February 2007 - Top Spots

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MTV "Chunky Pam"
Could the novelty-rapper trend be back? In the storied tradition of the Fat Boys (sort of) and Chunky A (more like it), MTV rolls out a new hero, just in time for a modern American landscape littered with child obesity issues - Chunky Pam. This syllabically slick MC boasts about her charming chubbiness with a holiday tune in which we learn she prefers her kisses Hershey, "pops more chips than Pringles," and bear witness to her oral dexterity by way of a Twinkie. To be sure, this ain't no Crushin', but what is?

UPS "One Driver"
If we took a show of hands back in 2003 to see which brand people thought would feature the Postal Service's popular ditty "Such Great Heights" in a spot, how many do you suppose would've picked Big Brown? If there is one hand in the air right now, you, sir, are a filthy liar. With its indie cred and obvious name nod to the government's storied mail distribution branch, the odds of it landing here four years later must be astronomical. What's next, Nelly's "Air Force Ones" in an adidas ad? In any case, high fives to UPS for waiting just long enough after this tune's played-to-death period to remind us just how great it still is.

Drumstick "Summer Ritual"
In an ice cream spot that tells us to "make a little time for the child within," it's more than appropriate for the tune to be a throwback, sort of old-timey jingle. The mass-synchronized, sunbathing swimmers could've been set to a lively, let's-rock-out summer jam, but the jingle approach gives it a touch of old-school dignity it wouldn't otherwise command. The gentle words and happy tune make us nostalgic for the days of suburban pool-hopping over fences in unsuspecting neighborhoods.


Dodge "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Street"
Considering the current world domination of videogames, the Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, which go back to 1967, have enjoyed surprising longevity in popular culture. Here, The Mill pits the Red Rocker and the Blue Bomber head-to-head once again. Except this time when the Blue Bomber wins, it decides to bust outside for a street fight. There it meets a new Dodge and takes multiple cracks at knocking the truck's block off. That is, until the momentum of the last punch pops Blue's own top. The slick effects render the robots as battle-beaten iron machines rather than pieces of plastic kitsch, making these old boxers look more real (and less creepy) than the most recent Rocky.

Sprite "LeBron"
This latest edition of Sprite's "SubLymonal" campaign features NBA pitchman LeBron James well off the court, doing a cross between a James Bond movie and a hip-hop vid. The camera follows two teams - one lemon, one lime - of masked Bron-Bron clones, looking like colorful "Spy vs. Spy" guys. armed with paintball guns (no doubt filled with flavor), as they creep around a mansion stalking a giant tongue. This scene is interwoven with the slow-motion action of two unitard-clad midgets cannonballing into a swimming pool. The final payoff is a challenge to viewers to supply better music. They sure couldn't top the edit.

Vaseline "Sea"
What better way to demonstrate the importance and beauty of skin than with crowds of naked people? Here, courtesy of The Mill and BBH/New York, a gaggle of nude folk interpret all that skin does for us. From standing and swaying in the woods, to lying in twisted formations, to bobbing up and down in the water, the buff bodies provide the visual interest while the voiceover tells us an assortment of skin stats, like how it consists of 300 million cells, regulates its temperature, is waterproof yet emits water and that its surface defends against disease. It's done so seamlessly, we can't tell which scenes are real and which are manipulated. Either way, we're still trolling the Manhattan Craigslist for our local all-nude sun salutation club.
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