Final post of the year. And to wrap it up - my top 5 list of the best American TV / broadcast commercials of 2011.
5. Snickers: Focus Group
Ad Agency: BBDO, New York.
Funny little spot for Snickers by BBDO, with a focus group of sharks deciding that "Steve" tasted better because he had just eaten a Snickers Peanut Butter Squared bar. Well executed with strong art direction and CGI / 3D animation picking up on the sharks' little nuanced mannerisms. The result is a dark, macabre humored ad which works.
4. Nissan Leaf: Gas Powered Everything
Ad Agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day, LA.
What if every appliance we used ran on gas powered engines? TBWA/Chiat/Day promotes this idea and in the process makes the all electric Nissan Leaf stand out. Interesting art direction in the details of the gas powered mechanisms which help convey a bleak and choked vision of the future.
3. Chrysler 200: Born Of Fire
Ad Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, OR.
Launched at Super Bowl XLV, W+K kept this two-minute manifesto ad for Chrysler under wraps before its debut. The ad not only sells Chrysler but repositions Detroit and the American automotive industry with its "imported from Detroit" tag. One of the two featured Super Bowl ads featuring Detroit's own "8 Mile" rapper, Eminem.
2. Google Chrome: Dear Sophie
Ad Agency: Google Creative Lab & Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York.
This touching commercial for Google's Chrome browser. Originally ninety seconds but also in shorter formats, this narrative sequence follows the birth of a daughter, Sophie, with a father documenting her life with photo images, videos, letters and stories. Using many of Google's online software apps (Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube etc), the father forms a digital scrapbook which he hopes to share with her "someday". Works on an emotional level.
1. Volkswagon Passat 2012: The Force
Ad Agency: Deutsch, LA.
A real crowd-pleaser and cheeky little number from Deutsch launched just before Super Bowl XLV weekend and will win a swag of awards. Accompanied by John Williams' Imperial March", our little Darth Vader is trying to use the force to manipulate objects around the house. Dad comes to his aid with a little help from the VW Passat's remote starter. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. Outtakes here.
> Doritos: Pug Attack
Ad Agency: Doritos & Pepsi "Crash the Super Bowl" entry by J.R. Burningham
Noticed this stand-out from the majority of the pack during Super Bowl Weekend. I also have a soft spot for pugs.
> Heineken: The Date
Ad Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam.
Technically not American but it's had high airplay since its launch and it's an Art Director's wet dream.
Music taken from the 1960's mod Bollywood film "Gumnaam", song "Jan Pehechaan Ho" by Mohammed Rafi. The only cure for Jan Pehechaan Ho is more Jan Pehechaan Ho!
Happy holidays and have a great new year break!