Advertising campaigns are designed to promote a specific product or service to an audience of potential buyers. In order to do this effectively the ad campaign must use creativity in getting its message across. Companies may use signs, large vinyl banners or commercials. Sometimes special advertisements manage to transcend mere promotion and make a real connection.

The following are six advertisements that really stood out in 2012:

Chrysler: It’s Halftime in America.

During the halftime break in the football action of the Super Bowl, a poignant ad came onto the screen featuring the raspy voiced actor Clint Eastwood. The ad features Chrysler auto workers in Detroit along with a cross-section of American citizens. Eastwood talks about how tough things have been for the country, but when everyone pulls together America always bounces back. The successful comeback of Chrysler serves as a hopeful metaphor for America’s future.

Six Greatest Ad Campaigns of 2012Red Bull: Stratos Jump.

Red Bull is a product that has a high energy image and they really took their advertising to new heights on October 14, 2012. Eight million people watched Felix Baumgartner soar 23 miles from the edge of the earth down to the ground. Millions more have viewed the edited version.

Proctor & Gamble: Best Job.

This heartwarming advertisement was shown during the Olympics. It is a tribute to dedicated moms around the world that are always there, through thick and thin, to support the Olympic dreams of their talented children.

The Guardian: Three Little Pigs.

How do you get people interested in reading an old-fashioned newspaper? Create a compelling ad that features the popular story of those three little pigs. A family of pigs is accused of murdering a menacing wolf by boiling him alive. The Guardian features this breaking news, and soon people around the world are discussing the fate of these poor pigs. But, the pigs are not as innocent as they seem. The Guardian covers all angles.

Microsoft: Surface.

It has been way too many years since Microsoft seemed like it had something truly new and innovative to offer on the technology front. This ad for their Surface keyboard makes them fresh and current again. The ad is playful, fun and is visually stimulating.

Dollar Shave Club:

Our Blades Are (Bleeping) Great. Founder and CEO Michael Dubin stars in this oddball ad that promotes his razor blade subscription club. It also includes a toddler, machete, bear and lots of witty humor.