Advertisement

The 10 Best Commercials of 2012

The year's most entertaining, intriguing, powerful and beautiful spots


Axe, "Susan Glenn"

Agency: BBH, New York
Director: Ringan Ledwidge, Rattling Stick

Perhaps no spot this year felt as refreshingly out of character for a brand as Axe's "Susan Glenn." For years, the meat-heady marketer has painted its customers as dweeby chick magnets who miraculously, and frankly inexplicably, attract buxom beauties. Suddenly changing course, this spot from BBH New York was a sophisticated, nostalgic ode to the proverbial girl who got away. Peter Rosch's poetic copy has a timeless quality. Ringan Ledwidge—the only director to appear twice on this list—brings it masterfully to life with surreal, stylish visions of fond yet tortured memories from high school. The dream sequences are as romantic as any advertising put to film this year, proving that getting the girl isn't half as interesting as longing for her (and perhaps undermining Axe's traditional brand promise along the way). Kiefer Sutherland's rich narration helps build the delicate atmosphere, and his appearance in the final scene doesn't swamp it. "Everybody has had that person who renders them useless," BBH's Ari Weiss told Adweek in July. This spot, likewise, is irresistible with a charm that lingers.



Full credits here.

Continue to next page →

Advertisement

Advertisement
See Also
Van Damme to David Lynch, zombies to food phantasmagorias
The 30 Freakiest Ads of 2011
Clowns to human socks, drivable butts to domestic violence
The 30 Freakiest Ads of 2010
Roller-skating babies, Hitler, 9/11 exploitation, rat poison and more
The 30 Freakiest Ads of 2009
Classics for Stella Artois, Ikea, AmEx and more
10 Great TV Spots Directed by Wes Anderson
Hollywood's dark visionary has crafted a host of groundbreaking ads
10 Great TV Spots Directed by David Fincher
Who said you had a short attention span?
10 Great Ads That Are More Than 5 Minutes Long
Hodgman and Long, ad characters for the ages
Apple's 'Get a Mac,' the Complete Campaign
All 89 TBWA spots so far, beginning with the first teaser
Apple's iPhone TV Ads: The Complete Campaign