Ray-ban sunglasses: I’m amazed this spot got through legal. Everyone knows the undead explode in the sun with or without sunglasses. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible. On the other hand, there may be a surprise benefit for those in this target audience who long for the peace that comes with death.
Sony PlayStation: Very twisted. A kid relates dream sequences in which he turns into the wild beast he’s apparently encountered in PlayStation games. His soulless, Dada-esque shrink tells him this is impossible and, in response, his lapdog turns into a naked, sputtering lap-man. Deeply disturbing on many levels, which is good. Marketers are finally waking up to the
power of psychosexual trauma.
The Daily Show: The beauty of the “Russian” spot (above, left) and others in the series is that we never hear a voiceover telling us how cool and funny Craig Kilborn is. Instead, we get a product demonstration: Kilborn being cool and funny as he hypnotizes a detached Russian beauty–in Russian. In this way, the tactical content of the spot–that Kilborn is taller than competitive broadcasters–is far more digestible than in typical newscaster-height-comparison advertising. A companion spot with the copy point that Kilborn “talks out of his ass” also does a great job, but could use some kind of visual support.
Isuzu Amigo: Finally an advertiser acknowledges the truth about motor vehicles–they’re toys. Especially when they go down stairs and spin around on the beach and carry your friends and cost, what, 14 grand? It makes the prospect of buying one as a second vehicle irresistible and relatively painless–like ordering French fries.
Six Flags Magic Mountain: We see this kid running. The kid’s in agony–a long-distance runner nearing the end of an agonizing course. Suddenly, he pulls up in front of a waste receptacle to vomit–a killer amusement-park ride just had its way with him (above, right). Vomiting is always wonderful, especially when practiced as a rite of passage by budding anarchists, but it tends to discourage hygiene-conscious pram-pushers who come bearing wallets.
Callaway Golf: Bill Gates pitches Big Bertha golf clubs because he “loves a big idea.”
Ocean Spray: Women. Health. Self-maximization. The sacrament that is Ocean Spray. (And for subtext, urinary-tract-infection prevention?) Hey, it’s not even cranberry juice–it’s cranberry-juice sugar water. Come on.
Volkswagen Beetle: These spots are good. Really good. Simple. Smart. This is one of the few motor vehicles that people will admit to buying for purely emotional reasons. So the spots are unencumbered with tech talk. Instead, they deal with the Beetle’s legendary otherness in minimalist fashion, but they update the filmic language. I think the sound tracks are from Jupiter.
Greg Di Noto is creative director at Di Noto Lee in New York. His clients include CNN, Mistic Beverages, Footquarters, Boise Technology and the New York Comedy Film Festival.