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

The 2011 Joshys: Part III

Parts I and II

The Joshy Grammy Award: Best music in a commercial. These were good ads to start with, but the music took them over the top.

Winner: Buick LaCrosse’s “Garage” featuring “Stars” by Girls Love Shoes

Dashboard looks very nice, voiceover is smooth and informative, and the commercial is stylish all around. But man, the song bumps. “Stars” has been near the top of my Spotify most-played list for a few months now.

Honorable mention: Captain Morgan’s “Ride Home” featuring “The Passenger” by Iggy Pop

Festive, fun, and catchy are a good combination…especially for a summer commercial.

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

Winner: Old Spice’s Fabio campaign

Bizarre, and didn’t make a whole lot of sense. Apparently Old Spice then had a battle between Fabio and The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, but by that point I stopped paying attention.

Honorable mention: Walmart’s “Yodeling Cat”

The “Yodeling Cat” is creepy and weird. The original is only on YouTube, but clips of it have been used for a current Walmart TV commercial.

The Wild Cards: These commercials didn’t really fit into any of my categories, but they still deserve recognition.

State Farm’s “Empire State of Mind”

Directed by Spike Lee, this would be a strong contender for commercial of the year. Stirring, powerful, and both solemn and triumphant.

Nissan Frontier’s “Landing Gear” and Hyundai Elantra’s “Fog and Smog”

I thought these were both stupid ads, but they were this year’s #1 and #2 posts on my blog, in terms of views and comments.

Well, that’s the conclusion of The 2011 Joshys. Hope you enjoyed it! I’m going to be heading to New York City through New Year’s, so I’ll try to update occasionally, but it won’t be as often.

The 2011 Joshys: Part II

Part I

The Don Draper Award: The coolest of the year. Advertising like this is what makes people want to go into advertising.

Winner: Heineken’s “The Entrance”

Cool visuals, a cool song by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour (not Avril Lavigne…), and just overall full of fun swagger.

Honorable mention: Anything else Heineken.

The Durr Award: The dumbest of the year. A very competitive award. Crap like this makes people hate commercials.

Winner (loser?): The stupid Fiat commercials with Jennifer Lopez.

Gratuitous and lame. The one with the dancing is worse, though J.Lo “driving” though the Bronx was terrible too. Especially since it was a body double in the Bronx.

Dishonorable mention: Miller Lite’s “Man Up” campaign and Coors Light’s bar exam spots.

American megabreweries have a low-brow reputation and commercials like these play right into it. Miller Lite isn’t manly. And I thought it was amusing how the Coors Light bar exam ads were played endlessly in the summer, when real law school grads were fretting over the real bar exam.

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

Winner: “Heart’s Desire” from Sonic

Love it. Trippy as all hell, this seems like it could be either a drug-induced fantasy or maybe just a fat person’s fantasy. Influenced by The Big Lebowski. The song is really catchy too.

Honorable mention: The Toyota Prius “People Person” commercial. Weird stuff.

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: Johnson & Johnson’s Hospice Nurses

Either of Johnson & Johnson’s other nursing spots could have won, but the “Hospice Nurses” ad had the most personal impact on me.

Honorable mention: “It’s Time” from Get Up!

One of the best defenses of marriage equality that you’ll ever see.

The Onion Award: Best satirical commercial.

Winner: Toyota Venza’s “Social Network”

A very funny campaign. And it’s nice to see that the Facebook generation can take a joke as well as we can dish them out.

Honorable mention: Samsung’s “The Next Big Thing”. People who camp out for consumer products are morons.

The 2011 Joshys: Part I

2011 is soon coming to a close, and that means year-end lists and countdowns. So I’ve decided to introduce my own awards: The Joshys. The only real parameter is that everything has to be something I’ve covered on this blog. Rather than doing a generic best/worst list, I’ve come up with some more eclectic awards. Here goes.

Campaign of the Year: Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit”

I decided to skip picking a commercial of the year, because that’s something that can be hard to quantify. Choosing a campaign gives more room to evaluate than a single 30/60 second spot. An awesome campaign all around…writing, visuals, tagline, and overall spirit. It started at the Super Bowl with Eminem and kept on during the year.

Honorable mention: State Farm’s “State Ofcampaign and Geico’s “Easier Way To Savecampaign

Fierce competitors, these campaigns both were shown at the same time, and frequently during the same commercial breaks. Humorous and amusing.

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?): NAPA Know How

This was shown endlessly during March Madness and throughout the spring, and has gained a new life during football season. I hate it, and I also hate that the song is so catchy.

Dishonorable mention: 5-hour Energy’s Fix the Tired

Honestly, it was a coin flip between NAPA and 5-hour Energy. The 5-hour Energy spot was shown ad nauseum during Cincinnati Reds games, where the same 10 or so commercials were aired for 6 months straight.

The Beautiful Award: Most beautiful visuals in an ad

Winner: STA Travel Australia

All three spots are beautiful, though I think “Move” is the best. Just awesome.

Honorable mentions: Blue Moon Seasonals: Pretty animation showcases the seasons and the Blue Moon offerings that go along with them.

Intel’s Most Amazing Thing: Maybe not the most amazing thing I ever saw, but pretty great.

The Boner Award: Sexiest commercial of the year

Winner: SoBe and Kate Upton

Not even close here. The past summer was one of the hottest on record in America. Mostly because of the sizzling temperatures, but also in part due to this hot commercial starring supermodel Kate Upton. As for its effectiveness…I still probably won’t buy SoBe stuff, but I now associate their products with Kate Upton’s boobs. That’s good, right?

The Explosions In The Sky Award: The most epic of 2011. These spots made everything seem more important, whether I was tooling around on Facebook or lying on the couch scratching myself.

Winner: British Airways “To Fly. To Serve.”

If I was awarding a “best commercial”, this would be a strong contender. Everything works here. Truly epic (and probably with an epic budget to match).

Honorable mention: Jim Beam’s Bold Choice: Willem Dafoe helps this spot become more epic. Award-winning too.

Well, that’s Part I. Stay tuned for Parts II and III.

%d bloggers like this: