SPOT OF THE YEAR: Milk "Birthday"

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A psychic child issues a warning.
Milk: Birthday
"Birthday," which was released early this year, has already been cited for Cannes Gold so we’re not going out on a limb here. But the spot is a winner by any standard, from the first viewing to the 20th taking its place in the pantheon of the classic "Got Milk?" spots while standing up as a fresh, delightfully dark gem in its own right. Riffing off The Omen but making it his own, Noam Murro delivers the perfect mix of creeps and comedy. No surprise that the director was recently tapped to direct the sequel to horror feature The Ring.


Honda: Best Friends
Call it the Cog effect. With the standards raised high for cars by that mesmerizing U.K. spot, Rubin Postaer & Associates took a fanciful leap with this fantastically engaging spot for the U.S. market. In fact, all the the Honda work lately looks pretty good. But "Best Friends" is special. In it, an array of Honda models are shown juxtaposed with human faces and heads, which in many cases look startlingly similar to their vehicular counterparts in shape, configuration or general bearing. With this spot, director Malcolm Venville once again delivers the perfect car spot, indeed the perfect spot - one that transcends the genre, speaks to the human element while still acting in some form as a commercial. It’s another great sign for advertising when Venville (who also directed VW’s Squares) becomes the go-to car guy.

HP: You
Perfect music, arresting visuals, cool product demonstration. An utterly compelling enticement to get out there and get some HP gear.

HP: The Next Shift
Frank Budgen directs a legion of toys making their way "to work" in this totally cool and oddly poignant addition to the HP lineup.

Nike: Streaker
A worthy addition to the Nike canon, Streaker proved universally appealing. Even though Americans are pretty much alone in the world in not caring about soccer, both Euros and Yanks could laugh together at this comedic gem.

ESPN: Shelf Ball
ESPN "Shelf Ball" The whole campaign was a winner but "Shelf Ball" nailed something so real about the nature of games and office shenanigans it was almost uncomfortable. Another Wieden pearl that belongs in the sports ad hall of fame.

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