Spot of the Year: Milk "Birthday"

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"Birthday," which was released early this year, has already been cited for Cannes Gold so we're not going out on a limb here. But the spot is a winner by any standard, from the first viewing to the 20th taking its place in the pantheon of the classic "Got Milk?" spots while standing up as a fresh, delightfully dark gem in its own right. Riffing off The Omen but making it his own, Noam Murro delivers the perfect mix of creeps and comedy. No surprise that the director was recently tapped to direct the sequel to horror feature The Ring.

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco Creative Director: Jeff Goodby Copywriter: Colin Nissan Art Director: Sean Farrell Agency Producer: Cindy Epps Director: Noam Murro/ Biscuit Filmworks, Los Angeles Director of Photography: Stefan Czapsky Executive Producer: Shawn Lacy Tessaro Editor: Avi Oron/Bikini Editorial, New York Special Effects: Radium, San Francisco

The Runners-up

Honda "Best Friends"

Call it the Cog effect. With the standards raised high for cars by that mesmerizing U.K. spot, Rubin Postaer & Associates took a fanciful leap with this fantastically engaging spot for the U.S. market. In fact, all the the Honda work lately looks pretty good. But "Best Friends" is special. In it, an array of Honda models are shown juxtaposed with human faces and heads, which in many cases look startlingly similar to their vehicular counterparts in shape, configuration or general bearing. With this spot, director Malcolm Venville once again delivers the perfect car spot, indeed the perfect spot - one that transcends the genre, speaks to the human element while still acting in some form as a commercial. It's another great sign for advertising when Venville (who also directed VW's Squares) becomes the go-to car guy.

Agency: Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica Creative Directors: David Smith, Joe Baratelli Copywriter: David Smith Art Director: Joe Baratelli Agency Producer: Brian Donnelly Director: Malcolm Venville/Anonymous Content Executive Producer: Lisa Margulis Line Producer: John Benet Editor: Rick Lawley/Whitehouse, Santa Monica Music Company: HUM, Santa Monica Composer: Alan Steinberger

HP "You"

Perfect music, arresting visuals, cool product demonstration. An utterly compelling enticement to get out there and get some HP gear.

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco Creative Directors: Rich Silverstein, Steve Simpson ACD/Art Director: John Norman Copywriter: Mike McCommon Agency Executive Producer: Elizabeth O'Toole Agency Producer: Josh Reynolds Director: Francois Vogel/Tool of North America, Santa Monica Director of Photography: Adam Kimmel Line Producer: Caroline Pham Editor and Sound Designer: Hank Corwin/Lost Planet Editorial Visual Effects: Method, Santa Monica Song: "Pictures of You" Musical Artist: The Cure

HP "The Next Shift"

Frank Budgen directs a legion of toys making their way "to work" in this totally cool and oddly poignant addition to the HP lineup.

Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners San Francisco Creative Directors: Rich Silverstein, Steve Simpson, John Norman Art Director: Todd Grant Copywriter: John Knecht Director: Frank Budgen Production Company: Anonymous Content DP: Harris Savides Editorial: Kirk Baxter, Rock Paper Scissors Graphics: Motion Theory Special Effects: A52 Music Company: Agoraphone Music Supervisor: Beth Urdang Original Music: Technicolor

Nike "Streaker"

A worthy addition to the Nike canon, Streaker proved universally appealing. Even though Americans are pretty much alone in the world in not caring about soccer, both Euros and Yanks could laugh together at this comedic gem.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy/Portland Creative Directors: Hal Curtis, Mike Byrne, Ty Montague Copywriter: Jonathan Cude

Art Director: Matt Stein Director: Frank Budgen/Gorgeous Enterprises, London Editor: Paul Watts/The Quarry and Angus Wall, Adam Pertosky/Rock Paper Scissors

ESPN "Shelf Ball"

The whole campaign was a winner but "Shelf Ball" nailed something so real about the nature of games and office shenanigans it was almost uncomfortable. Another Wieden pearl that belongs in the sports ad hall of fame.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy/Portland Creative Directors: Todd Waterbury, Ty Montague Copywriter: Kevin Proudfoot Art Director: Kim Schoen Agency Producer: Brian Cooper Director: Acne/RSA USA, Los Angeles Editor: Dick Gordon/Mad River Post

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