January 2008 - Top Spots

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SOUND:

Kia "Maniac"

In the spring of 1983 a movie was released that would change the world forever (and by change the world we mean showing every young man between the ages of 9 and 15 how classy exotic dancing could be). Here, Kia is banking on a song that (probably) inspired so many women working in steel mills to reach for that strip club rainbow to now sell automobiles. But there's a twist. A doppelganger for Russell Crowe's less attractive cousin plays the part made famous by Jennifer Beals, and Michael Sembello's magical "Maniac" lyrics are transformed. "He's a maniac, a maniac on the floor/And he's sellin' like he's never sold before." You know how this tale ends. Chair. Water. Sold.

NBA "Remember"

Any NBA fan knows the story of the 2007/08 season is the return of the Boston Celtics to among the league's elite. Last season, the team finished second last in league standings. But after acquiring Kevin Garnett, the Celts are now a league-leading force. Noam Murro supplies the heartfelt visuals, but it's 1970's power popsters Badfinger who lift the spot up to near tear territory for any Beantown hoops fan. When you hear the lyrics, "Every day my mind is all around you/Looking out from my lonely room/Day after day/Bring it home/Baby make it soon/I give my love to you," you can't help but think about pro basketball. Right?

Vodafone "Magical"

We all know what it's like to wait for public transit. It's probably the number four reason to start smoking (after "cool," "delicious," and "slight head buzz," obviously). Here we see a young couple passing the time at what looks like a subway stop. Instead of lighting up, the guy decides to strut his tap dance stuff while his girlfriend listens to the sweet sounds of Labbi Siffre's "It Must Be Love." The song's smooth enough, not to mention the slick moves, but add to that the tap shoes on cobblestone and the voiceover by Dame Judi Dench and this spot is music to the ears.

VISION:

No More Land Mines "Dangerous Ground"

CHI and Partners brings us a look at what life might be like if there were landmines everywhere and we all had to become experts at parkour just to grab a coffee or take a stroll. In the tradition of Walker's Amnesty International work, it's a clever way to put seemingly faraway problems in a perspective those in First World countries can understand. For us, it really brought home the point that if this was what life was like right now, we'd still be on the couch half-dressed trying to figure out how to use a wire coat hanger to reach the fridge, grab a beer and lift it over to quench our lazy, stranded thirst.

Ford "Escola"

Everyone loves a parade. But it would take an especially cheery sort to want one everyday. Here, JWT, Argentina and director Armando Bo introduce us to a young man who figures that buying a parade float car might be a good idea. Bo deftly shows the everyday challenges of a parade car, most notably washing it and getting gas. The initial parade float high begins to wane after a few incidents involving a low overpass and a flat tire in the rain. It's then the poor guy is convinced that having a car made from feathers and a troupe of dancers in boobie tassles isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Johnnie Walker "Moving Image"

At first it looks like this spot is a warning to anyone who may be flirting with the notion of combining their blended scotch whisky with high powered blotter acid. It could also be construed as Agency Holiday Party Vision, without all the smokes and meat-on-stick appetizers. The swirling liquidity distorts and distracts but ultimately makes for some classy visuals, which is what you might expect from a whisky that comes in a serial numbered bottle and a silk-lined box. Winston Churchill supposedly favored Black Label, but this trippy spot makes us willing to try the Blue.


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