The recent Super Bowl once again elevated the discussion around what makes great advertising. Unfortunately, the Super Bowl has become the standard for advertising by the general public--in other words, if a spot appears on the Super Bowl then it immediately gets scrutinized by millions of eyeballs and "judged." That judgment too often is totally based upon entertainment value and whether or not the spot elicits a belly laugh.
Advertising may be better analyzed as to those that endure. What campaigns can you point to that have been in market for some time but still appear fresh?
Two that immediately come to mind for me are the "Priceless" campaign by Mastercard and the "Mac versus PC" campaign from Apple. The former has been on for years yet still seems fresh. Mastercard has extended the campaign into online where they solicit "priceless" stories from consumers.
The Apple campaign has not been in market as long as Mastercard's yet has done an excellent job of pointing out the shortcomings of the PC, particularly when compared to Apple's product. The Apple work even caused rival Microsoft to fire back with it's own "I'm a PC" campaign--perhaps the sincerest form of flattery in that the bigger rival (if measured by market capitalization) answers the rival's messaging.