The 2012 Joshys: Part II

The WTF? Award: The commercials that I watched numerous times to figure out what just happened.

Winner: Brad Pitt and Chanel No. 5

Ridiculous and pretentious. Brad Pitt’s wistful acting is decidedly not Oscar-worthy. And primed for parodies.

Honorable mentions: Henry and Aaron’s Central Institute of Technology: This Aussie video is WTF? worthy for an entirely different reason. It’s just awesome and totally unexpected. Probably a great recruiting tool for kids who would want to go to tech school.

Oxy’s Exploding Pimples: Yeah, it’s disgusting. And yeah, these are probably cysts which are more serious and should get medical attention. But the juvenile side of my personality is quite amused.

The “Aww” Award: Simply put, commercials that will make you say “aww.” A decent amount of overlap with The Field of Dreams Award.

Winner: Google Chrome’s “Jess Time”

Google can really pull at the heartstrings. Here, a father and daughter help each other adjust to life’s changes. Sweet, genuine, and just nice.

Honorable mentions: Subaru’s Rainbow and 200,000 Miles: Both ads from Subaru’s “Love” campaign, which seems like it could be a constant contender in this category. The rainbow commercial (titled “Looking for Gold”) captures a father and young daughter in a whimsical and adorable moment. “200,000 Miles” is also cute, but has a deeper meaning about random events and how they can change our lives.

Nike Free “I Would Run To You”: This one had some mixed reviews, as many thought it relied on the formula of an incompetent man (who reminds me of myself) and a super-competent woman. But personally, I find it cute, romantic, and funny. Love will make people do silly and irrational things…maybe even run cross-country. The song is very catchy too.

Purina’s Rain Rescued Cat: If you love cats, you’ll love this one.

The Beautiful Award: Most beautiful visuals in an ad.

Winner: Getty Images “From Love To Bingo”

Sometimes the best stories don’t need any words at all. Love it. From Brazil.

The Explosions in the Sky Award: The most epic of the year. And yeah I know, “epic” is totally overused now. Sorry.

Winner: Audi’s “Ahab”

The first time I saw this commercial, I was like “Well, that was cool, but I feel like I’m missing something.” Then I realized that the whole ad is an homage to Moby Dick (it is called “Ahab” after all). The wide-open vastness of the landscape and lonely narration of the forlorn truck driver makes this one a winner. Manly as hell, too.

Honorable mention: Canadian Paralympics “Unstoppable”: Unstoppable is the right word.

Subaru’s Cutesy Kid Car Wash

It’s a cute Subaru commercial (as they tend to be), but is it too cute? I’m taking an advertising class right now, and “too cute” is one of the common criticisms. This might cross the line. I wonder if a real-life father would be this understanding and just laugh it off. Things to consider…

Subaru: A Cute Little Girl Helps Out Her Mom

I’m a fan of Subaru’s “Love” campaign. It’s just really sweet and well, nice. Here’s a few more from the “Love” campaign created by Carmichael Lynch. The first is “Take Your Daughter To Work” themed, and the second involves a familiar and supportive fan during a bike race. I don’t think these are as strong as some of Subaru’s other work, but still, they’re just very nice.

Subaru Catches A Rainbow

Subaru’s advertisements tend to be sentimental. Of course, they’re also really good. Their commercials are the type that find deeper meaning in consumer products, which is a method that can be highly effective. In their incredibly cute and sweet new commercial, a little girl and her dad take an unplanned adventure to catch a rainbow. I’ve always found babies in ads to be more creepy than cute, but little kids in commercials are adorable. The soft song playing is Jenny O’s “Won’t Let You Leave” and it adds a nice, whimsical atmosphere. This one is a winner, for sure.

What’s That Song? Part XXII

This edition of What’s That Song will be all car commercials. These are all ads that have been shown a lot during the NCAA Tournament.

Artist: The Pogues, Song: “If I Should Fall From Grace With God”

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so this Subaru Forester commercial with The Pogues seems like a good place to start. It’s definitely a fun and jaunty song. But something seems a little odd about using a song that sounds like a drinking anthem in a commercial about driving a kids hockey team around.

Artist: Spandau Ballet, Song: “True”

Spandau Ballet’s “True” has become an ’80s standard and it’s put to good use in this Chevy Malibu Eco ad. The backseat guy who says “that’s Spandau Ballet” is Ben Weber, who is probably best known for being the Geico Caveman, the uncomfortably gassy Gas-X man, and NOT Tom Hanks or Tom Hanks’ brother.

Artist: Neon Trees, Song: “Everybody Talks”

Neon Trees…one of those bands I’ve heard of but never knowingly heard. Alright. It’s a decent song in this Buick Verano commercial. But the lead singer looks like an idiot.

Subaru’s 200,000 Miles Of Nostalgia

I haven’t posted in a few days, but I wanted to be sure to get one off today. Because this will be the last February 29th until at least 2016 that I’ll write a blog post. Anyway, this idea came from my brother. “I think it’s a Subaru Impreza commercial and this guy’s car is reaching 200,000 miles and he’s looking back on the stuff that happened in that time.”

Very nice. I really like advertisements that tell a story and get to the point that life often happens in random events. If that accident never would have happened, the guy probably wouldn’t have met his wife. I wonder how often marriages result from car crashes…it’s gotta happen sometimes, right? It’s sentimental, but well-done and hits a soft spot for me and probably a lot of viewers.

What’s That Song?

Music can be a crucial addition to any commercial. Being featured in advertising can help any rising artist break out. In this post, I will write about ads where songs are important, and give you the name and artist.

Artist: The Non-Commissioned Officers, Song: “Evolve”

In a commercial where a monkey accompanies a man to a party, it seems natural that it would be backed by a song called “Evolve”. Maybe it’s just the people I know, but I feel like women would be more receptive to a guy with a spider monkey on his shoulder. But it definitely isn’t the best way to fight flakes. I guess Garnier Fructis is going for a male audience here, but it doesn’t have a very male-sounding name. I always used to get Garnier Fructis confused with Clairol Herbal Essences.

Artist: Tim Myers, Song: “Under Control”

I actually didn’t remember what commercial this bouncy song was in, which is probably not what Chase wants to hear. In a note that only I may find interesting, Tim Myers was the bass player in OneRepublic from 2004-07. He left the band a year before they hit it big with “Apologize”, a song that was #1 in 16 countries, though only peaked at #2 in the US. Whatever guys, it’s a great song!

Artist: Jonsi, Song: “Go Do”

Jonsi is (maybe) better known as the lead singer of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros. Ford Explorer’s ad sure is visually appealing and makes the viewer actually want to “go do” something. But these commercials seem to inevitably be followed by a lunkheaded fast food spot and me scratching myself.

Artist: M. Ward, Song: “Here Comes The Sun Again”

Aww. Sort of takes on the vibe of the Ford Explorer commercial, with a romantic twist. Very cute commercial and song.

Artist: Heart, Song: “What About Love”

By far the best known song on this list. This is part of Swiffer’s somewhat strange campaign using love songs from the ’70s and ’80s. A few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store, in the cleaning aisle, right next to all the Swiffer products when “What About Love” came on. It was the fantasy of any Swiffer brand executive, except of course that I didn’t buy any Swiffer.

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