2013: Make It Happen!

Google Chrome’s inspiring video from last year still rings very true. Make it happen!

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The Los Angeles Clippers Are Hot: Chris Paul/State Farm And Blake Griffin/Kia

The Clippers. Long the laughingstock of the NBA and LA’s distant second fiddle, the Clips have the league’s best record and are currently riding a 16 game winning streak. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are big reasons for the turnaround. And they’re getting commercial time now. State Farm has an ad getting rave reviews which tells the story of Chris Paul and his identical twin separated at birth, Cliff. They were both born to assist…Chris on the basketball court, and Cliff as a State Farm agent.

And Kia’s campaign featuring Blake Griffin continues. In these, the always deadpan Griffin travels back in time to give his ’90s child self advice. The spots come complete with classic/crappy songs of the era…Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It”, OMC’s “How Bizarre”, and Eiffel 65’s “Blue.” Stop wearing jean shorts. Haha!

The 2012 Joshys: Part III

The Timothy Leary Award: The trippiest commercials. You might not have been on drugs, but these made you feel like it.

Winner: The Skittles Walrus

It’s trippy, alright. The connection to Skittles Riddles is pretty out there and pretty damn tenuous.

Honorable mentions: Axe’s Office Love: Very polarizing.

Old Spice’s Terry Crews ads: Whoa. The definition of a guy commercial.

The Boner Award: Sexiest of the year. I look at analytics for this blog and know that the audience is like 65% male, so I’m going to include a lot of honorable mentions too. If you’re a female reading this and want to suggest a commercial with sexy men, feel free.

Winner: Anything with Kate Upton.

Now a 2-time winner of this prestigious category. I just really like Kate Upton.

Honorable mentions: Adriana Lima for Teleflora and Fiat’s Seduction: Both Super Bowl commercials. I remember being unimpressed with both of them, though in retrospect, the Fiat ad is better than I remember. The Teleflora commercial has a decidedly non-progressive message which many objected to.

Samsung Work Trip and Liquid Plumr Double Impact: Both on here for the suggestiveness. Samsung’s is more subtle and sly while Liquid Plumr’s is a solid minute of obvious, ridiculous, and amusing innuendo.

The Traffic Awards: The posts that brought people to Commercial Society.

Ragu’s Long Day Of Childhood

This one premiered during the Olympics. I remember seeing it and knowing I needed to get something up really quick. Within an hour, it had something like 4,000 pageviews. The next day (August 6) Commercial Society had slightly more than 18,000 pageviews, with the Ragu spot accounting for close to 15,000. By far the busiest day ever. And the Ragu post was WordPress.com’s #1 post of the day…out of more than a million posts!

The Wendy’s Redhead Saga

The original post about the Wendy’s redhead (Morgan Smith Goodwin) is the most popular in Commercial Society history. People REALLY like her. This one has almost 77,000 pageviews. 4 of the top 7 posts on my blog are ones from this campaign.

And that wraps up The 2012 Joshys. Hope you enjoyed it!

kate upton carl's jr

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.

The 2012 Joshys: Part I

December is a time for year-end lists/awards and here at Commercial Society, I have my own…The Joshys. Just on a personal note, it’s been a memorable year for me. In late June, I moved to New York City to try to pursue my goal to be an advertising copywriter. The combined effects of being busier and lack of cable have meant that I haven’t updated the blog as much as I used to, but I’m still definitely going to keep it active. Now, a few things about The Joshys. I’ve kept most of the same awards from last year (which you can see here). Every award winner must be something I’ve covered on the blog. This eliminates some potential winners. Sorry. And there’s quite a bit of overlap between categories, but a commercial can only be mentioned for one. Without further adieu…

Campaign of the Year: DirecTV’s “Don’t”

This was a pretty clear-cut choice for me. Consistently funny and unexpected. There were a lot of spots in this Grey campaign, but I think the Phil Shifley one was the best/my favorite. Here’s the first ad and the one with Charlie Sheen.

The Don Draper Award: Best commercial of the year. These are the ads that make people want to go into advertising. The hardest category to pick a winner.

Winner: Wideroe “Grandpa’s Magic Trick”

Read the short description of this award. When I first saw this Norwegian commercial, I thought “THIS is why people want to go into advertising!” A beautiful setting, stellar acting, and a clear and smart message. Magical.

Honorable mentions: The Guardian’s Three Little Pigs: Compelling is the best word.

MLB 12 The Show “Cubs Win”: One of the best representations about the ecstasy and resignation of being a sports fan. Incidentally, the 2012 Cubs were one of the worst teams in franchise history.

Axe’s “Susan Glenn”: Maybe the best copy of the year. A huge departure from Axe’s usual lunkheaded marketing strategy. It’s a great commercial, but one that might make you squirm a little bit, as you’ll inevitably think about all the Susan Glenns in your life.

ESPN/This is Sportscenter “John Clayton”: If you watch ESPN, you know about nerdy football expert John Clayton. The alternate reality of him being a sloppy metalhead who lives with his mom is hilarious.

The Houston Van Gogh Award: These commercials were so annoying that they made me want to gouge my eyes out and/or cut my ear off. Or at least change the channel.

Winner (loser?): Target’s Back To School

Gahh. At least the back to school nature of these commercials meant that they weren’t on for too long. I have no idea how these spots have gotten positive reactions on YouTube.

Dishonorable mention: 5-hour Energy Pink Lemonade: 5-hour Energy has horrible advertising, and this sucks too. Dishonorable mention in this category for the 2nd year in a row. The fact that some of the proceeds go to breast cancer and the singer isn’t terrible-looking redeem this one a little. A little.

The Field of Dreams Award: Field of Dreams is a movie that is known to make grown men cry. This award goes to those tearjerker commercials that have the same potential.

Winner: Dick’s “Father’s Day”

Beautifully shows the father-son bond. The lengths that the father goes to see his son succeed and the gratitude in the end.

Honorable mention: Expedia “Find Your Strength”: Honestly, this is more of a pure tearjerker, especially since it’s a true story. The only thing that keeps it from winning is that it’s a longer-form, online video and not a commercial that would be shown on broadcast TV.

Stay tuned for Parts II and III.

phil shifley

Tuesday Throwback: What Was The Purple Stuff In The SunnyD Commercial?

I wanna know! Dave Chappelle has some thoughts.

Samsung: Mrs. Claus Made Santa A Video

This is exactly the same as Samsung’s original “Work Trip” spot. But the fact that it’s Mrs. Claus making a dirty video for Santa makes it much more uncomfortable.

Comments from friends: “NSFW = Not Safe For Workshop”, “She is such a ho-ho-ho”. Heh.

And I guess while we’re at it, here’s the Samsung commercial with a possibly drunk guy dressed as Santa falling off the staircase railing. If I wore a Santa suit, it would probably end up like this.

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