WATCH: Most remarkable commercials of 2014

Commercials. They used to be annoying. But these days, it seems like there’s a steady stream of eye-catching ads that folks just can’t stop talking about.

Some of the best advertisements of 2014 fall into that category. And as you’ll notice, most are longer than an average twenty or thirty second spot and all went viral online.

It all starts with our youth

Noah Ritter, who shot to fame for using the word “apparently” repeatedly in a YouTube video, and even made an appearance on Ellen, starred in his first commercial as the summer expired.

In the ad, Ritter managed to justify switching to Freshpet dog food because the other brand “made [a dog’s] farts stink all day and night.”
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“Apparently this is my first ever TV commercial,” Noah, 5, says as the commercial starts.

Nailed it.

READ MORE: ‘Apparently’ kid goes commercial with Freshpet ad

Other brands decided to forego the Internet star route and pull at family’s heartstrings instead.

What My Mom Does At GE“, from General Electric, features the endless imagination of a little girl describing what her mother does at work for the technology company.

The underwater submarine…very cool.

But, possibly, the most effective commercial starring a child didn’t even air in North America.

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Save The Children’s public service announcement in the United Kingdom featured a young girl who went from an average birthday party surrounded by parents to losing her family and eventually finding herself all alone, trying to survive, in a war-torn area.

It can happen to anyone, and you may never forget that because of this fantastic PSA.

‘Tis the season

Keeping with children abroad, we move into the holiday season full of laughter, love…and heart-warming commercials.

Monty the Penguin” is a November entry from British retailer John Lewis that features a young boy and his beloved penguin.

But something is missing in Monty’s life – and that’s a soul mate. When Monty comes down the stairs on Christmas morning to receive his gift from his best friend, he comes face-to-face with the love of his life.

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Someone, somewhere is crying happy tears.

LEGO took a different approach to spreading holiday cheer and building brand loyalty.

The block-building company produced a time-lapse video of the largest LEGO structure built in the Southern Hemisphere. Naturally, it was a gigantic Christmas tree.

Residents and tourists have flocked to the tree – located at the Westfield Sydney shopping centre beneath the Sydney Tower in the heart of Sydney, Australia.

READ MORE: Incredible time-lapse of LEGO Christmas tree built in Australia

Perhaps the most impressive ad aimed at the holiday season was produced by British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and the Royal British Legion.

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The ad recreates Christmas Day 1914 and the First World War truce between British and German forces who put their differences aside for a time and met on the battlefield to exchange gifts and play a friendly game of soccer.

You want me to kiss who???

Published in March and now with over one-hundred-million views on YouTube, “First Kiss” had the potential to be the most awkward marketing stunt of the year.

However, women’s clothing brand WREN looked brilliant after the awkwardness passed and each couple, in all forms, embraced each other for the first time and enjoyed it.

The only thing left to do at the end was smile – and maybe ask for a phone number. And a name.

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Sporting brands, athletes continue to perform

Lebron James made a shock return to the Cleveland Cavaliers this season.

At the outset, the skeptics were out in full force allegedly saying James wasn’t fully committed to his hometown. But seeing is believing, and when Nike released the ‘Together‘ ad, the entire world saw how much Cleveland can mean to ‘King James’.

READ MORE: LeBron James huddles all of Cleveland in stirring new Nike ad

The “Derek Jeter” chants at Yankee Stadium in New York are now a thing of the past, but will live in infamy thanks to a farewell ad published by the “Jordan” brand. That’s right, basketball legend Michael Jordan.

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In the spine-tingling video, players, fans and opponents tip their cap to “The Captain” before former Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester unloads from the mound.

Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup this past summer – and the world certainly watched in record numbers.

For the host nation, the most successful soccer power ever, the pressure was on to win at home which is exactly why the Beats by Dre commercial called, “The Game Before The Game”, is all the more powerful.

The ad begins with seleção sensastion Neymar speaking over the phone with his father before a match. Moments later, it seems like every soccer star that can sell a shirt joins in the fun.

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Speaking of the FIFA World CupGatorade launched a successful ad campaign featuring some of the world’s top soccer stars and a very familiar Disney song.

As usual, the idea was to convince consumers that drinking Gatorade could help boost athletic performance. The success of the ad, it can be argued, is largely contributed to Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil defender David Luiz and Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi – widely considered the best soccer player in the entire universe.

The most-watched commercial timed for the FIFA World Cup, by a country mile, was Nike Football’s “Winner Stays” campaign featuring Portugal and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and a host of others – including Neymar and Messi.

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A friendly neighbourhood match between boys dramatically changes when each youth takes on the persona, and physique, of their favourite footy hero.

The ad is the only video to crack the one-hundred-million barrier on YouTube. It also includes a cameo by NBA star Kobe Bryant – who lived in Italy growing up and is a very outspoken soccer fan.

Football is king. Long live the king.

But the mecca of sports advertising is still the NFL’s Super Bowl. And to be honest, one brand rose above all the rest for the big game – Budweiser.

In its most popular of two highly-touted ads, “Puppy Love” features some Canadian content. The Clydesdale half of the beautiful friendship between Labrador Retriever and horse is named Alex, and he’s from Elora, Ont.

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What’s more, the hashtag launched with the spot – #BestBuds – was incredibly clever. And cute.

READ MORE: Equine star of popular ‘Puppy Love’ Super Bowl ad raised in Canada

Budweiser’s other notable offering has more of a patriotic flair.

At the beginning of the year, Lt. Chuck Nadd arrived home from a tour abroad and embraced his loved one at the airport.

But while driving home, what might have been a quiet family reunion became the entire town’s celebration.

The spot ends with the subtitle, “Every soldier deserves a hero’s welcome.”

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