As the continuing series with Greg over at Child of Sod , it is time for the Best in Commercials 2005. This is a tough category at times because there is so much variety in different regions. We are going to try to stick to national ads, to make all three of you who read this happy.
I take commercials very seriously. Partly, that is because my job is in marketing. I like to observe trends and see what I can steal for my own purposes. I think an effective commercial is one that you remember after it aired, one that you will tell your friends they need to watch. It also is one where you actually remember what product was being advertised. On with the picks.
1. Nextel/Sprint - I didn't think it would be fair to give them all three top spots, so I combined their new ad campaign into one spot. First of all, the three guys dancing in their office to Salt-n-Pepa's Push It. Their boss comes in hysterical because he doesn't know where anything is, and they find all the info in five seconds and go back to dancing - very badly. I laugh every time I see it, even though I have seen it dozens of times. Second, the guys moving where the one guy is humming what sounds like Karma Chameleon, and he claims it is In the Hood. Another sure fire laugher. Third, the older boss who comments that his new phone is just his way of sticking it to "the man." His assistant remarks that the boss is "the man," so he is just sticking it to himself. All three of these ads are funny, memorable, and you know which company they are for. Good stuff.
2. Apple's Eminem iPod Commercial - I am a HUGE fan of Apple's marketing department. They are just darn good. I think the iPod commercials are one of the five best ad compaigns of the last ten years. You can see how successful a campaign by how many people rip it off. Already, the iPod ads have been ripped by Target, the funny iPod Flea spoof, and numerous small regional groups (I did the same thing this past summer for youth camp). Last year, their U2 ad not only fit right into the whole concept, it elevated it by giving U2 massive exposure for their new album (which ruled). This year, the Eminem one took it a step further by adding more features than just the plain color background. They weren't afraid to tweak their formula, like the rapper isn't afraid to tweak the music industry. Well done ad. You also know how successful the entire campaign is by the fact that every song they have used for an ad has shot to the top of the iTunes download charts - and the fact that the iPod has a 85-90% market share of the mp3 player market.
3. Hewlett Packard Printers - These ads have still baffled me in the "how did they do that" realm. These are the ones where the different people place frames over live action and turn it into photos, as well as taking photos and turning it into live action. There have been several different ads, and they all are extremely fascinating. Very well constructed and pulled off.
Honorable Mention: Gatorade What If - This is the one where they change all of the famous sports plays to have the opposite outcome. Very well done. Lots of "how did they do that?" Gatorade has had a pretty good run recently.
Honorable Mention: ESPN Lebron Commercial - Lebron James, overexposed star of the NBA (and winner of one my worst ad awards later this week) is on the floor trying to unjam a copier at ESPN Headquarters. Stuart Scott walks by and looks at him, and says, "Chosen One? Ha!" It reminds me of my life, and it is funny.
Other Honorables: ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike ads, Ford Fusion city altering ad, Volkswagen Singing in the Rain R&B Remix, Nike's Tiger & Young Tiger ads
Well Greg, what do you think?