February 2008 - Top Spots

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SOUND:

Bud Light "Dude Football"
Guys call each other a lot of names. Bro, Guy, Man, Buddy, Friendo, Gary—the list goes on and on. Of all, Dude seems to be the most commonly used in North America. With its recent Bud Light spots, DDB, Chicago has followed one man through various days of Dude. The accompanying music by Elias Arts is not the usual beer ad fare but rather an emotionally tinged, classic piano number that's more tux with tails than touchdowns but somehow adds a needed touch of thoughtful whimsy to the Beer Dude's dude marathon.

Kia "Frames"
While the stereotypical car ad is usually high on adrenaline and excitement (well, aside from minivans), more recently the pendulum has swung the other way with many manufacturers going for a more happy-go-lucky feel. This is one of those. Here, Hum Music provides a heartwarming, acoustic happy jam that forces the head to involuntarily nod from side to side like some entranced patchouli-soaked hippie. Aside from that unpleasantness, and the questionable physics in hanging an antique frame in thin air, the tunes ensure the product seems like a nice, relaxing ride.

EDF "Not Easy Being Green"
OK, OK, yes we know this is another one of those corporate spots vowing to save the world one bit at a time but hey, they used recycled film clips! That's thinking about the planet right there. Baby steps, people. The audio accompaniment is a nice, looping, flute-enhanced tune with the voices of (of course) children singing "It's not easy being green." The real treat here is, as with the recycled film clips, the audio of said clips is deftly cut together to form much of the spot's message, from President Bill Clinton to JFK to various children's programs, it all comes together for EDF Energy's concern for the future.

VISION:

Goldfish "Went for a Stroll"
Far from the usual financial, credit card-type spot, here Grey, London eschewed another celebrity endorsed, we-protect-your-identity type spot and commissioned an original story from adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes on the subject of "Me and my Goldfish," where "goldfish" could represent anything at all. Fiennes, the first man to reach both the North and South poles by land and a distant cousin to the actors Ralph and Joseph, narrates the story but it's the animation by Foreign Office that really catches the eye. The "digital antique" look blends perfectly with this cold, Arctic tale and the animation evokes the stark landscape and freezing temperatures enough to make us shiver.

S4C "Explained"
When Onedotzero was tasked with a creative re-branding solution for Welsh TV channel S4C, the shop called on directing collective Minivegas to help create the channel's on-air promos. The crew produced a selection of quirky bits with specially constructed VFX gems, with various aspects of each changing and reacting to the voiceover's tone and volume. The logic being, viewers will see the promos so many times that each one should change and adapt to keep things interesting. Here, the men behind the magic explain just what went into their creations. A welcome lesson, to be sure, since we usually associate such fantastical feats with top hats, bunny rabbits and perhaps the odd ritual sacrifice of a live goat.

MINI "Pinball"
Ever see the original Rollerball? This spot brings to mind that Norman Jewison-directed, Jimmy Caan gem, but instead of corporations taking over governments and homicidal roller derby taking the place of war (in the year 2018, no less), we have a Mini Clubman taking the place of pinball paddles. The folks at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners built this massive set on an old hockey rink in the Czech Republic. ACD Steve Mapp said getting the Clubman's back doors to act as flippers was a challenge. "Fortunately, our pals at MINI were really good sports about us 'modifying' one of their few pre-production cars. Let's just say there was a lot of cutting and welding involved."
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