Top 10 Commercials of the Week: Aug. 10-17


Penélope Cruz’s Sister in Lingerie

Agent Provocateur
got Penélope Cruz's sister Mónica to shoot this saucy video, from Black Label Productions and director Tim Pope, promoting its 2012 fall/winter collection. The spot is being compared to The Portrait of Dorian Gray by just about everyone who's seen it.


The Siesta World Cup

Comedy Central was introduced to its new Latin American market with this commercial from Wieden + Kennedy, São Paulo, and famed Super Bowl director Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man. It celebrates a little-known but apparently hotly contested sporting championship—the Siesta World Cup. It's not the Olympics, but these guys are pros, too—they can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and stay asleep, even on donkeyback, with music blasting and while being slapped. 


Lady Gaga’s Scary Smell

One of the nice things about perfume ads is that, since you can't smell online video (yet), nobody will mind if you decide that a given scent should be represented by tiny, leather-clad people climbing across a statuesque woman's nude, reclining form, perhaps with grace notes of exploding welding goggles and a hint of leather hat.

This experimental spot for Lady Gaga's new perfume, Fame, is produced by Ridley Scott and directed by photographer Steven Klein. 


StubHub Tickets Grow on Trees

StubHub's talking, animatronic oak tree, which debuted back in the spring, returns this week in "Late Night," a new 30-second spot by San Francisco agency Duncan/Channon.

The goal was "a creation that walked that thin line between cute and creepy like only a real-world puppet can."

Mission accomplished.


Axe’s Island Adventure

The correct mode of transit to a Caribbean island goes something like this: You are standing, chest forward and chin up, on a speedboat. It is part of a triangular formation of speedboats making a beeline through azure waters toward said island. The speedboat's captains are distinguished men wearing neat beards, rich ascots and sharp linen suits. These men are singing, in chorus, a song that does not need words, to announce your approach. The speedboats are filled with essentials to ensure a perfectly decadent island vacation. Those essentials include a live band, tuxedo-clad bartenders shaking martinis in rhythm, and masseuses with folding tables and body oil at the ready. These are some of the supplies in "Supplies," a nicely epic new ad from BBH London (and director Tim Godsall) for deodorant Axe Anarchy.

The particularly fun bit: The brand actually does have an island, and is running a Facebook sweepstakes to send seven British fans—and a guest for each—to a lush holiday in the Caribbean.


Usain Bolt’s Killer Instinct Comes From Gatorade

After his epic performance at the London Olympics, Usain Bolt gets an epic commercial to match—this Gatorade spot from TBWA\Chiat\Day, in which the Jamaican sprinter is presented as a Grim Reaper of sorts, killing off any hopes that rivals might have had of finishing anywhere near him.


Bolt enters an empty Olympic Stadium, pulls back his hood, and pops an orange Gatorade energy chew in his mouth. Suddenly, he's on the track, ready to make history as the crowd roars. Cut to the Gatorade logo and the hashtag #winfromwithin.


In the Eye of the Beer-Holder

Ogilvy Brazil is more determined than ever to stop you from driving drunk. On behalf of insurance company Allianz, the agency installed a special, magical mirror next to the bathrooms that was set up to present a delayed reflection to the person looking into it. This mimicked the effect alcohol has on a person's reflexes after only a few drinks. Presumably the images were extra delayed for people who were already drunk when they looked into the mirror—perhaps provoking, if not a crisis of conscience, at least a good bout of nausea, which could possibly preclude a stomach pumping later in the evening.


Google Celebrates the Fast, Furious Future of the Web

In a fun introductory spot for Google Fiber by ad agency Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco, Google's now-familiar habit of using handmade, analog models as metaphors for digital processes is continued. In this case, Internet traffic is depicted as actual traffic, with little cars caught in traffic jams during the dial-up era, accelerating somewhat with broadband, and then finally exploding in a frenzy of speed on Hot Wheels-like tracks with Google Fiber—set to an infectious instrumental version of "Just What I Needed" by the Cars.


The Train to Economic Recovery


The Norfolk Southern railroad is looking to score real political points with a new ad campaign, timed to the national conventions, centered on a magical world of make-believe.

A new spot from Maryland's RP3 Agency and the digital masterminds at The Mill (which also directed) aims to position Norfolk Southern—and freight rail in general—as a continuing force for economic growth for America. The commercial opens with a young boy playing trains in his bedroom. After the boy goes to bed, the train's flickers once again to life, and the whole bedroom becomes like a scene from Toy Story

Norfolk Southern wants to bring this message of relevance directly to politicians and voters during the national political conventions. The spot breaks today and will air on broadcast and cable until the end of November. Norfolk Southern will also have a strong presence at both the Republican National Convention (Aug. 27 and 29) and the Democratic National Convention (Sept. 4 and 5), including sponsorship of CNN's election coverage.


An Animated History of Lego

For Lego's 80th birthday this year, the company released this really neat 17-minute cartoon short about its humble origins and how it revolutionized the toy industry by offering kids a "system of play" instead of ready-made toys with few, if any, customization options. While sad at first (the protagonist loses his income, then his wife), the full story arc is enchanting—and this commercial is Adweek's No. 1 pick of the week. 

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