12/16/2013 05:24 pm ET Updated Feb 15, 2014

12 Insanely Creative Ads

Some of the most amazing and effective ads ever developed, some of which have become iconic, faced incredible odds before being approved for production, when in production and postproduction, and even after being placed on air or in magazines. A few do not, but very few.

There is a highly emotional involvement in approving ads that are fresh and distinctive. All the more so for those that are groundbreaking and push envelope edge. Even clients who believe that only great advertising can burst through the clutter and stand out in the sea of sameness, can get jangled.

It's a classical approach avoidance conflict. Drawn to the need to grab attention and motivate prospects, but when standing face to face with the decision to run or not to run. Lock jaw!

A unique, new and daring concept can be scary. To a prospect, to the executive in charge of saying "do it", and even to Boards of Directors. Why? There is always risk that goes with the reward. While looking back over the shoulder does not make history, there are perils associated with doing otherwise.

As an adman I have had the good fortune of being associated with an unusual number of ads that were brilliant creative concepts and great executions when produced. All faced hurtles along the way from the skeptics, the dunces, the pinheads, the meek and the weak.

Most prevailed because they had someone championing them, but also through circumstances, manipulations, timing and dumb luck. The best offense was always having grounded arguments and standing one's ground.

Happily great ads can drive unusually massive awareness, be much more persuasive and result in significant perceptual gains and huge product sales.

It is usually the entrepreneurial minds that recognize the upside and go for the gold rings. And, when they do step up to the plate and put their advertising and their money where their commitment to their product or service is, they hit home runs.

And some even grand slams.

A few of these kinds of ads are illustrated here.

Fred Goldberg is the author of The Insanity of Advertising [Council Oak Books, $28.95]

12 Insanely Creative Ads