It's no secret that clever ad campaigns can make or break a company. I majored in communication in college, with a focus on mass and electronic media. I learned that one of the most important principles in advertising is brand recognition; people need to have something positive to associate your product's name with if they're going to be convinced to buy it. Products with clever ad campaigns sell better than lesser-known brands because consumers buy things they're familiar with, even if they aren't the best ones. I'm not sure about some of these products because I haven't tried them all, but here are some of my favorite commercials. I'm sure you have your own.

1. M&MS

The anthropomorphic M&Ms pitch is one of the funniest and most clever ad campaigns I've seen. I like the way it gives some of them personalities: the red one a smart ass, the yellow one a moron and the brown one an edible socialite. I especially love the party scene and Red's power ballad takeoff. I don't think all of these commercials are shown in the US but, seriously, what country doesn't love M&Ms? Great, now I want some. Bye-bye, diet plan.

2. Geico Camel

As much as I love the gecko, I can't help but laugh my butt off when this commercial comes on. Talking pigs, guard panthers and bovids with Night-vision goggles - no matter how you feel about the company, you can't help but love the commercials. In case the one above wasn't enough, check out their YouTube channel.

3. The Most Interesting Man in the World

I've mostly heard these commercials for Dos Equis beer on the radio, but occasionally I'll see one on TV. The idea is that, if a man who is classy enough to have parties commemorating his parties or whose blood smells like cologne likes something, it must be good. The video is a bit choppy, but here are some of the best one-liners.

4. Where's the Beef

Here's one of the funniest and most popular ad campaigns of the eighties. The idea is pretty clear - other burgers aren't as satisfying as Wendy's. If there's anyone you can trust to tell the truth, it's an old lady!

5. Bud Light-Real Men of Genius

You've probably heard these ads on the radio more often than on television, but they're parodies of tribute songs directed at men they feel are unappreciated in some way. The campaign started off as Real American Heroes, but the name changed after 9/11 because it struck execs as being disrespectful to the, well, real American heroes (first responders, etc) at the time. I can see their point. Either way, the ads are funny.

6. Frank's Hot Sauce

Again, you've probably heard these ads more often on the radio than on television. The hook is obvious-you wouldn't expect a genteel old lady to use the word S*[email protected], so you remember it when she does! The commercials are great, even if the sauce isn't. I haven't tried it, so I'll let you be the judge!

7. Snickers

You're not you when you're hungry. No, you're Aretha Franklin complaining about the heat in the car, Betty White playing football or Robin Williams doing random imitations when you're supposed to be giving your team a pep talk. Eat a Snickers-packed with nuts and really satisfies- and all is right with the world. We jokingly used the latter slogan in high school to describe guys we liked, but that's another post. :)

Even if you're not really in the market for a particular product, that doesn't have to keep you from enjoying the ads. What are your favorite ad campaigns? Are there any on my list you're not a fan of? Which have I left out? I want to know what you think!