MJZ has a habit of topping lists. This year, the company earned its fourth Palme D'Or at Cannes and made its sixth appearance as most-awarded shop in our Creativity Awards Report. But even without the accolades, MJZ deserves a place at the top, thanks to a body of work that made a significant impact not just on the industry, but in the world of pop culture, with some of the year's most talked about moments tracing back to its roster. Tom Kuntz kicked off the year with the destined-to-be-classic Old Spice "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like," which later went on to win an Emmy, and then carried on with more laughs such as Old Spice "Questions" (Swan dive!). Craig Gillespie steered Snickers' "Game," the Super Bowl spot that arguably brought Betty White back into the celebrity limelight. Spike Jonze came out to play, big time, on the robot-themed "I'm Here" short film sponsored by Absolut and created out of TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York - an effort whose ambitious marketing push took cues from the director's promotions for "Where the Wild Things Are" - and then returned to his music-video roots with a curious pair of clips for Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem.
Directing team Blue Source brought its quirky touches to Pereira & O'Dell's short film, Lego "Click," while Dante Ariola was as prolific as he was diverse, with an output that ranged from artsy black-and-white vignettes for Dickies (Goodby) to action comedy on Bridgestone's "Whale of a Tale" (The Richards Group) and the touchy feely "Never Walk Alone" spot for P&G (Wieden, Portland). Heavy hitter Rupert Sanders was all about the action this year. He drew Kobe Bryant and Jimmy Kimmel into a real-world game of "Call of Duty" (TBWA/Chiat/Day), shot movie-meets-real-world moments for DirecTV (Grey, New York) and then slowed things down for a round of Nascar/ESPN spots (Wieden, New York).