November 2007 - Top Spots

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JC Penny "Magic"
Saatchi & Saatchi, New York and the store that James Cash built serve up a happy-go-lucky skip through a magically ordinary day in the city. There's a lot to like here, whether it's breathing some new life into the department store brand or finding out the coffee vendor is a real magician who gave coin trick tips to the actors, it all looks great and the effects by The Mill are top notch. But what really gives this commercial its heart is the tune "Music Box" by Regina Spektor. According to creative director Kerry Keenan, the agency listened to hundreds of tracks before landing and deciding on Spektor's delightful ditty. Cheers to a successful search.

National Bank of Australia "Climb Every Mountain"
We've all been late for work. We've all worn red socks. We've all run past a creepy neighbor sun-bathing in his yard. Saving a busload of commuters singing "Climb Every Mountain" is probably not so common but not utterly out of the question. The fact a bank has the sense of humor about itself without completely losing the message—be a confident customer—is impressive, but break it down to brass tacks and what really got us was the Yeti. The singing, wrestling Yeti. Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne creative Rohan Lancaster says, "The bank understood that the commercial needed to convey the emotional depth, but they also realized that handled badly it could end up a disaster of cheesy proportions. Thus, after much discussion, the Yeti character remained in the spot and ensured the ad didn't take itself too seriously."

The Cartoon Network "Fall Music"
It's hard to go wrong when you're the Cartoon Network. I mean, who doesn't love cartoons? Bright colors, funny voices, it's all there. But Shilo and everyone's favorite animation destination really went all out and got monochromatic Swedish garage rockers The Hives to lay down a custom track for the network's fall line-up. "The brief was basically to come up with a energetic youth-inspired track to set the tone for the new branding of the network," said Shilo executive producer Tracy Chandler. Hey, it's a family-friendly Howlin' Pelle Almqvist! The kids will be dressing in matching suits and performing perfect scissor kicks in no time.


13 eme Rue "Gali the Alligator"
Just as a children's performer named Pennywise generously stoked our long-held fear and hatred of all things clown, so too may this spot warp and twist some unsuspecting child's impression of costumed characters like Barney and Big Bird. Here we meet Gali The Alligator who's "a puppet decimator." Gali skips and trots through a land of cute plush toys, ripping limbs from bunnies and heads from birds amid the screams of singing kids. Far from a new fear-based children's program, Gali's promoting France's crime channel 13 eme Rue. By the end, the TV set is soaked in the blood and carnage while Gali gives us an "Aw, shucks" look before the tag, "If we had to make a kid's show, this is how we'd do it."

Random House Canada/The Gum Thief "Glove Pond"
Remember when print ads were all about selling the sexy? It didn't matter if it was cigarettes, ceiling fans, the newest musk or a hi-fi, somehow there would be a man, a mustache and some serious innuendo going on. This trailer, created by Crush, Toronto, is for Douglas Coupland's latest novel The Gum Thief, a story of love and looming apocalypse set in the aisles of an office supply superstore. Coupland himself narrates the trailer as passages from the book are thoughtfully placed in what look like magazine ads from the '70s, harking back to the days of fondue, Jimmy Carter and The Rockford Files. Not that we're old enough to remember all that much, but our dad used to have a huge collection of ... er, Home & Garden we used to look through.

Sidaction "Hourglass"
In its first few seconds, this Leo Burnett, Paris spot could be for any number of products or services. We're looking at a slew of writhing, sweaty, naked bodies in gymnastically coital embraces. But this is France, so it could be an ad for toothpaste ... or jeans, or insurance ... who's to know? But soon the grim message is revealed in the form of a giant hourglass housing dead bodies that plunge and pile up. Sidaction is an AIDS awareness organization looking to combat various misconceptions and a lack of urgency concerning the disease's consequences. According to Sidaction, 6,500 people in France are reportedly infected with AIDS each year. Director/photographer Dimitri Daniloff (who's perhaps best known for his freaky mashup images for TBWA/Paris's Sony Playstation print campaigns) has crafted a stark and cleverly haunting vision for a deadly disease that's seen its awareness decrease in recent years.To discuss this article, visit the Creativity Forums.
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