way.
The Charmin "Theatre of the Behind" commercial plays into this potty humor with a parody of a Shakespearean monologue on why you should “enjoy the go.”
What we like: Charmin consistently creates commercials with the same light-hearted, potty humor that fits their brand. Think deeply about your brand before deciding which type of humor to use in your funny commercial.
32. Texas Tourism
Parody works well in the Texas Tourism commercial "Get your Go Big or Go Home trip to Texas." The narrator starts by saying, "Have you ever noticed that tourism commercials use camera angles that make everything look really big?"
As the camera shows stock footage of sizzling steaks and giant theme parks, the narrator says, "That looks like a great vacation!" The main woman of the commercial interrupts to say, "Hold on, we don’t need these camera angles to make this look like a fun vacation because it actually is."
The commercial ends with the tagline "Let’s Texas."
What we like: A funny, self-aware narrator can show you don’t take yourself too seriously and open up your audience to your message.
Commercials With Unexpected Twists
It’s very rare that a commercial gets as much buzz as the 2023 Tubi Super Bowl commercial got.
Super Bowl fans were confused when it looked like the announcers were back reporting the Super Bowl and suddenly interrupted by their TV opening the Tubi app and playing Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
As someone who watched this occur in real-time, it was hilarious seeing everyone in the room scramble to find the remote and turn it back to the Super Bowl, only for it to be a clever prank.
Pro tip: If you want to pull off a commercial prank, you’re going to need to be convincing. Test out your commercial on people who aren’t aware to work out any kinks beforehand.
34. Max (Formerly known as HBOMax)
As more and more TV shows and movies end up on streaming services and away from cable, people are getting frustrated with all the subscriptions they have to pay for just to watch their shows.
Max addresses this in their commercial “Grandma Has to Go.”
In the commercial, the father complains about how expensive all the subscriptions have gotten. Instead of offering to cut down on subscriptions, he says, "Grandma needs to go,” offending his mother-in-law and her daughter.
The daughter suggests that they get Max instead because it has more of the movies and shows they actually want to watch.
What We Like: This is another example of a commercial addressing problems that their industry is known for, giving them a competitive edge instead of ignoring them.
35. Dollar Shave Club
If there is a company out there that embodies the effectiveness of using humor in marketing, it’s Dollar Shave Club.
This is a company that, a few years ago, consisted of about 10 employees, just trying to find a way to compete in an industry filled with iconic, long-time brands.
How did they expect to be able to compete with such big names as Gillette and Bic? The only way they knew how: by taking to social media to share their story.
You could probably call it the “ad seen around the world,” with over 17.5 million views on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. Trust me.
Being a small company, they couldn’t afford a production crew, ad space on TV, or anything glamorous right off the bat. So they took to good-old YouTube with their CEO as the main character to talk about why their blades are “f***ing great.”
In an interview with the New York Times, CEO Michael Dubin expressed his firm belief in using video to tell stories and that the concept of using humor to promote a “smart business” led to the video going viral.
What we like: Shock value can go a long way in a funny commercial. Consider what your brand image is, and if you’re unconventional, make your commercial memorable with edgy quips and language.
36. Axe Body Spray
Another tongue-in-cheek approach to a funny commercial is Axe’s “Flipping the Haters” commercial. Axe invites “haters” of their brand who say their worst nightmare is someone next to them on the plane wearing Axe body spray.
Unaware of who is sponsoring them during the experiment, each participant smells the newest Axe body spray and expresses their admiration of the scent.
By introducing the participants to their hatred of Axe body spray, their review of the scents is given more meaning when they end up liking Axe’s newest fragrance.
What we like: If you’re aware of some of the negative stereotypes your brand holds, don’t be afraid to address them like Axe does in this commercial. Let your “haters” change their minds on how your brand has changed and adapted to modern times.
In their series “Dog Tested, Dog Approved” commercial series, golden retrievers try to sneak off with a car in the middle of the night, driving offroad as a retriever family, and more.
