Agency: Red Button/Whatya Think, Portland, Ore. CD

Agency: Red Button/Whatya Think, Portland, Ore. CD: Peter Moore ADs/CWs: Devin Moore, Andrews Jenkins Agency prod.: Rian Moore Prod. cos.: Stiefel & Co., Food Chain Films Dir.: Andrews Jenkins Editor: Chris Jones, Mister Jones Editorial Sound design: Machine Head

In a sun-dappled gym somewhere in Italy, a pickup basketball game is in full swing. “Watch him, watch him. He’s not your girlfriend, c’mon,” says one player to a teammate, who’s having trouble guarding an opponent. “Stay down, stay down on your legs. Defend.” Nothing works; the offensive player—Kobe Bryant—is too good. No one can defend him. “Enough already,” says Bryant, who switches teams so that the whiny player will now have to guard him. When the whiner wants to take out the ball, Kobe says, “Where are you going? Give me the ball. This is my house.” The conversation is in Italian—Bryant is fluent—with subtitled translations.

Agency: DDB, Seattle CD: Laurie Fritts AD: Randy Gerda CW: Eric Gutierrez Agency prod.: Deb Narine Prod. co.: Spy Films Dir.: Gord McWatters Editor: Brian Williams, Panic & Bob Music: Einstein Bros.

“We’re at a crucial stage with energy usage,” says Dad, on camera. “Prices are just too high. We need to cut consumption and we need alternatives. That’s what drove us to attempt the first static-electricity house.” With static-electricity cells under the rugs, family members—mom, dad, daughter, son, even the dog—simply rub their wool-sock-covered feet on the carpet to shine lamps, work electrical appliances and heat the shower. “Success has been elusive,” Dad explains. But the one bright spot is their use of Energy Star refrigerators, dishwashers, et al, which help conserve power. Tagline: “Save money, energy, the planet.”

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y. CDs: Chris Wall, Rick Boyko AD: Chris Curry CW: Brendan Gibbons Agency prod.: Lisa Steiman Prod. co.: Pytka Dir.: Joe Pytka Editors: Adam Liebowitz, J.J. Lask, Go Robot Music: Brian Banks, Ear to Ear

Leaving work, two colleagues sign out. “Last-minute shopping?” she asks. “Last second,” he answers, holding a wrapped gift under his arm. Graphic: “More shirts, ties, sweaters.” Exiting the elevator, a second coworker asks what’s in the package? “A present,” he responds. Graphic: “More CDs, DVDs, PCs.” As the man walks, the mystery deepens: What did he buy? Graphic: “More coats, hats, scarves.” Then the man walks up to a homeless guy, shivering in the cold. The gift is a warm coat. This Linda Chavez moment is courtesy of AmericanExpress.com. The spot is smart and visually stunning, but Best Spots wonders if heartrending ads really convince people to use a product.

Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago CD: Whit Friese AD: Ted Brown CW: Justin Frosolone Exec. prod.: David Moore Agency prod.: Stuart Kramer Prod. co.: Independent/Palomar Dir.: Alfonso Cuaron Editor: Jim Staskauskas, Edit Sweet Music: Stevie Wonder

At a Christmas party (junior high schoolers only), a bored teenager spots some mistletoe in a doorway and pulls it down. Holding the branch above his head, he walks over to a pair of girls—who giggle and run away. He sees two other girls, but as he heads over, a guy who looks like the quarterback of the football team intercepts him. Frustrated, the first kid gives up, throws the mistletoe on the kitchen table and opens a bottle of Coke. That’s when another girl walks over, takes the Coke bottle and kisses our young hero on the lips. Get a room! Tagline: “Enjoy.”

Agency: Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston Chief creative: Mike Sheehan CDs: Marty Donohue, Tim Foley AD: Eric Peterson CW: Paul Schauder Agency prod.: Tom Foley Prod. co.: Stiefel & Co. Dir.: Noam Murro Editor: Dick Gordon, Mad River Composer/Arranger: Thad Spencer, Asche & Spencer

With snow gently falling, a large choir stands in front of a giant Rockefeller Center-sized tree, singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The carolers are having a great time, which gets better when the Dunkin’ Donuts and coffee arrive. As the goodies get passed around, the singers keep wishing you a Merry Christmas. But as they eat and sing simultaneously, the lyrics become garbled. Best Spots can forgive the revelers for singing with their mouthes full, but how come they’re eating donuts wearing gloves and mittens? Tagline: “Loosen up a little.”

