Best Pet Purchasing Advice: Skittles "Trade"
I once had a pet rabbit named Charles and he would pound his leg on the floor day and night to get attention. Much like this Skittles trade, Charles was an impulse buy that I later regretted. This ad is able to teach people not to be fooled by a rabbit's wide-eyed cuteness or falsetto singing voice, while showing how tasty Skittles can be. Charles never bit my arm, but he did chew the sole off one of my roommate's shoes. Rabbits are useless.
Best Reason to Stand in Line (or Weep Openly) for a Game: Xbox 360 "Mad World"
They could've gone with a tune like Slayer's "Angel of Death" to something from the Eagles of Death Metal catalog to get gamers drooling at the apocalyptic possibilities of Gears of War.
McCann flipped the script and went with tear-jerker cover of "Mad World." At first I thought the tears were due to some pent up emotional issues, but then I realized they were out of joy at the prospect of playing such a heavenly third-person shooter.
Best High Five to American Soccer Fans: Nike "FC USA"
Yeah, there were a lot of horrid World Cup-related, however loosely, spots this summer but this one stuck out in my mind for the right reasons. Opening with a clip of Jim Rome-ish, soccer-is-for-pansies commentary was a perfect nod to all those still thick enough to see the beautiful game as some dodgy pinko sport. The ad shows soccer is actually alive stateside—even if the team did screw the futbol pooch in Germany.
Best Use of Skateboarding Without Trying Too Hard: FedEx "Half Pipe"
There are so many reasons to like this commercial. First, it can act as a conversation starter at work to actually get a halfpipe installed at the office. Second, they didn't go over the top and hire pro skaters, instead making it look realistically funny with the hacks in there. And third, it gives hope to anyone hoping a boss like that actually exists in Cubicleville, USA.