This campaign started over ten years ago and has just recently been brought back due to popular demand.
The cute golden retrievers show how durable the car is while also making viewers smile.
What we like: These short commercials still make a big impact by being so unique and memorable, and of course, cute puppies never hurt!
38. Progressive: Fast Casual
One of my favorite contemporary commercial campaigns is the Progressive commercials that focus on new homeowners that are turning into their parents.
The ad “Fast Casual” focuses on a millennial who encounters a Chipotle-like restaurant that is fully customizable.
Overwhelmed by the number of choices, which he deems similar to a “science experiment,” the Progressive spokesman chimes in that they can’t save you from becoming your parents, but they can save you on home insurance.
What we like: This campaign has been widely successful because it humorizes and brings attention to the generational divide happening between millennials and boomers.
Satire can be an excellent way to bring humor to a potentially touchy subject.
39. Progressive: Replay
Have you ever been betrayed by your child being too honest with people and telling them things you would rather stay private?
The second Progressive commercial on our list is “Replay,” which features two moms talking about getting together to watch the upcoming game when one of the mom’s daughters chimes in to say, “She said she doesn’t want to watch the game with you” because they “talk too much.”
While the mother denies ever saying this, the replay doesn’t lie.
Pro tip: Children and babies in commercials can be a relatable way to make your audience smile and laugh.
40. State Farm
When you think about it, there are probably few industries more difficult to market than insurance because it’s not particularly exciting and it can be expensive.
Maybe that’s why every major insurance company is jumping on the humor train in an attempt to breathe life into this essential but pretty uninteresting industry.
Ten years ago, State Farm introduced us to the “everyday” character of Jake.
We can probably all recite in our sleep the TV ad featuring a customer calling “Jake from State Farm” at three in the morning as his wife comes downstairs to see him on the phone, refusing to believe he’s actually talking to an insurance agent.
State Farm refreshed this commercial in 2020 by introducing us to Jake, mixing the old commercial with the new one.
What we like: Their ability to take an everyday person and make him iconic has helped State Farm triumph in a very competitive marketplace. By building off an older, iconic commercial, State Farm has kept brand awareness, but they haven’t rested on their laurels.
Another insurance company? I know; I could probably list several others, but Allstate has made one of the most significant and effective transitions in marketing strategies the industry has seen.
Today, Allstate is taking a completely different approach to marketing by using a “character” named Mayhem.
Mayhem represents all of the freak accidents or situations that you could never envision actually happening, but with the reassurance that even under these circumstances, Allstate has you covered.
The marketers at Allstate have come up with the wildest situations in their advertising, it’s always humorous and fresh in the consumer’s mind, like this recent competitive brother commercial.
What we like: Allstate is another great example of a brand that hasn’t been afraid to switch things up. Like State Farm, they have been able to transition seamlessly from one concept to another, which is a truly invaluable skill in marketing.
Have you ever wanted to meet your sleep paralysis demons in a virtual reality? If you have, you’re in luck because that’s pretty much what happens in the “Tiger & The Buffalo” ad for Facebook’s metaverse.
In the commercial, art onlookers are sucked into a piece of art that features different jungle creatures, and honestly, the whole thing is a little unnerving.
So what makes this commercial funny and not just outright terrifying? Surreal and absurd elements make this commercial into a horror comedy.
The people jamming to the art and music are so unbelievable it’s laughable. It’s hard to say if this was Facebook’s intention, but either way it’s pretty funny.
What we like: Going against the norm can feel risky, but if your jokes and humor are predictable, they will blend in with the thousands of commercials that exist. Having your actors give an unexpected reaction is an easy way to lighten the mood.
43. Pepsi & Frito-Lay
Ok, ok, one more Pepsi + Frito-Lay commercial — a devious snowman steals a Christmas party snack stash in the commercial “Melt For You.”