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco CDs: Rich Silverstein, Jeff Goodby ADs: Karin Onsager-Birch, Amy Nicholson CW: Blake Kelly Agency prod.: Matthew Winks Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: David Shane Editor: Eric Zumbrunnen, Spot Welders Music: Patti Page

Backed by the Patti Page version of “How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?” this spot features a bunch of mischievous pooches. One dog buries pearls, a cell phone, a golf club and the family Stradivarius in the backyard. Another takes a whiz on a brand-new easy chair. And a third destroys a holiday table setting—dishes, wineglasses, silverware and tablecloth—to get at a cooked turkey. (No one’s watching the table?) Graphic: “If you lost it, broke it, need it cheap or just can find it anywhere else … eBay.”

Agency: Arnold, Boston Chief creative: Ron Lawner Group CD: Jay Williams CD: Margaret McGovern AD: Wendy Beckett CW: Chris Edwards Agency prod.: Spring Clinton-Smith Prod. co.: HSI Dir.: Sam Bayer Editor: Hank Corwin, Lost Planet Music: RER Megacorp

A man says, “Nah, I’ve never really been serious about investing. When I get money, I spend it. Might as well enjoy it while you can, right?” At that moment, the fellow is set ablaze—by another guy carrying a blowtorch. The stuntman jumps through a window and falls, like, 8,000 stories. VO: “People who live day to day don’t need to take investing seriously. For the rest of us, there’s the Hartford mutual funds.”

Agency: Lowe Lintas & Partners, N.Y. Chief creatives: Lee Garfinkel, Gary Goldsmith CD/CW: Dean Hacohen Creative group head/AD: C.J. Waldman Sr. prod.: Laura Riso Prod. co.: Satellite Films Dir.: Josh Taft Editor: Avi Oron, Bikini Editorial

To the strains of “Auld Lang Syne,” people ring in the new year with bottles and glasses of beer. Graphic: “Every holiday season, 237,000 gallons of Heineken are wasted. Please toast with caution.”

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y. CDs: Chris Wall, Susan Westre ADs: John McNeil, Gerald Lewis CWs: Tom Bagot, Andy Berndt Agency prods.: Lee Weiss, Lisa Steiman Prod. co.: Pytka Dir.: Joe Pytka Editor: David Bradley, Go Robot Music: Brian Banks, Ear to Ear

Visual: two men in an office. Says the boss, “These things are always difficult. Because of the merger, we have two of everything, including CIOs—you and Phil. You know I only need one guy … yet we still have the hairiest integration project ever. It needs the right guy—you’re the guy.” VO: “That’s when it hits you—you are so ready for IBM.” Where’s Phil? In the Paris office, thousands of miles away from the integration project.

Agency: J. Walter Thompson, Chicago ECD: dennis Ryan Group CD: Jeff York AD: Dennis Yeider CW: John Barry Dir., broadcast prod.: Wil Wilcox Exec. prod.: Lisa Muzik Prod. co.: Giraldi/Suarez Dir.: Bob Giraldi Editor: Terry Kaney, Avenue Edit Music: Marvin Gaye

Smiling at a girl at the next table, a boy pulls out a cheese sandwich. After she comes over, he hands her his lunch. VO: “Good thing kids love Kraft Singles. Two out of three don’t get the recommended amount of calcium.” Never fear, the kid pulls out a second sandwich.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, N.Y. CDs: David Apicella, Joe Johnson AD: Paul Coyle CW: Dennis Greeley Agency prods.: Brendan O’Malley, Sarah Grey Prod. co.: Hungry Man Dir.: David Shane Editor: David Bradley, Go Robot Music: Sherman Foote, Big Foote

While a woman trims hedges in the backyard, four guys chant “Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!” As the exhortations mount, she becomes Edward Scissorhands in sugar shock. VO: “Can’t get enough football? Then any time is Miller time.”



Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore. CDs: Jim Riswold, Hal Curtis AD: Jayanta Jenkins CW: Mike Byrne Agency prod.: Jennifer Smieja Prod. co.: @radical.media Dir.: Alan White Editor: Peter Wiedensmith, Joint Sound design: Dane Davis, DaneTracks.

