Top 10 Commercials of the Week: Aug. 18-23

1

Tony Scott’s Final Spot

 

This Mountain Dew spot by BBDO is the final work of Tony Scott, who recently committed suicide at age 68. He directed hundreds of ads—many of them award winners—through RSA Films, his and brother Ridley's commercial production company. This last commercial features Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban trying to tempt a diehard Diet Dew fan with untold riches in exchange for the last bottle at a convenience store.

2

Axe Back to Old Tricks

 

For those who were concerned that Axe's "Susan Glenn" spot represented a concerted effort by the brand to renounce its moral turpitude and embrace a measure of sophistication, fear not: This new Axe spot from BBH, New York, reaffirms the brand's worldview by literally reducing a woman to a headless, walking pair of breasts. In the Axe universe, people aren't greater than the sum of their parts—they are their parts. So, you'd better make them look and smell desirable.

3

James Franco Sells Himself for Samsung

James Franco would like you to know that it's great to be James Franco. What else is new, you say? Samsung is now paying Franco to play himself, in a new video from Cheil, also directed by Franco, that's supposed to be an ad for the Samsung Galaxy Note tablet but is actually an ad for James Franco. It seems like the role Franco was born for. 

4

Jay Cutler’s the Judge

In an amusing new spot from Grey, New York, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler delicately adjudicates a dispute between a woman and her roommates, who seem to have absconded with (or, from their point of view, are "borrowing") her official Bears apparel—part of the NFL's women's clothing collection, which it's pushing quite heavily this year. 

 

5

Fun in ‘The Sun’

 

What phone-hacking scandal? Welcome to the sunny alternate universe of The Sun. In this new ad from Grey London, the News International tabloid puts on a happy-go-lucky face amid the ongoing arrests of its journalists for alleged bribery and the slow implosion of Rupert Murdoch's U.K. empire. Ignoring the gloom entirely, the spot's protagonist rhymes his way through the wide range of topics the paper covers—from substantive issues like taxes and troops to even more substantive issues like bingo and half-naked women.

6

Guinness Wants You to Paint it Black This Arthur’s Day

 

Arthur's Day is almost here! Are you ready? Invented in 2009 by Guinness to honor its founder, Arthur Guinness, Arthur's Day may not yet be the biggest Guinness-swilling holiday, but Saatchi & Saatchi in London is working to change that. In its new 90-second global Guinness commercial, people are encouraged to "paint the town black" on Arthur's Day, which is Sept. 27 this year. It opens with people doing just that. They slather thick black paint on everything in sight—buildings, roads, cars, pianos, bed sheets, horses, even themselves. 

7

Bundaberg Swims With the Fishes

 

We're told that with 18 times more taste buds than humans—located all over its body, in fact—the catfish is the butt of "Mother Nature's cruelest joke," doomed forever to savor the detritus of civilization with its fins and face, while we get to enjoy the smooth flavor of the Diageo rum brand. Now, if they'd just reeled in the pitch right about there in this Bundaberg Red spot by Leo Burnett, Sydney, Australia, we'd have a fun, understated, quirky commercial. Alas, the spot sinks under its own weight as the fish morphs into a swimming tongue and the narrator is revealed to be the crazy, bearded, top-hatted coot from Bundaberg's previous spots

8

Driving a Toyota is Your Alternate Reality

Do you enjoy alternate-reality films? Do you enjoy dystopian video games? Do you enjoy the hackneyed one-liners often found in alternate-reality films and dystopian video games? Then you'll love Saatchi & Saatchi London's spot for the Toyota GT86 sports car—an ad that manages to distill various clichés from The Matrix and a host of Christopher Nolan films into a CGI-illustrated dissertation on reality.

9

Volvo Puts it All on the (Slack) Line

 

Faith Dickey, a world champion at the ridiculously dangerous "sport" of slacklining, stars in this clip by Swedish ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors designed to tout the precision control of Volvo FH trucks. Dickey walks across a cord strung between a pair of vehicles, in high winds, as the trucks speed toward separate tunnels. There's really not much suspense or tension in this particular high-wire act, though, since we all know she's going to accomplish the stunt safely, or Volvo wouldn't have posted the footage. 

10

James Carville and Mary Matalin Find Something New to Fight About

James Carville and Mary Matalin are an advertising "it" couple for brands that want a commercial that weds their product to marital bickering and cheesy political tie-ins. In a new spot for Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating, the couple argue over the state of the thermostat, lobbing hot-button puns at each other. The Mitsubishi ad, created by Atlanta agency Ames Scullin O'Haire, is set to launch Monday and will air on CNN and Fox, as well as on ABC and CBS during coverage of the party conventions, where cooler heads almost certainly won't prevail.