Best and Top of Everything : Top 10 Commercials of 2012

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 10 Commercials of 2012

10. Round Up Your Mates for a Guinness

In this two-and-a-half minute ad, a dog corrals a group of Guinness drinkers – as if they were sheep – who frequently get distracted by the three fundamental interests of being a guy: food, sports and girls. But the sheepdog succeeds in this “Round Up Your Mates for a Guinness” spot by getting the wandering dudes into a bar to drink up. The ad itself succeeds by poking fun at the stereotypical interests of men everywhere.


9. The Guardian’s Three Little Pigs


SportsCenter has been making the same type of ad for years: quirky, behind-the-scenes video snippets from ESPN’s headquarters featuring weird vignettes like SportsCenter anchors competing in mustache contests with mascots, athletes wreaking havoc in the newsroom and staffers finding themselves in baseball-like rain delays and perfect game scenarios.They’re essentially dry, micro mockumentaries in the style of Christopher Guest. Somehow, these spots are still just as sharp as when they began in 1994. This year, ESPN turned nerdy, funny-looking, middle-aged NFL analyst John Clayton into a long-haired fan of death metal who lives with his mom. The ad received glowing reviews online and was viewed 2.5 million times in its first two months. It’ll likely go down as a “This is SportsCenter” classic.

7. BGH’s Dads in Briefs Campaign


  The only thing worse than a stuffy house in the summer? A stuffy house where dads wear tighty-whities. This theatrical ad campaign for Argentina’s BGH air conditioners is a brilliant juxtaposition of sophistication and sophomoric humor. The company is known for creating clever campaigns, including last year’s “Big Noses” ad spots in which folks with big schnozes got 25% off a new AC. This year’s commercials, filmed in black and white and set to melodramatic orchestral music, show dads grossing out all those around them just by doing everyday household tasks — in briefs. In the funniest of the three commercials, BGH asks: “Is there anything more humiliating than your dad trying to be cool in front of your friends? Yes. If he does it in briefs.”

6. Will Ferrell for Old Milwaukee


  These spots are among the most bizarre commercials on television. That is, if you can find them on television. Late last year, actor/comedian Will Ferrell began showing up in an assortment ofsmall, local TV markets hawking Old Milwaukee beer. In one ad, he’s fishing on a log in Davenport, Iowa. In another, he wakes up after a rough night on a roof in Terre Haute, Indiana. During the Super Bowl, an ad of Ferrell simply walking through a field appeared in exactly one television station in North Platte,Nebraska. In October, a new slate of ads surfaced showing Ferrell biking, boating and laughing at words like “infart” in Sweden. The campaign was a brilliant move by Old Milwaukee, proving that it doesn’t matter how many markets an ad shows up in: these bizarrely amusing commercials went viral and have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

5. DirecTV’s “Don’t Wake Up in a Roadside Ditch” Campaign

The world around us can seem increasingly illogical. So why should it be surprising that our shoddy cable service would cause our house to explode, make us reenact scenes from “Platoon” with Charlie Sheen and force us to attend our own funeral as a guy named Phil Shifley. That’s what happens in this bizarro cable world, where the most innocuous problems like costly service or waiting on the cable guy can have profound consequences. By comically exaggerating the problems of poor service, these ads deftly remind us how infuriating having cable can be — which could all be avoided, of course, by dumping cable and getting DirecTV.


 4. Procter & Gamble’s “Thank You Mom”


The most emotionally effective ad campaign of the 2012 London Olympics were these “Thank You Mom” ads showing athletes the way their moms still see them, even as they’re walking through the Opening Ceremonies or preparing to compete during the Games: as kids. Procter & Gamble has run similar spots before, but the 2012 campaign was the most powerful.


3. Lena Dunham’s “Your First Time”


In an election campaign where it felt as if every political ad was nastier than the last, actress/comedienne Lena Dunham’s “Your First Time” stood out. Loved by the left and dubbed tasteless by the right, Dunham’s ad equating first-time voting with losing one’s virginity created enormous buzz. It may not have had any effect on getting young people to the polls, but its humor and controversial tenor are likely to make it the most memorable ad of the 2012 campaign.


2. Samsung’s “Next Big Thing”

It can be difficult to poke fun at Apple as well as Samsung has in in their “Next Big Thing” spots. Samsung’s ads for its Galaxy S III smartphone, which the company is using to go right after the Apple iPhone market, mock a group of Apple fans waiting in line for the next product release as Samsung users “touch phones” with their new Galaxies and hold spots in the Apple line for their much older (read: uncool) iPhone-loving parents. It’s unclear whether the ads will actually take a bite out of Apple’s smartphone dominance, but the spot was widely praised and garnered almost 17 million views on YouTube since it was released in September.


 1. Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler Super Bowl Ad


 When it first appeared, political pundits considered this Super Bowl commercial, featuring actor Clint Eastwood, to be the equivalent of an Obama re-election ad. (That was before Eastwood talked to a chair at the Republican National Convention.) Aired at halftime, the gritty, uplifting 2-minute-long Chrysler ad featured a raspy, growling Eastwood praising the Detroit automakers for getting back on their feet and arguing that America’s second half – meaning a more robust economic turnaround – was about to begin. It’s the one ad that’s likely to be remembered from the 2012 Super Bowl.