Football star Warren Sapp “boings” across the set pulling a long rope attached to a float. Not quite ready for the Rose Parade, the float features lute-playing minstrels and a puppet show. It’s the Tampa Bay Theatrical Troupe, which is helping Sapp train for his next football game—in August 2001. Sorry, Bucs fans.

Agency: Mendelsohn/Zien, L.A. ECD: Jordin Mendelsohn AD: Marcus Wesson CW: Mick DiMaria Exec. prod.: Brittany Stevenson Asst. prod.: Melissa Cottingham Prod. co.: Space Program Dir.: Whitey Bel-Air III Editor: Bill Marmor, Trailhead DP: Chris Conway

A teenager attaches jumper cables to his car battery, starts the vehicle and places the cables on his buddy’s nipple rings. The kid’s scream will make you cry. Graphic: “Prepare yourself.” This squirm-inducing spot markets the Xsceam roller coaster at Boomers Park in Dania, Florida.



Agency: Merkley Newman Harty, N.Y. ECDs: Andy Hirsch, Randy Saitta, Marty Orzio AD: Bryan Burlison CW: Jeff Bitsack Agency prod.: Adina Sales Animation co.: Moving Picture Co. Animator: Robin Shaw Music: Oliver Davis, We Write Music

In a field of grass, a clay-animated girl puts down her clay-animated boombox and starts to pirouette. Two pusher punks walk by and try to get her hooked on drugs. Ripping off one thug’s arm, she uses the limb to decapitate the other. (Gotta love animation.) “My name is Christina,” says a now-live-action girl, “and my anti-drug is dance.”

Agency: Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, N.Y. Chief creative: David Wecal AD/CW: Ernest Lupinacci Designer: Antonia Ludes Agency prod.: Marisa Fiechter Dir.: Mike Simon Editor: Steve Hamilton, Mad Mad July Arranger/Musician: Page Hamilton

This ad features a still-photo montage of William Shatner—at his hammy best—from previous Priceline spots. Graphic: “He said, ‘Name your own price’ and you did. Happy holidays. We’ll see you in 2001.” Perhaps not. The grapevine says Shatner will make no more Priceline ads. Captain Kirk, over and out?

Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative: Ted Sann ECD: Al Merrin Sr. CDs: Harry Woods, Gill Witt ACD/AD: Marianne Besch ACD/ CW: Jon Krevolin Agency prods.: Adam Isidore, Alexandra Sterlin Exec. music prod.: Loren Parkins Prod. co.: Nadine Productions Dir.: Jim Signorelli Editor: Clayton Hemmert, Crew Cuts

VO: “To prove that Ruffles’ Flavor Rush chips are completely covered with flavor, we’ve enlisted the vote counters of Broward County.” The counters concur: The chips are “completely,” “totally” and “absolutely” covered with flavor.

Agency: BBDO, N.Y. Chief creative: Ted Sann Sr. ECD: Michael Patti Sr. CD/CW: Bill Bruce CD/AD: Jean Batthany Agency prods.: Sue Pettiti, Adam Isidore Prod. co.: HSI Dir.: Sam Bayer Editor: John Murray, Nomad Music: Ad Music

On a hot day, a naked kid opens his freezer door. Removing a frozen pair of boxers, he puts the underwear around his ankles, then quickly pulls them up. His twisted facial expression tells the story. Graphic: “Yeah, it’s kind of like that.” Sierra Mist is a “shockingly new, refreshing lemon lime.” There may be no basketball in this ad, but there sure is a lot of ball movement.

Agency: Tierney, Philadelphia CDs: Rochelle Klein, Sig Gross AD: Buzz Miller CW: Michele Gusman Agency prod.: Susan Rafter Prod. co.: HKM Dir.: Michael Patrick Jann Editor: Lucas Spaulding, MacKenzie Cutler Music: Michael Aharon, Maja

Song: “Give me some men who are stout-hearted men who will fight for the right they adore.” Visual: Searching for the perfect pastry on his pager, a fellow discovers a battalion of bakers. James Earl Jones: “Now whatever you need can come to you because the No. 1 online Yellow Pages is also wireless.”