Here's a statistic for you: The annual 24-hour online shopping festival thrown on November 11 by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba sold more in 24 hours than Brazilians spend in a year on e-commerce. Yep, Chinese shoppers spent a wallet-busting $17.8 billion, up from $14.3 billion last year. That's enough to rank 11th alongside in international yearly e-commerce sales, ahead of Brazil in global rankings. Or just slightly more than Jamaica's GDP. In one day. Onward!
What: An ad for the 11.11 shopping festival, also known as Singles Day in China, the country's biggest e-commerce sales day
Who: Alibaba, Fred & Farid
Why We Care: What could possibly be a better meditation on the world's biggest e-commerce day than just stringing together brand slogans into a semi-coherent paean to consumerism?
What: Three profiles of transgender people doing good work in their community with the help of Google tools to mark Transgender Awareness Week, which runs November 14 to 20
Why We Care: While it would always be commendable for Google to use a marketing opportunity to tell diverse human stories, these profiles take on perhaps more significant meaning in a week in which many are very concerned what a Donald Trump presidency will mean for LGBTQ Americans. The spots are directed by Rhys Ernst and produced by Zackary Drucker, both whom are producers on Amazon's award-winning series Transparent.
What: Tom Brady celebrates Foot Locker's totally made-up holiday with a less-than made-up tirade against the seemingly never-ending sports debate around Deflategate.
Who: Foot Locker, BBDO New York
Why We Care: It's really great to see an athlete have a sense of humor around a touchy subject. I picked this one because Deflategate might be one of the biggest sports debates of the last decade (MAKEITSTOP), but truthfully, between that and Carmelo Anthony confronting IRL trolls, and Ja Rule earnestly driving an Uber, all three ads in this campaign are Top 5-worthy.
What: A new SodaStream ad that uses Game of Thrones characters to convince us of the virtues in homemade sparkling water
Who: SodaStream, Allenby Concept House
Why We Care: As Cersei would tell anyone, nobody wants to be followed through the street by Septa Unella from the Most Devout. But maybe what this ad is really telling us is that every time we use plastic unnecessarily, we're active participants in the environmental equivalent of the Oberyn Martell death scene.
What: The Spanish Lottery’s Christmas lottery ad
Who: The Spanish State Lottery (Loterías y Apuestas del Estado), Leo Burnett Madrid
Why We Care: It's not quite last year's epic Pixar-style ad, but this one's heart-warming qualities slowly creep up on you. At the start it's just another transparently cheesy holiday ad aiming to manipulate your emotions, but by the end you're dialing the phone to talk to mom. Still, he's going to have to tell her at some point, right?