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Adweek.com's Top 10 Advertising Stories of 2012

From the Super Bowl to Cannes, from the Adweek 50 to the year's best spots

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Here are the 10 most-read advertising and branding stories published on Adweek.com in 2012:
 

NRA's Social Silence10

By Christopher Heine
The National Rifle Association shut down a key Twitter account last summer in the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., theater shootings. On Saturday, one day after the unthinkable shootings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, the NRA took a more drastic measure by deactivating its Facebook page after celebrating getting to 1.7 million fans on the social site earlier in the week.
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Ad of the Day: The Guardian9

By Tim Nudd
Newspapers, we know, are under siege. Ravaged, in more ways than one, by the Internet and a digital age they failed to comprehend and adjust to, they're in a death struggle to remain editorially relevant and financially solvent. Out of touch, out of money … a joke, or at least a punch line—the future is grim. So, it's a bit shocking, then, that a newspaper—that symbol of supreme irrelevance—has delivered one of the most bracingly, brilliantly relevant ads of 2012 so far.
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The Problem With Online Advertising Is That There Are So Many Problems8

By Mike Shields
Want to know why many big brand advertisers are still seriously wary of the Internet? Just check out Dumage.com.
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The Ads of Super Bowl XLVI: Adweek's Preview7

By Tim Nudd
The Super Bowl is fast becoming an auto show. And last year's record number of car-related spots have led to an even bigger haul this year. Expect close to 20 separate auto (or auto-related) commercials in the game—that's almost one-third of the total number of spots—from brands including Acura, Audi, Bridgestone, Cars. com, Chrysler, General Motors (Chevrolet and Cadillac), Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Toyota and Volkswagen.
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YouTube's 20 Most Watched Ads of 20126

By Tim Nudd
Nike, Pepsi and Volkswagen, three global marketers that are old pros at creating blockbuster video content, produced the three most-watched commercials on YouTube this year, according to the video site's 2012 Ads Leaderboard—a list of top branded spots with at least as many organic views as paid views throughout the year.
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The 5 Best Commercials of Super Bowl XLVI5

By Tim Nudd
Score another one for the automakers. Given the sheer number of car companies that advertised on Super Bowl XLVI, perhaps it's no surprise that a pair of auto spots finished tops in Adweek's picks for best ads of the night. What's interesting is how different they are.
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All the Cannes Grand Prix Winners for 20124

By Tim Nudd
The 59th International Festival of Creativity celebrated a diverse set of Grand Prix Lion winners, honoring everything from a simple poster design by an undergraduate student to major cross-platform campaigns by some of the world's biggest marketers. Four agencies won two Grand Prix each: Creative Artists Agency for Chipotle; R/GA for Nike; and Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Digitas, who teamed up on American Express. The other winning campaigns focused on themes like the environment, tourism, politics, technology, packaged goods and the world's most unlikely mosquito repellent.
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The Young Influentials3

By Adweek staff
In the domains of media, marketing and technology, to be merely young and successful isn't so remarkable. But to be influential—seriously influential—is something else altogether: to imagine the truly new and different, to impel real change in the way business has been done before, to lead the way and to inspire others to follow. Those are a few attributes that define and set apart these individuals, the Young Influentials, as determined by Adweek's editors: individuals who have achieved not only a standing in the industry—in most cases, a standing far beyond their years—but who also constitute the very vanguard of innovation in media, technology, brand leadership and creative work. If you haven't heard of them already, you will.
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The Adweek 502

By Adweek staff
There are many (some might say too many) lists of power players in business, often studded with names from the worlds on which we report: media, advertising, entertainment, technology and consumer brands. But here, Murdoch, Moonves and Martha need not apply. The Adweek 50 is not merely a tally of the highest ranking, highest profile, highest paid execs (hasn’t Mark Zuckerberg topped enough lists already?). Rather, here we give props to the muscle men and women, those who won’t necessarily make the cover of Forbes—and many of whom you may have never even heard of—but individuals who are, without question, indispensable to their organizations and key to keeping the wheels of the business spinning.
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The 10 Best Commercials of 20121

By Tim Nudd
In 2012, BBH and Wieden + Kennedy created between them five of the year's 10 best commercials, including the top two, as chosen here by Adweek. Their work is joined by an assortment of other brilliant spots covering a wide range of products, styles, ideas and executions. There are death-defying stunts and political manifestos; fairy tales and magic tricks; heroic women and utterly foolish men. There's the daring and the goofy; the inspirational and the indelible; the outsized and the obscure. All the spots reaffirm the joy in commercials that are meant to be savored, not sidestepped.
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