The 10 Best Commercials of 2011

The year's most impeccable craft and storytelling in advertising

Best of 2011, Lists

About the Author

Tim Nudd is creative editor at Adweek.

CANAL+ • The Bear6

Agency: BETC Euro RSCG, Paris • Director: Matthijs Van Heijningen, Soixante Quinze • Editing: Jono Griffiths
Effects: Mikros Image

Bears have long been among the best-loved creatures in advertising. But this hilarious French commercial for the Canal+ movie channel by BETC Euro RSCG—the third animal spot in our top 10—found a wonderful new role for one furry friend in particular. He's not just the exploited talent. He's the director! The spot opens on a movie set, as the bear—aka "Paul Bearman"—is seen interrupting a violent medieval battle scene to give advice to his actors and crew. The ad proceeds as a mockumentary, with Bearman explaining his passion for cinema. Turns out he's the typical Hollywood director—a bit of a diva, a complete control freak, but a real renaissance bear when it comes to his craft, micro-managing everything from the special effects to the music. This only odd thing is, he looks a bit thin, with a weird, upholstered look to his belly. The ending—perhaps the best of any spot this year—wonderfully explains that he's a taxidermied bear who's been lying prostrate in someone's living room for years, falling in love with the movies from night after night of watching Canal+. "Pourquoi pas moi?" he says. He may not make it in Hollywood, but for now, he's conquered advertising.

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