Monthly Archives: December 2009

Sweetest Honey Top Ten – #1

#1 – Monster.com – “Stork” 2009

Tonight, at ten seconds to midnight, we’ll begin to countdown the moments that lead up to a new year, a new decade, a new beginning. Similarly, over the past couple weeks, we’ve been counting down ten of the best television ads of the past decade. After all, what we see on television is often a direct feedback of what the collective consciousness is thinking, feeling, wanting.

Yes, the primary role of commercials is to sell a product – or at least make you remember a brand the next time you’re trying to decide between the plethora of carefully designed packaging and starbursts and promises that line store shelves. But, can a commercial be more than just a tool for Herr Commercialism? I think so.

Put it this way – there are huge award shows and galas to celebrate the ‘best’ film of the year. We pick one movie that stands above roughly 150 viable options. In that single reel, the filmmakers have around two hours to make you feel what they want you to feel, question what they want you to question, push home the point they intended to.

By contrast, the average American sees as many as 3,000 advertisements a day. In the case of television ads, the advertiser has 15, 30, at most 60 seconds to get his point across. And yet, among this HIGHLY competitive market, given mere moments of a viewer’s (generally divided) attention, we still remember the ads that touch us, make us laugh, make us think. And that’s pretty great.

So at the end of one decade and threshold of a new one, I think this ad – more parable than commercial – is a perfect example of how a 60-second spot can makes us laugh, gasp, think and react. And if you end up buying something, that’s fine with me.

Happy New Years everyone!

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Sweetest Honey Top Ten – #2

Career Builder Koala#2 – CareerBuilder.com – “As a Rule” 2009

And then there were two.

When it comes to the themes of classic television ads, you pretty much know what to expect based on what the advertisers are hawking. Beer companies give you scantily clad women. Cola companies give you inspirational visions of the world coming together. Telephone companies give you cheesy reasons to ball your eyes out.

Thanks to an uptick in advertising in the last few years, when you think of job hunting sites (think CareerBuilder.com or Monster.com), you think of hilarity (ironic, since your current job is often offers a reason to weep rather than laugh).

Epitomizing this trend is CareerBuilder’s 2009 Superbowl ad, “As a Rule”. Because, let’s be honest, if you haven’t experienced at least one of these signs in your professional career… are there any openings in your company?

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Sweetest Honey Top Ten – #3

Cadbury Gorilla#3 – Cadbury’s – “Gorilla” 2007

Some recipes are just too good to change. Take, for example, the classic mixture of Cadbury’s chocolate, a Gorilla rocking the drums and the haunting beauty of Phil Collin’s “In the Air Tonight”. Pure genius.

The quirky London ad house, Fallon, scores its second Bee’s Knees Sweetest Honey spot (also producing the Sony Bravia “Bounce” ad) with their soulful, rhythmic ape – proving once again that a great commercial doesn’t have to have anything to do with the product you’re selling.

Honorable Mention – Skittles “Touch”

The king of the candy commercials continue. This ad tells the timeless story of King Midas, with a hilarious taste of the rainbow twist. Now if only Reese’s could recreate Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs… mmm peanut buttery midgets. Huh. What? Oh yeah…

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Sweetest Honey Top Ten – #4

#4 – IKEA – “Lamp” 2006

The Scandinavians have brought the world many things: the Vikings, beautiful snow-blonde women, pickled herring and, well, lamps. Add one more item to that list when, in 2006, the homegoods superstore, IKEA, decided to hire music video director Spike Jonze to direct a commercial about that most enlightening of Scandy products. Whether you can pronounce the name (bijuk? bayowk?) or not, this commercial will touch your soul and make you say, “I love lamp.”

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Sweetest Honey Top Ten – #5

Comcast Rabbit#5 – Comcast – “Rabbit Scenario” 2008

Merry Christmas Eve to all. This one’s dedicated to all you traveling fools who are trying to get home in this nasty weather – I wish you all the speed of a rabbit-bred-with-a-panther under better than ideal conditions.

Honorable Mention – Comcast – “The Slowskys” 2007

Oh, talking turtles. These are great but Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles just set the bar so high.

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Sweetest Honey Top Ten – #6

#6 – Volkswagen (pronounced VAH-gen) – “Bubble Boy” 2002

If one theme dominated the late 90’s/early 2000’s, it was the sense of rebellion against the 9 to 5, office-slave, cubicle-turned-prison isolation that had become the norm for most young Americans. The need to give a big “fuck you” to the man was well represented in popular literature (Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club), film (the oft-quoted Office Space) and, of course, music (the ageless “Who Let the Dogs Out”).

Ironically, a car company infamously sponsored by the man – no, like THE man – was also helping restless youth fight the dregs of everyday life with, of all things, another car payment (which to cover you must work a 9-to-fiver). So ironic, in fact, it might blow Alanis Morrisette’s head to tiny Canadian smithereens.

Irony aside, they made one hell of a smart commercial to stick it to the man.

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Sweetest Honey Top Ten – #7

E*Trade babies singing#7 – E*Trade – “Singing Babies” 2009

Okay, so lately the stock market hasn’t been giving us much reason for glee. But thanks to E*Trade’s “babies” campaign, at least we can stop balling for a moment to enjoy a few giggles – even if our stock in Big American Gas Sucker SUV Co. is falling harder than Conan O’Brien.

Honorable Mention – Got Milk? – “Birthday” 2009

Do you ever get that feeling… no, not that feeling! Yeah, that feeling.

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