Barton F. Graf 9000
It's still hard to not wet ourselves laughing at the agency's signature comedy for the likes of Little Caesers and Kayak, but the shop broadened its repertoire with campaigns for mobile game company Super Cell, including popular animated ads for "Clash of Clans" depicting the game's characters in hiarious scenarios and others for "Hay Day" starring Craig Robinson cavorting with farm animals. The agency also launched Axe's cool digital tool for wannabes that helped them figure out if they were trying too hard on social media. On the awards front, the agency earned plenty of love at this year's ad shows for its Climate Name Change push supporting 350.org.
BBH Asia Pacific
The Singapore-based hub of the U.K. stalwart created work that resonated across the globe, including one of our top films of the year, a hilarious ad that spoofed the marketing conventions of tech giants to promote one of Ikea's most anticipated releases of the year: its catalog. Another excellent film brought horror-filled laughs to the client for Halloween, by spoofing "The Shining."
The digitally-driven shop was involved in a host of cool projects, including the design of the interface, branding and website for Pepsi's Spire, the beverage giant's custom soda fountain. For Mountain Dew, the agency also leapt into the latest digital frontier, virtual reality, letting New Yorkers experience a high-octane tour of Las Vegas skate parks alongside pros Paul Rodriguez and Sean Malto, with the help of Oculus Rift.
Grey, New York
The powerhouse shop delivered more laughs for DirecTV, including a handful of ads featuring Rob Lowe not looking like his usual handsome self, to illustrate the difference between DTV and lesser cable providers. Also for the brand, it created another music video laffer starring the rapping Manning brothers, Fantasy Football Fantasy. The agency also proved its prowess in more serious categories, like the issue of gun control, and created the moving digital tool, Unload Your 401k, which allows investors to find out if their 401k retirement portfolios are contributing to public gun companies.
The Martin Agency
Virginia-based The Martin Agency created one of our favorite integrated campaigns of the year, for Benjamin Moore. It thought up a new paint line for the client based on its longtime support of the Red Sox -- featuring colors such as Green Monster green -- and devised a fun multiplatform push to promote it. Laughs for Geico were non-stop and included one ad featuring unsuccessful motivation speaker Pinocchio. The agency also produced more delightful surprises for Oreo Minis, including the tale of "Mel's Mini Mart," which sold the bite-sized treats.
TBWA/Media Arts Lab
Overcoming reportedly rocky relations with sole client Apple, the TBWA shop delivered some of the year's most impressive work, helping to bring the brand back to form on the ad front. Following the Emmy-awarded holiday spot "Misunderstood," the agency made us cry all over again with 2014's Christmas ad about a girl who gives her grandmother the present of a lifetime. Those were just bookends, however, to a whole year of standout work, including the energetic "Stickers" ad promoting the MacBook Air.