Teressa Iezzi, Editor
Overall Pick: Burger King "Fantasy Ranch"
BEST USE OF AN OTHEWISE REVOLTING IMAGE The Altenheim Retirement Home
Ok, this is a little gross, but it does one very cool thing: it makes us think about older folk as human beings and not as just bigger, less cute infants.
BEST SINGLE SHOT Xbox "Jump Rope"
A happy demonstration that the most special effect can be none at all.
TOP THREE BRAND-SPONSORED THINGIES THAT AREN'T COMMERCIALS Nike "Be" (music video); Burger King "Cross the Road" (music video); Toronto Star, "Paper Route" (short film)
All of them are what "branded content" is meant to be—good enough that we'd watch them before a lot of other non-commercial content. And they make sense for their brands.
GRATUITOUS MONKEY SPOT Career Builder "Monkeys"
Let's check to see if anything's changed. Nope. Monkeys is still funny.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY WET FOOTBALLERS Pepsi "Surf"
Sort of a silly spot, but, like we said, it has wet footballers.
SONG WE COULDN'T GET OUT OF OUR HEAD (IN A GOOD WAY) "Heartbeats" from Sony "Balls"
IMAGE WE COULDN'T GET OUT OF OUR HEAD (IN A BAD WAY) Mac's Froster "Bloody Zit"
Really no need for elaboration.
SHORT FILM THAT MADE US LAUGH Jake Shreier's "Christopher Ford Sees a Film"
SHORT FILM THAT DIDN'T MAKE US LAUGH AT ALL, BUT THAT WE LIKED ALL THE SAME Edouard Salier's "Flesh"
CREEPIEST THING THAT BECAME EVEN CREEPIER WHEN WE LEARNED IT WAS REAL M&M's Mazing "Mystic Pixie"
BEST ONE-TWO PUNCH BY A BEER COMPANY
Stella Artois lives up to its reputation and its tag line by following a left hook Jonathan Glazer ("Skating Priests") with a roundhouse knockout Frank Budgen ("Bench"). The latter also gets the nod for BEST REINTERPRETATION OF CLASSIC TAG LINE with "Reassuringly Elephants."
Melanie Shortman, Associate Editor
Overall Pick: adidas "Hello Tomorrow"
MOST CONSECUTIVE VIEWINGS Virgin Digital "Brand Essence"
Each time yielded a new song title and demanded another look. Noticing the dancing queen nearly felled by a rolling stone where the streets have no names was the run that did it.
BEST BACKGROUND MUSIC IN AN INTERACTIVE SITE Buddy Lee "Guidance Counselor"
La laaaaa... la la la la la laaaaa.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A WHIPPED BOYFRIEND Dr. Pepper "Anything for Love"
The spot offers numerous precious moments, from a coy wave during a yogic shouder-stand to a look of approval in a dressing room (while holding a pink purse, no less) to the grand finale—the way his eyes follow the precious Dr Pepper.
SPOT WHOSE TRACK SENT ME TO ITUNES Orange "Blackout"
Her voice is indie-folk sweet, and the tune slow and nearly un-orchestrated. But Joanna Newsom's "This Side of Blue" not only rhymes the word "abominably," it gets into your head and mandates additional listens.
BEST USE OF A STRESS BALL IN A COMMERCIAL Carling "Race"
In the opening seconds of this action-packed spot, a bit of ad-libbing steals the spotlight.
BEST ENLIGHTENED ANTHROPOMORPHIZED VEHICLE Honda "Animals"
When a beast like the Honda Element tries to talk reason into a possum and a platypus, it's deadpan gold.
BEST PREGNANT PAUSE Geico "Speed Racer"
BEST USE OF A WARPED '80S SONG Playstation 2 "War"
When the garbled voice comes through, viewers everywhere said, "Wait, is that 'Forever Young?'"
BEST LINE SPOKEN BY A SENSITIVE HIPSTER Heineken "Disturbance"
"All of a sudden I feel really, really sad."
BEST USE OF A SINGLE LINE TO INCITE TRAVEL LUST Air Tahiti Nui "Tahiti Direct"
On the subway, sunshine never seemed sweeter.
Richard Ho, Assistant Editor
Overall Pick: Guinness "noitulovE"
BEST USE OF A CANDY BAR Snickers "Bald"
Can you feel the pain, the genuine anguish so powerfully conveyed on the tortured face of this poor bald soul? Funny, isn't it?
BEST SEX SCENE FEATURING INTERCOURSE BETWEEN AN ANIMAL AND AN INANIMATE OBJECT Nintendo "Maze"
Forget the logistical questions (i.e. what exactly constitutes an "orifice" on a GameBoy Mini?). What's up with the reaction of the scientist? Is that an expression of disgust...or voyeuristic pleasure?
MOST EYEBROW-RAISING BRITISH ACCENT FROM A CREATURE CLEARLY NOT INDIGENOUS TO GREAT BRITAIN Geico "Big News"
Unless there's a rain forest near Stratford that we never knew about, the only explanation is that the Gecko traveled abroad in his early years to attend university at Oxford. That, or he watched too many Black Adder reruns.
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ATHLETE MasterCard "Professional Fans"
Who said athletes can't act to save their lives? Certainly not Peyton Manning. Even LeBron James' many personalities can't top the utter fanboy dorkiness of the personable Colts QB.
SPOT THAT HAPPENED TO HAVE MY FAVORITE SONG M&M's "Kaleidoscope"
Not only does the spot feature Iron and Wine's soul-stirring cover of "Such Great Heights"—it also shows that annoying red M&M getting his just desserts by being eaten.
BEST PERVERSION OF EXISTING MATERIAL AICE Trailer Park "West Side Story"
You had me at zombies. The fact that the victim of the zombification process is a musical I never much cared for is just icing on the rotting, undead cake.
THE ONE MCDONALD'S SPOT THAT DOESN'T MAKE ME WANT TO VOMIT McDonald's "Inner Child"
For once, the fast food giant serves up a spot that doesn't treat us like teenagers with a skewed sense of what's "hip" and suffering from eating disorders while living in the 'hood.
THE MOST FUN I'VE EVER HAD SHAVING Polartec "Shave My Yeti"
Okay, so it's kinda disturbing that the Yeti giggles when the electric razor passes over his "sensitive areas." Still, it sure beats a Brazilian wax.
BEST FAKE ATHLETES I WISH WERE REAL Sony PlayStation "Don't Be The Next"
It's not too far-fetched to say that the Knicks would be vastly improved with Billy Joe Cuthbert on the roster. At the very least, they'd be more entertaining to watch.