Don't get us wrong. we love advertising. We love our jobs. But after watching the 78 commercials submitted for this month's Best Spots, there was a lot about advertising we didn't love. So here are our requests: Please, no more anthropomorphic animals. No more animated babies. And, please, no more hit songs from the '70s and '80s masquerading as single-minded propositions from creative briefs.
That said, we also request there be more smart, relevant and memorable work like the following:
Volvo: We're big fans of these spots. Beautiful film. Ethereal music. An exceptional read on Donald Sutherland's voiceover. And an inspiring message: "a Volvo that can save your soul." These spots do a good job adding dimension to Volvo's already strong safety heritage.
Adidas: Original film of a Notre Dame football player running for a touchdown. A fact about the team's historic success. A haunting Celtic soundtrack. This spot captures the emotion, tradition and mysticism that is Notre Dame football. Too bad the Fighting Irish didn't wear Adidas shoes back when they weren't paid to do so.
Twix: We liked the spot with the Italian immigrant who refuses to share his Twix with his family (above, left). It hits on a simple truth. People are selfish. Even more than the spot, we loved the tagline: "Two for me. None for you." Is there potential for another Snickers campaign here?
Isuzu: Borrowing from its tagline, the Rodeo spot with the giant man "goes farther" than the usual boulders-and-trees fare of the SUV category. Kudos to the postproduction team-special effects didn't feel the least bit "effectsy." This gets our vote for the Citizen Kane spot of the month.
ESPN SportsCenter: This has been a terrific campaign from day one, and it continues to get better. The recent smattering of spots, including Evander Holyfield as a child-care provider (above, right) and sportscaster Kenny Mayne writing a sound bite for a Ken Griffey Jr. highlight homer, are gems. A fabricated take on SportsCenter itself, yet totally real. But, hey, everyone knew this already.
Cherry Coke: Rugby with watermelons? Baseball with items from a yard sale? The tagline is "Do something different." They did. And did it well.
Saturn: The interviews with Saturn workers talking about the parts they make is a wonderful evolution of this long-standing, successful campaign. Sure, going into the factory is not new territory, but instead of the usual "we care about quality" crap, this is down-to-earth, fun and, well, real.
Anyway, there you have it. Two guys in a room. Thanks.