I don’t watch a lot of TV. I can’t stand the commercials.
Don’t get me wrong. I think there are a lot of good television commercials being produced today. Probably more than ever before. But what seems to be missing are the extreme lows. There is a surprising abundance of “good” ads.
So when I sat down to watch January’s Best Spots reel, I couldn’t believe there were 96 commercials on it.
Can there be 96 of anything that would be the best in any month?
I know, I know. January is Super Bowl month and all the big guns (beer and soda makers, fast foods, computers, cars, athletic footwear manufacturers) fire off their “best” shots. But even so 96 commercials?
Out of those 96, 14 were truly dreadful. Who made them? And is it possible to give a most baffling award to Volkswagen for not one but two ads?
I feel the need to comment on the “Dalmatian” spot for Budweiser. It was beautifully produced and edited. And I like dogs as much as anyone. But whatever happened to selling something in a commercial?
And how about that Pepsi One spoof of Reservoir Dogs with Cuba Gooding Jr.? It demonstrates yet again that you can spend $1 million and still wind up with a bomb.
I ended up picking 11 spots that I thought were outstanding. Two were created by my agency. (Hey, if I didn’t think they were excellent, I never would have approved them.) But the rules (not modesty) forbid commenting on my agency’s work.
That leaves nine spots that are truly the best of the month. Most of them made me laugh. A couple made me think. Here they are, in no particular order:
Espn.com: an irresistibly dumb guy named “The Rick” fantasizes about frolicking in his own self-created Fenway Park.
Diet Coke: a beautiful girl lets a guy’s car slide over a cliff–I like women like that.
LotusR5: “I Am”–a simple, memorable and powerful communication.
Budweiser: “Lobster”–it’s the old story: A lobster, about to die, grabs a bottle of Bud as a hostage and backs his way out of the kitchen, holding the authorities at bay.
Who knew you could make a lobster look cute?
Cracker Jack: “Really Big Bag,” with a really small pony as the prize. It made me remember what fun Cracker Jacks are.
Apple Macintosh: “Hal” (pictured, left) proves all over again that you don’t need a lot of production, money and effects to make a brilliant point.
Visa Check Card: “Buckingham Palace”–what could be worse than getting peed on by a dog? Getting peed on while you are out of uniform.
New York Sports Clubs: “Old Man”–because man cannot live by Viagra alone.
Monster.com: a great twist on all those kid wannabe commercials.
These ads are all excellent. But if I had to choose one best spot for January, I’d pick Bud’s “Lobster.” It really grabbed me.
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