2014: Make It Happen!

Google Chrome’s inspiring video from 2011 still rings true. Make it happen! I’ll see you next year.

Bud Light And “I Don’t Wait To Wait”

Bud Light’s popular “Superstition” campaign continues. In previous spots, people have gone to the basement or tailgated with quinoa to continue their team’s success. You see, it’s only weird if it doesn’t work. Now Paula Cole’s corny 1997 hit “I Don’t Want to Wait” gets the spotlight. It’s a huge guilty pleasure song (play it at a bar if you want to hear awful, drunken singalongs). I’m amused.

Tuesday Throwback: That Folgers Commercial With The College Kid Who Comes Home For Christmas

Because it’s Christmas Eve. This Folgers commercial is officially called “Peter Comes Home For Christmas”, and it was created in 1986. I think it still might get played during the holiday season. So cheesy, but also a classic.

The 2013 Joshys: The #1 Commercial Of 2013

#1: Robinsons “Pals”

And here it is. The best commercial of the year. I’d never heard of Robinsons, a British drink company. And I was confused why they were adding water to their juice. But what an ad. What appears to be a nice spot featuring two young friends turns out to be much, much deeper. This was an ending I didn’t see coming. And something that really makes it great is watching it again and observing the subtle Sixth Sense-esque clues. The one boy throws rocks further. His shadow is bigger. He gets tired pushing his friend. He encourages his friend to talk to a girl. Of course, it’s because he’s the dad as well as a pal…which makes the Star Wars “I am your father!” reference even more amusing. A spectacular and poignant ad with a surprise ending is a well-deserved #1 of 2013.

The 2013 Joshys: #4-2

#4: Vodafone’s “The Kiss”

Simply beautiful. There’s no spoken copy and sometimes the less said, the better.

#3: Tullamore Dew

This Tullamore Dew ad made me want to jump a plane to Ireland. And the twist ending turns it from melancholy to weirdly uplifting and subversively funny.

#2:. Chipotle’s “The Scarecrow”

Lovely dystopia sounds like an oxymoron, but that describes the atmosphere for the majority of the video. Wonderfully shot. Fiona Apple’s hypnotic and haunting cover of “Pure Imagination” is the best use of music in advertising this year.

The 2013 Joshys: #7-5

#7: Guinness’ Wheelchair Basketball

Friendship exemplified. I’m a sucker for surprise endings, and this spot has a good one. Friendship and twist endings will continue to loom large as the list goes on.

#6: Kmart’s Ship My Pants

Immature, punny, and also the funniest commercial of the year. I can only imagine the “eureka” moments the writers had with it. Kmart also had followups with “Big Gas Savings” and the Dickensian holiday version “Ship My Trousers”, but the original was the best.

#5: Dick’s Football

Dick’s Sporting Goods had two great commercials this year with a similar, ultra-realistic style. The first was a baseball ad, the second for football. Honestly, it was a bit of a tossup, but I think I liked the football spot a little more. A friend who played high school football said it gave him flashbacks.

The 2013 Joshys: #10-8

#10: Mike’s Golf Shop

Mike’s Golf Shop slips in at the #10 slot in large part due to how low-budget this commercial is. Shot by Mike on his phone, it basically cost nothing, and still has racked up 400,000 views on YouTube. Not bad. The “we buy golf clubs” becomes a hypnotic mantra along the lines of “Head On: Apply directly to the forehead!” And the halting start with “This here’s Mike! Down at Mike’s Golf…Shop” cracks me up.

#9: Geico and Dikembe Mutombo

OK. Geico’s “Hump Day” was one of this year’s best-received, most viral, and most meme-worthy ads. But as a sports fan, I actually enjoyed this one a little more.

#8: The Anti-Defamation League Imagines

There’s possibly no question more haunting than “what if?” Still, the lessons we learned from these inspirational figures who were cut down because of hatred will continue to guide us into the future.

The 2013 Joshys: Just Missed The Cut

Here we are near the end of the year, and so it’s time for the 3rd edition of The Joshys. In previous years, I avoided an overdone top 10 format, and instead went with some more interesting awards and categories. This year, I’m doing a top 10. Whatever. As always, the only requirement is that I must have written about each ad for it to appear on the list. That means some qualified candidates (The Epic Split and Camp Gyno, for example) didn’t make it. Before diving into the best of 2013, I’m going to mention five commercials that just missed the cut. These aren’t in any particular order.

Foot Locker’s “All Is Right”

I have a special appreciation when people are able to poke fun at ridiculous incidents from their past.

Coca-Cola: Here’s To Falling

An extremely cute and innocent ad about two young people “falling” at a Six Flags. The great “here’s to falling” tagline would prove unfortunate months later when a woman fell to her death off a Texas Six Flags roller coaster. Apparently, the ad was still being played in movie previews days later. Oof.

New Era’s Jackie Robinson Tribute

A quiet, classy, and moving tribute to an American hero.

GoPro’s Kitten Rescue

Oh man. This one made me so happy when I watched it, and then so bummed when I did a little digging into the aftermath. Nevertheless, it’s great work.

Honda’s Hands

I had kind of forgotten about this Honda ad, so I had to watch it again. Very simple and very compelling.

Coca-Cola’s Commercial From Argentina Chronicles The Ups And Downs Of Parenthood

I don’t have any kids, so I can’t say that this new Coca-Cola commercial from Argentina is accurate. But judging from the rave reviews it’s gotten about the fun and not so fun (albeit sometimes hilarious) parts about parenthood, I think they’re on to something. The ending with the change in facial expressions is particularly poignant.

Pantene Addresses Workplace Gender Issues In This Spot From The Philippines

I post a lot of different ads on here, but this Pantene commercial from the Philippines is one of the most thought-provoking I can remember. It’s been out for a month, but has received a lot of coverage quite recently. It tackles the dichotomies of how men and women are viewed and treated differently for identical workplace behaviors. A male boss is just a boss, a female boss is “bossy.” It’s very well-done, and the pretty cover of “Mad World” is a great choice as backing music. The connection to Pantene is a little tenuous, but the real-life implications make this one stand out as more memorable than a straight commercial.

%d bloggers like this: