Two of Adweek's picks for best ads of 2016 had sports themes, with Under Armour's commercial featuring Michael Phelps taking the top spot. Nike ranked third on the list with an ad that was created for audiences in India.
Here's the premise for Under Armour's ad, according to Adweek's Tim Nudd: The brief was simple: Explore the rigors of training through the lens of Michael Phelps ahead of the Olympics in Rio. The finished spot was astonishing, using darkness to paradoxically shed new light on one of the planet's biggest stars -- and the physical and psychological cost of dedicating one's life to swimming at the highest level.
Nike's production was designed to empower women by embracing sports. Via Nudd: Girls in India are told sport is a waste of time, and to focus on school and marital eligibility. This three-minute Nike spot -- starring the ultimate squad of Indian women athletes (and other celebs) -- was a freewheeling, joyous rebuke to that thinking. Marvelously conceived and shot, it was a stunning debut on the brand from W+K's Delhi office.
Check out the complete rundown of the year's Top 10 ads on Adweek. There is one that debuted during the Super Bowl.