Every holiday, sports event or world-wide extravaganza provides brands with the opportunity to do some awesome stuff.
Most will bite the bait: tagging onto a traffic-producing, engagement-encouraging and hype-amping event is usually at least moderately enticing. (We say "moderately" with a heavy addition of droll).
But the ones who truly stand out, who really own our minutes (and if most successful, our hearts) are those who make the extraordinary relatable. The ones who create links when there seemingly aren't many, or the ones who make us feel something we normally don't.
Of course, the Olympics takes the lead in creative spot action. It literally brings the entire world together for a few weeks.
Those who know how to work with that tall order don't just slap a few coloured rings onto an ad.
No, they teach us some history. They make us view the world in a different way. They challenge how we think. They make our heart swell.
This is what captured our minutes this week.
Here are our favourite spots:
1. Gatorade's "The Boy Who Learned to Fly"
Gatorade didn't just make a spot here; it produced what could essentially be a short film.
Before he was smiling at cameras during 100m sprints, Usain Bolt was a child who needed to learn how to speed towards his dreams.
Tracing from his schoolyard racing days to the pressure he felt as he rose to the top, Gatorade created an animated short that gave viewers an insider look at a more intimate Usain Bolt.
People didn't learn about Usain Bolt the Olympian. People met Usain Bolt, the boy who needed to learn how to fly.
2. Samsung's "The Anthem"
In a time where there's so much division, pain and animosity in the world, Samsung made us forget what difference means by taking all the world's anthems and beautifully combining them together.
The brand made use of strategic timing and swelling feelings of national pride in a way that rarely ever heard. In a generation of "me first" thinking, Samsung pushed viewers to celebrate the best of everyone rather than draw lines.
3. Visa's "On your mark, get set, first"
While people get over the controversy of Ashton Eaton wearing a Canadian hat in support of wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton, we're focused on Visa's cute and funny parody of what it means to get that coveted number one spot.
It showcases the speed of using Visa Checkout, but in a way that all couples can get behind. After all, what couple doesn't like a little friendly competition from time to time?
In a competition where being first can sometimes overtake the real meaning of the sport, this spot pokes fun at getting gold and makes us smile all the way through.
4. Nike's "Unlimited Future"
This spot expertly melds seriousness with good humour. It points out some hard realities (and some that are extremely relevant, like the reference to refugees). But it does so using babies and a dramatic musical crescendo.
It breaks down viewers' apprehensions with a chuckle, but stirs them to action with moving words.
All in all, awesome.
5. P&G's "Thank You, Mom - Strong"
Moms always have a soft spot in peoples' hearts. They brought us into the world. They do so much for us, no matter what stage of life we're at.
P&G has produced several spots in the name of moms, but this one is particularly powerful. Why? Because it's raw. It's not flowery and frilly. Instead it shows the real things that moms do to protect, encourage and comfort.
It's something that viewers sometimes forget to acknowledge. Yet after watching this, they probably never will again.
Overall, producing creative and heartfelt content when it comes to huge events doesn't find success in simply jumping on the bandwagon. Real success is when brands take the underlying stories and shed some light on them, in turn pushing viewers to do more than just view.
At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.
What will win this week?