Online Exclusive: TV Spots of the Week


And Other Current TV Commercials of Note

By Published on .

Freezing the Rivers of Bangkok
Marketer: Diageo
Brand: Johnnie Walker Red
Title: "Winter in Bangkok"
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Singapore

To fully appreciate this ad for the Thailand market, you need to know the average December temperature in that country of tropical jungles and monsoons is 86 degrees. The very idea of ice on rivers and lakes is an alien and seemingly impossible one. Thus, using special effects to create such a real-looking ice-bound Bangkok is a stunning attention getter. And what better way to emphasize the Johnnie Walker Red theme, 'Impossible is only a state of mind'?

Bright Lights, Blown Circuits
Marketer: Dunkin' Donuts
Brand: Latte
Title: "Holiday Lights"
Agency: Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos

Lifting a peppermint mocha latte, Dunkin' Donuts pays homage to the hallowed Christmas tradition of blowing out circuits with ill-wired tangles of aging holiday lights.

Charge Card for a Surfer God
Marketer: American Express
Brand: American Express
Title: "Laird Sherpa"
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York

Surfer god Laird Hamilton smugly notes in this spot that 'My life takes me to the edge.' The camera follows him through daredevil stunts that appear all but suicidal to mere mortals. He's shooting this curl as part of the new American Express 'My Life. My card' global branding campaign.

The Joy of It All
Marketer: Toys R Us
Brand: Toys R Us
Title: "Joy"
Agency: Y&R Advertising, New York

Anyone who has experienced the pandemonium of a Toys R Us store on a recent holiday weekend can only smile wryly at this spot celebrating the joy of it all. But at least it's a quaint sentiment that should stiffen the determination of grandmothers and doting great-aunts who are gathering their strength for toy store shopping visits.

Downhill Cart Race
Marketer: Nike
Brand: Nike Shox
Title: "Hotdog"
Agency: Weiden & Kennedy, Amsterdam

Shot on the winding streets of Lisbon, Portugal, this spot for Nike Shox features a frantic downhill race after a runaway hot dog cart. Initially it appears that the customer who started it rolling is chasing the cart to protect pedestrians. The kicker, however, is that he sprinted all those blocks to get some more condiment for the hot dog he is holding in his hand.

Not Free
Marketer: PepsiCo
Brand: Sierra Mist
Title: "Who Knew"
Agency: BBDO, New York

Making the point that while its product is free of sugar, calories, carbs and caffeine, it is not free for the taking. Cops grill a consumer who thought the 'Free' on the bottle meant no cost. The convenience-store cameras caught him. Who knew?

Basketball-Playing Cars
Marketer: General Motors
Brand: Chevrolet Cobalt
Title: "Little Brother"
Agency: Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.

This campaign for the new compact Cobalt, which starts in the $14,000 price range, attempts to rub it with some of the status of the company's classic Corvette, which starts in the $44,000 range. Great pains have been taken not to show the vehicles side by side and the only similarity we can see is that both cars are painted red. Here, they play basketball to emphasize the promotional point that one is the 'little brother' of the other.

The Last Roll
Marketer: General Mills
Brand: Pillsbury Crescents
Title: "Last Roll"
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York

This run-of-the-mill commercial, which uses imagery and messaging common to Pillsbury's marketing, also appears to have struck just the right holiday nerve in its audience. This spot received the highest consumer recall score for the period of Nov. 22 to Dec. 5 in the bi-weekly Intermedia Advertising Group survey.

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