The song “Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates plays in the background while the snowman ransacks the Lays and Pepsi soda cans, narrowly avoiding a dog by sliding outside and performing a forward flip trick on a wooden board that serves as a skateboard.
The ending shot shows the snowman with his snowmen friends, who replace his missing carrot nose with a nacho cheese Dorito.
What we like: Animation can be a great way to include cool tricks in your commercial without needing a stunt person to perform them.
44. Clash of Clans Mobile Game
One of the most-watched commercials of 2022, with over 135 million views, is Clash of Clan’s “Welcome to CLAN CAPITAL!”
The commercial features brilliant animation, with a clan member monologuing about a magical place while he slowly dies, when he’s suddenly crushed by a boulder right before telling his clan where the magical place is.
This cycle begins with another leader hit by an arrow, and right before he says where the place is, he’s crushed by a giant.
By the third monologue, they finally discover that the magical place where clans can battle together was there all along if they just turned around.
What we like: The stunning animation is most certainly why this commercial has so many views, and it really sells the mobile game as a beautifully designed space for friends and family to play together.
Hyundai addresses the increasing popularity of women’s football (or soccer, depending on your country of origin) in their commercial “How Far We’ve Come.”
This commercial doesn’t have an over-the-top sense of humor but rather lets the women football players have the last word, kicking around men who don’t want them to play and disobeying a police officer.
Hyundai’s commercial is partnered with FIFA Women’s World Cup, making it a sort of two for one commercial.
Pro Tip: If humor or jokes aren’t a big part of your brand, consider a tongue-in-cheek approach that focuses on empowerment or pushes against the status quo.
Heinz has always been a leader in the advertising space and their recent commercials are no exception. “It has to be Heinz” works as a straightforward, funny commercial.
The commercial starts off relatively normal, with someone putting Heinz ketchup on their steak.
Then it ramps up with people getting tattoos of Heinz ketchup bottles, stealing ketchup from a room service cart, slipping ketchup into a dead man’s pocket at a funeral, and dipping nigiri sushi into ketchup in front of a horrified sushi chef.
This commercial works well because it doesn’t start off completely absurd but reels you in with increasingly crazy situations.
What we like: Don’t feel like you need to over-explain what’s going on in your commercial. Trust that your viewers are smart and will deduce what’s going on.
Chipotle makes the ridiculous concrete by asking, “What if a burrito could change the world?” A brother and sister sit at a table; when the brother looks at his burrito and muses if it has the power to change the world while his sister rolls her eyes.
He then goes on to describe how the ingredients in the burrito could be grown using permaculture, saving water and soil, making animals happier, buying more locally, emitting less carbon, and more.
By the end of his rant, his sister asks him, “Are you still talking?” and the commercial ends with the tagline, “How we grow our food is how we grow our future.”
Pro tip: If you’re working to ensure your product has a positive change to the world, silly humor is a great way to highlight these possibilities in a way that isn’t self-aggrandizing.
Music is a key element for any Coke commercial. Hence, it makes sense that they would partner with comedian and musician Tyler the Creator to make the commercial “Open that Coca-Cola.”
In the commercial, sluggish people are revived from the summer heat by drinking bottles of Coke, with zany dancing and ridiculous circumstances like Grandma breaking it down by the dinner table or becoming a conduit for electricity with all their energy.
What we like: Music and dancing, if done correctly, can bring an incredible amount of energy to any commercial.
In the TikTok commercial “Search it, learn it,” a father and daughter move into a new apartment and turn to the TikTok app to help them learn how to clean carpets, which books to add to their library, budget meals, and more.
The ending scene inverts expectations by revealing that the dad is moving into the apartment, not the daughter, as so many other commercials depict.
What we like: Your funny commercial doesn’t need to be constant jokes. Consider how a meaningful pause adds humor to a commercial or a knowing look between actors over a silly situation.
Have you ever wanted to be a CFO? In Robinhood’s “Run Your Money” commercial, being the CFO of your money is shown to be possible with the investing app.
