Samsung’s television commercial, Sister, is the best-liked ad for 2016, according to Kantar Millward Brown, which each year rates the ads most liked by SA audiences.

Sister, an ad conceptualised by Leo Burnett in Chicago, is part of a global Samsung campaign that tells a universal story, connecting with viewers from around the world. Another ad from the same campaign, Sink, was placed 16th on the list.

Natalie Botha, creative development director at Kantar Millward Brown SA, says more than 70% of the top 20 ads in 2016’s best-liked list use storytelling to engage their viewers and allow the brand to play a leading role in the narrative. “Stories are the reason we stay awake late to finish a book, watch a movie or binge-watch on Netflix,” she says. “Stories engage us like nothing else [does]. We know that stories with emotional relevance and creative engagement are critical to an ad’s success.”

At least one-third of the ads on Kantar Millward’s Brown list were created by global agencies. Both Samsung and Coca-Cola’s campaigns – the first Coca-Cola ad came in at number 10 – were designed to work across regions.

Ogilvy Johannesburg scooped second place with its Vodacom Play Every Day commercial.

“Humour and children – a traditional ingredient for engagement – prevail in more than half the ads,” says Botha. But she says animals, another staple, were less conspicuous on the list. “Surprisingly, only two dogs [featured], making very short cameos in the Vodacom and Baby Soft commercials.”

Kantar Millward Brown’s top 20 best-liked ads of 2016

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