Audi, "Prom (Worth It)"
Venables, Bell & Partners, San Francisco
A lovable loner is empowered by Dad's Audi to walk into the gym and
smooch the prom queen. He drives off with a black eye (from the
prom king) and a smile. This ad works! (If Audi is targeting
Best Buy, "Asking Amy"
CP&B, Boulder, Colo.
If you like Amy Poehler's schtick -- manic, not very bright -- then
you like this spot in which she pesters a Best Buy employee with
stupid questions. Unlike the stupid questions they're usually faced
with, some of these are funny.
Budweiser Black Crown
Anomaly, New York
In two separate spots lot of sexy, skinny people wearing black --
"the finest of our nation" -- have gathered in what looks like the
ballroom of some painfully hip urban hotel to celebrate Black
Crown, "a distinctive amber lager." "Here's to taste," says what is
either a hipster, a brewmaster or both. Whatever he is, he's
wearing an apron. "Here's to our kind of beer" -- you know, as
opposed to that regular old Budweiser made for the proles out in
the suburbs. This smug self-satisfaction might actually be music to
After last year's singing neck-heads, Cars.com plays it safe with a
couple buying a car. A wolf puppy -- and its angry mother -- add
drama, cuteness and a chuckle.
Century 21, "Wedding"
Red Tettemer & Partners, Philadelphia
No one expects a real-estate ad to push the boundaries. This one
lives up to expectations with a plot straight out of The Saturday
Evening Post. The groom doesn't want to live with the
mother-in-law! This might speak to the anxiety of all those
millennials who've boomeranged home after college (and their
put-upon parents as well).
Wieden & Kennedy
I expect more from my Coke ads. If you're going to try to get me to
vote on something -- and I don't want to vote on anything during
the game -- you're going to have to make it more interesting than
this "Mad Max"-"Lawrence of Arabia"-"Priscilla Queen of the Desert"
mishmash. Hell, Coke's recent "We didn't make you fat" ads are more
interesting. And who wants to stick around to see what happens
after the game? No one. Coke said it's a decent way to get more out
of its money. Maybe it shouldn't have spent so much on this in the
E-Trade, "Save It"
Grey, New York
The baby's back. Blah blah blah something 401K blah blah blah. Cute
bit showing the baby blowing the money you've wasted in fees. Blah
blah blah. The kid's still irresistible, though.
Gildan Activewear, "Getaway"
DeVito/Verdi, New York
Legend has it that dudes sometimes develop strong, irrational
attachments to a favorite T-shirt. The Gildan T-shirt is so good
that the lout in this spot risks his morning-after getaway to go
back for his shirt -- which is on his ladyfriend's body. We can
pretend the reaction shot from the cat represents the Parents
Television Council response to this ad.
GoDaddy, "Your Big Idea" and "Perfect Match"
Deutsch, New York
GoDaddy gets one star for completely forgoing cheap sexual
exploitation in its YourBigIdea.co ad. But loses it for the tight
closeup of the long, awkward kiss between model Bar Refaeli and
Walter, meant to symbolize the sexy side and the smart side of the
company respectively. Still, it's a smarter brand position than
"bimbos." And kudos for keeping everyone in clothes and not
implying that Danica Patrick and Bar Refaeli will run off to the
shower together after the shoot.
David & Goliath, Los Angeles
The nerd in this spot is unlikable, but the violence visited on him
by the "Hotbot" seems a bit excessive. So if we don't "respect the
tech" in a Kia Forte, we're going to be bullied into submission?
(Note: Spot may be funnier after a few beers.)
M&M, "Love Ballad"
BBDO, New York
Red singing Meatloaf's "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't
Do That)" is bad enough. But the montage of scenes showing him in
real-world M&M situations -- being licked, shoved into an oven,
etc. -- brings up a lot of questions about this campaign I've long
repressed. Still, it works.
MilkPep, "The Rock"
Deutsch, New York
With sales flagging, MilkPep turns to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and
the message that milk has the protein to power your day. The spot
has all the theatrics of a Super Bowl ad, but isn't much different
from an earlier ad featuring Selma Hayek.
Taxi, New York
"Honey, why is that strange man with the crazy eyes shouting about
change on TV? I thought the election was over!" Tracy Morgan tries
to make the case that Mio brings excitement to sports drinks? Or
Subway, "15 Years in the Making"
A host of Subway endorsers, including Los Angeles Clippers power
forward Blake Griffin, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert
Griffin III, boxer Laila Ali and speed skater Apolo Ohno
congratulate Subway spokesman Jared Fogle for 15 years of keeping
off the 200 pounds he lost. Too bad that the few seconds in which
Jared appears, he looks like someone being held against his will.
"Just ... want ... CHEESECAKE FACTORY!"
NFL Network, "Sandcastle"
Grey, New York
This is a mildly entertaining spot starring Deion Sanders, former
NFL star and personality. But people aren't going to ask cable
providers for the NFL Network for the on-air talent or analysis.
They'll only do so because the NFL is taking more games away from