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.