Kash Sree, Associate Creative Director, Leo Burnett, Chicago
1. Time Warner Cable "Bear Daughter"
Illustrating Time Warner's new flexible appointment times, a little girl runs away from home and is adopted by a bear, when a father imagines what would happen if he misses his daughter's play to wait for the cable guy.
Agency: Shepardson, Stern & Kaminsky CD: Marty Cooke CW: Roman Tsukerman AD: Brian Murphy Director: Mike Mills/The Directors Bureau Agency Producers: Amy Hull, Jill Levy
MB: The VO will tell you everything you need to know as far as what Time Warner has to offer. The spot itself articulates this benefit. The father's daydream is all shot in a studio, which is a bit distracting. I love the story; I just wish it wasn't served up in the campy style. If Dad really thought that, then I'd like to have seen it that way. That said, I really like the idea and the whole "catching her food thing." 2 stars
KS: It's kind of funny. It's not played too broadly. I love the line, "No daughter of mine is catching dinner with her teeth." I should really like it. Except, I just wish it didn't remind me of the Budget-Rent-a-Car formula that everyone seems to have latched onto. You know, the "I wonder what would happen if," and then you cut to what might happen. And then cut back to the present, where they decide that would be a bad idea. I reckon being derivative is a bad idea, even if it's well executed. It just makes me want to go out and rent a Mustang. I hate Mustangs. 1 star
2. Sheraton "Jubilation"
A '60s vid-like romp finds British rockers frolicking through the rooms and halls of a Sheraton to a Rolling Stones cover of "Let's Spend the Night Together," demonstrating the hotelier's "new spin."
Agency: Deutsch/N.Y. ECD: Kathy Delaney GCDs: Evelyn Neill, Florence Buchanan CW: Lisa Garrone ADs: Enrique Mosqueda, Michael DePirro Agency Producer: Eve Kornblum Director: James Brown/Smuggler
MB: I watched this spot over and over again. Music is great. I enjoyed the direction. I'm not sure what the "new spin" is, but it really doesn't matter. The new spin could simply be attitude, and I'm fine with that. It also reminded me of how much I like the Sheraton logo. There's something very Yacht Club about it. This spot makes Sheraton likeable and, hopefully, that translates into visitable. 3 stars
KS: I grew up with Madness videos, so this spot is fitting very much into that vein and it pretty much warmed my cockles. It felt cool, fun and fresh. But did it make me want to stay at the Sheraton? Not yet. I'm not sure what it's trying telling me. Other than the Sheraton may be more fun than I can remember it being. Oh, I just read the type. It says, "The Sheraton has a new spin." It says, "See for yourself." I liked it more when I wasn't sure what they were trying to tell me. 2 stars
3. Kmart "Jimmy and Jenny"
Life in the Joe Boxer universe goes beyond skivvies - it also means clothes and shoes, in this spot rife with clips-inspired effects and choreography, set to a Timbaland track.
Agency: TBWAChiatDayN.Y. CD: Patrick O'Neill CW: Daniel Chu AD: Joseph Mazzaferro Agency Producer: Laura Schulson Director: Dave Meyersfirstname.lastname@example.org
MB: This is 30 seconds too long, but interesting for Kmart. If they were talking to the kids, I think they listened for 30 seconds. Then the song gets old and the execution gets tired. But it's entertaining. 2 stars
KS: Jimmy and Jenny have got their boxers on. And there's more to life than underwear. I feel more fulfilled having learned those two things. That aside, the spot is trying something bold by Kmart's standards, and it's sort of pleasing in a bubble gum kind of way - it's pretty well choreographed and produced. It's probably the best Kmart ad I've seen. Which may not be saying much, because I'm struggling to remember if I've ever seen one. But do I like it? No. Yes. No. Yes-ish. OK, yes, I think I do. I'm going to hate myself for saying that. 2 stars
4. VW "Think Ahead"
A man receives an eerie call on his cellphone warning him of future missteps in love and life. Turns out the mysterious seer is his future self, who also encourages him to buy a Passat - the one decision he knows he'll be happy about.
Agency: Arnold Worldwide CCO: Ron Lawner GCD: Alan Pafenbach CD: Dave Weist CW: Rob Thompson AD: Julian Newman Agency Producer: Bill Goodell Director: Fredrik Bond/MJZ
MB: I remember when I first saw this. I thought it was an interesting idea, getting a phone call from yourself in the future. Well executed. Product featured seamlessly. The only area it took a dive for me was the "when you meet Becky" line. I was sort of waiting for that. Nonetheless, Volkswagen's work continues to be strong and from the brand. Much respect. 3 stars
KS: This is fucked up. You can see it was a difficult brief. Or at least you can hear it was a difficult brief, with the voiceover at the end. I like the way they got the car in it. The whole spot is a little disturbing. I enjoy things that disturb me slightly. I remember those things. Odd things. I'll remember this ad. And I'll remember that I won't regret buying a Passat. Isn't that what good ads are supposed to do? It's not as good as some VW ads, but it's more than respectable. 3 stars