TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York
A candy ad featuring a man with a curiously prehensile beard-a beard he manipulates to stuff his job interviewer's face with Skittles. This spot made us feel weird. But in a good way. It was the pinnacle of the excellent weirdness that emanated from the halls of TBWA's New York office this year.
2 Xbox, "Gears of War"
McCann Erickson, San Francisco
McCann and Anonymous Director Joseph Kosinski worked with visual-effects wizards Digital Domain and David Fincher to whip up this eye-popping gem for monster Xbox title "Gears of War." The ad's awesome visuals and emotional score (Gary Jules' rendition of "Mad World") made for maximum crossover appeal and viral success.
3 Coca-Cola, "Happiness Factory"
Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam, netherlands
Remember the feel-good Coca-Cola of yore? Well, that warm, fuzzy feeling comes flooding back with some dark touches in this masterpiece of animation from Psyop, which follows a coin's travels through the bowels of a Coke vending machine-a universe of flying, frolicking, bizarre creatures who work harmoniously to create the famous happy juice.
4 Geico, "Airport"
Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
We challenge you to watch this spot and not have its Royksopp track stuck in your head for the next 48 hours. In any case, we're big fans of Geico's cavemen and applaud all efforts to keep them on our TV screens. Each new spot reveals an illuminating detail about the petulant proto-humans' personal lives-for instance, that they use wooden tennis rackets.
5 American Express, "Wes Anderson"
Ogilvy & Mather, New York
Wes Anderson's "My Life, My Card" spot bucks the campaign's trend toward ego-stroking, offering up an extremely self-effacing parody of his signature directorial style, wry sense of humor and mastery of comedic timing. Speaking of timing, how impressive is it that most of the action packed into this two-minute spot was filmed in a single continuous shot?
6 FedEx, "Stick"
BBDO, New York
FedEx's efficiency extends into prehistoric times with this tale, launched during the Super Bowl, of man's quest for dependable shipping. After a T-rex snags Ugg's messenger and his boss fires him for not using FedEx (even though it hasn't been invented yet), his day goes from bad to worse when he's crushed by an enormous dinosaur paw.
7 Sony Bravia, "Paint"
Fallon's follow-up to the blockbuster "Balls" traded heavily on the momentum created by its predecessor and a savvy teaser blog that whetted ad fans' appetites. "Paint" didn't disappoint when it was revealed. Director Jonathan Glazer choreographed hundreds of explosions of color to bring life to a drab Glasgow apartment block.
8 Sky One, "Simpsons"
It was a treatment "The Simpsons" iconic intro had been screaming for, and that's the main reason this live-action version hurtled through the blogosphere. Director Chris Palmer effectively reconstituted Springfield's favorite family's trip home for Sky TV down to the smallest detail.
9 Starburst, "Ernie"
TBWA, New York
Ernie the Klepto is yet another endearing character from TBWA's candy all-stars, Gerry Graf, Scott Vitrone and Ian Reichenthal. Ernie swipes an unsuspecting guy's Starburst, bike helmet, shirt, Great Dane and bike before making his exit, leaving behind a confused victim. The tag: "Blame the juicy goodness."
10 HP, "Jay-Z"
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
It was quite a risk to recruit a handful of uber-achievers for HP's huge personal-products launch-and not show any of their faces. The point: You are what you compute. The conceit, which extended to web offerings where visitors could check out Jay-Z's desktop, brought a fresh, personal vibe to the once-stodgy brand.