Advertisements-of-Olympic-Proportions-Blog-Image-Resized-resized-600.jpgThroughout the years large-scale events have become central hubs attracting the greatest marketers to put out their top work, no matter the amount of time or money it takes to produce.

And with the The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics now underway, this year is no exception.

There have been many unique ads out there trying to attach a brand name to the Sochi Olympics and stand out amongst the rest. And who could blame them when approximately 19.7 hours of the NBC’s air time will be filled with sponsored messages (which adds up to about 17 percent of the total coverage)? So, with that in mind, the pressure grows on company’s to make ads that will get them noticed.

In keeping with true Olympic tradition, here are my top Olympic ad picks, ranked from bronze to gold:

Bronze Medal

Created by: RKCR/Y&R

Created for: BBC

Spot: “Winter Olympics 2014 Trailer”

This commercial starts out like a trailer from a dark Dr. Suess movie. With majestic views of snowy mountain peaks and a deep, booming voice speaking in rhymes about power…it’s fair to say that this ad stands out from the typical happy, supportive view of the games. End with the gear-hauling athletes walking in slow motion to triumphant music and you are left with one badass ad for BBC. Though more than a few reviews have been negative because of the ad’s ominous nature, in my opinion it truly captures the epic-ness that comes with competing to be the best in the entire world (not to mention the battle against Mother Nature’s treturous elements), which the voice humanizes in the ad.

Silver Medal

Created by: EVB, Victors & Spoils

Created for: JCPenney

Spot: “Go Ligety”

If you haven’t seen Blackstreet’s music video for their 1996 hit “No Diggity” then this commercial isn’t going to have the impact it was meant to, but if you have, you can see the ironic genius JCPenny has put forth. For starters, they enlisted Blackstreet’s own C. Black to feature in the spot, as well as changing the main song lyrics to “Go Ligety” in support of US Olympic skier Ted Ligety. That wasn’t all that is different from the original; rather than starting girls stepping out of limos, it is middle-age women exiting a minivan in a JCPenny parking lot. They then take to the store’s aisles to get both their dancing and shopping done, instead of hitting the club as the original music video had. Don’t forget the addition of a few singing and piano-playing puppets to complete the symmetry to the hip-hop hit as well as many lyric changes to help support team USA (and the store’s family values).

Gold Medal

Created by: Wieden + Kennedy

Created for: Proctor & Gamble

Spot: “Pick Them Back Up”

Is it just me or did it suddenly get a little dusty in here? That tear-jerking take on the supportive role moms take in cheering on their Olympians has earned a lot of praise recently. The heart-warming message behind a mom picking up a child when they fall and encouraging them to try again is demonstrated first with infants learning to walk then ends with adults making it to the games. It puts a clear emphasis on the winter sports—specifically hockey, figure skating, skiing, and snowboarding—as it shows the ups and downs of being an athletic competitor, for both the athlete and their mom. That theme may sound familiar, and it should because P & G did a very similar campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London called “The Best Job” that was also made by Wieden + Kennedy.

For good measure (and in case that last ad didn’t mist up your eyes enough) let’s take a look at that prequel ad from the 2012 Olympic games.

Olympics commercials give the entire world a chance to show the best advertisements they have to offer. So when you are tuning in to the winter games to support your country, check out the commercials to see if they are as impressive as the athletes.

And go team USA!