May 2007 - Top Spots

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Starburst "Bus Station"
Bus stations are known for their colorful characters, and in this latest piece of candy lunacy the TBWA/Chiat team behind Ernie the Klepto and those whimsical Skittles spots supplies such a character: an obnoxious little curiously costumed lad who just happens to love berries and cream. "It's something expressive and not complex," senior writer Brandon Davis says of this nutcase Prince Valiant's song and dance. "It was just imagining what a 4-year-old kid would do—marching and clapping in place until he gets what he wants."

Lurpak "Bread"
The preparing of bread dates back to the Neolithic era, which is when humans began something resembling modern farming—but rest assured, furs and pelts were still quite de rigueur. Here, in what can only be described as bakery porn, Lurpak appeals to folks with a fondness for the freshness. The spot has the slow-motion camera and baritone voiceover usually reserved for NFL Films. From the audio of crashing waves accompanying the flour shots, to the supple sounds of the rising dough, Wave sound designer Parv Thind makes this ode to bread sound as obscenely good as these fresh loaves of earthly goodness look.

Ten Music, "Demo Love"
This Taxi/N.Y. trade spot for Ten Music's Hank music library earns sound and style points for gathering a veritable who's who of the industry together to poke fun at themselves and a dilemma that many creatives face—not being able to use their chosen music for a spot. The accompanying song is just cheesy enough to let viewers in on the joke while still getting Hank's message across. And let's be honest, the AdCritic name-drop in the song is a nice touch.

VISION: "Tree"
This offbeat spot for a Danish car sales site invites viewers to "Go car hunting" by filming a daring shotgun takedown of the infamously volatile Tree Sedan. No tree-hugging post job, BBDO Denmark indeed hoisted a car into a tree. As for why the spot is so dim, this take was shot in deep twilight. "We shot 21 takes in perfect daylight where we released the cable about 20 inches to let the car 'die' after being shot," says writer Jesper Hansen. "We planned to shoot one last take to release it completely and see what would happen, but the crane jammed. We were losing daylight fast while the crane operator worked furiously to fix it." When he did, this take turned out to be the best deathdrop, and the headlights being "killed" sure look better in limited light, too.

Boodschap Zonder Naam "Trucker"
A Belgian organization dedicated to promoting the general social welfare—the name of the group translates as Anonymous Message—takes us, oddly enough, to a roadside truckstop in the wilds of Australia. A waitress, whom we'll call Flo, gets a burly trucker to open up about his latest whirlwind romance. Flo seems like a good listener so the plaid-clad road warrior begins to tell her of his sweetheart Rose. Director Steve Ayson and effects shop Oktober then treat viewers to a whimsical ride enhanced with cutout animation of the cute couple skipping through the cabbage field and trading moles and moustaches—all the classic romantic devices—until their romp is interrupted by a beer-craving interloper. Tag: "When you listen, you see more."

HSBC "Bad Boy"
This British spot could easily have been promoting a new videogame, or, conversely, decrying their influence on society—but it turns out to be neither. Instead, it's another borrowed-interest bank ad, as HSBC continues its "Different Points of View" campaign, mimicking Grand Theft Auto-style shenanigans with a Bruckheimer-esque approach to over-the-top live action—all to present international opinion stats about videogames. It brings together two common fantasies—a pre-teen's dream of grabbing the car and embarking on untold adventures, and the modern father's of actually having a minute to sit on the couch to play videogames. And thanks to the voiceover, we now know 30 percent of German parents think videogames could help you pass your driving test.
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