Agency A-List: Grey New York

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When you are Grey New York and have DirecTV as a client, you think creatively. And when you think creatively, you find yourself with a campaign that most people -- including Bill Clinton -- wish would never end.

We're talking, of course, about "Effects," the series of spots directed by MJZ's Tom Kuntz showing everyday Joe Blows getting into awkward scrapes, all because they had cable. As each execution came out, the scenarios become more and more absurd, as in one starring Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen has as he was coming off his much-publicized, hysterical bender.

But "Effects," wasn't the only brilliant turn for for DirecTV. There was the amazingly detailed "Questions," starring John Cleese, which included some art direction so nuanced, that it made DVRing the commercial and it frame by frame, totally worth it. The agency also recently debuted a new round of work to promote DirecTV's "Genie" offering, which relies on similar hyperbolic plot turns as "Effects."

Grey's work in 2012 can be best summed up as the kind that leaves the sometimes-narrow confines of adland creativity and actually permeates consumer consciousness -- the agency's smart take on Febreze's odor eliminating powers is one such example. The agency continued to put blindfolded people in smelly situations sprayed with Febreze, including one especially smart execution which converted its commercial into a live stunt using a seafood shipping container.

And for Canon's continuing Project Imagination, the agency put a new twist on the contest by inviting celebrities and consumers to become directors under Ron Howard's tutelage.

Check out the other 2012 Creativity A-List honorees here.

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