The main actress is transported to a corner office, with employees working hard to grow her money, expanding into a crypto department, all in the comfort of her own pajamas and home.
Robinhood ends with the tagline, “No one runs your money like you.”
What we like: The tone of this commercial is more playful and silly than outright joking, like some of the other commercials on this list. Silly can be hard to get right; make sure your viewers won’t roll their eyes by not overselling your product.
51. Apple: Focus Mode
Have you ever felt stressed out by tons of texts and calls coming through on your phone?
Apple addresses this phenomenon in their commercial “Focus Mode” which features several people running away from their dinging phones as if their phone were a misbehaving, overeager dog.
Apple ends with the tagline “Relax, It’s iPhone.”
This commercial creatively tells the story of being always available for a phone call or text and focuses on their new solution, a button that puts you on do not disturb mode.
What we like: Let your main thing be your main thing. Don’t spend your whole commercial only addressing the problem; give equal time to your proposed solution to customer pain points.
Perhaps no other funny commercial that tackles the absurd is more believable than Spotify’s “Let the Song Play.”
How many times have you delayed leaving your car and going inside because the song you’re listening to just got to the best part?
Spotify listeners drive past waiting, eager grandparents, ignore their bosses, and hold personal concerts in their car listening to Sia’s “Elastic Heart.”
Spotify is known for young, fun commercials, and this is no exception. The song choice of “Elastic Heart” really ties together a younger crowd of Gen Z and Millenials who both love Sia’s music.
What we like: This commercial contains no dialogue, and it doesn’t need it. The hilarious situations speak for themselves, and the music lets the app’s offering shine.
One of Grammarly’s features is the ability to make your tone sound more confident when you write. The commercial series “Get Your Tone Right” focuses on how easy it is to slip into unsure language when writing emails or chats to your team.
In the commercial, Dave, head of marketing, wins over clients and gets his team’s support using Grammarly’s tone modifier.
What we like: Because this commercial is one of a series, it’s easy to compare it to its predecessors. What really turns up the charm in this commercial is a personable voice-over that tells the story with funny quips and observations.
The second Amazon commercial that makes this list is “Separation,” which depicts a couple fighting and the boyfriend moving out of their shared apartment.
They continue to share an Amazon account and get frequent updates on what the other person is buying, such as a sports bra to get healthier, cups for hosting a party, and a red dress for clubbing.
These frequent funny reminders of packages being shipped keep the couple from forgetting about each other, leading to their subsequent reunion at the end of the commercial.
What we like: This is another example of a commercial with no dialogue, just excellent storytelling. Amazon turns up the relatability by showing realistic purchases after a breakup and how those might influence a relationship.
Clorox is a classic American brand, one that has been trusted for decades to clean homes around the world. They realized they couldn’t just ride on the coattails of this “classic” persona forever and have taken a more modern approach recently.
Their motto today is “Start Clean,” and their newest commercial uses a feel-good approach to humor in a commercial.
The young girl in the commercial tells the story of her first day of school, and her happy spirit is oblivious to the messes she makes.
Clorox focuses only a short amount of time in the commercial to actually cleaning up these messes, showing the viewer that letting kids be kids might result in messes, but it will also result in happiness.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to be genuine and wear your heart on your sleeve. Comedy doesn’t need to always be satirical or pessimistic; showing humor in everyday situations is an excellent way to strike the right chord with your viewers.
Use Humor to Enhance Your Sales
There’s a lot that we can learn from contemporary commercials, especially when it comes to what audiences are finding funny now.
Humor is incredibly relative. What may be hilarious to one person is cheesy to another or off-putting to someone else, so sprinkle humor into your commercial wisely. Don’t forget that creating a genuinely funny commercial is only half the battle.
Use comedy in your commercial in a way that makes your product and brand stick out in an oversaturated market, and you’ll be able to increase both sales and smiles.