• 04.13.12

Commercials Gone Rogue And Time Travel: The 5 Best Ads Of The Week

An animated Twitter feed and a rogue director are among the highlights of our Best Ads of the Week roundup.

Commercials Gone Rogue And Time Travel: The 5 Best Ads Of The Week

Welcome to Best Ads of the Week!


Each week, Co.Create will run down the 5 best creative ideas and executions from the wide world of brands. From apps to Twitter feeds and content of every kind–it’s all brand creativity and it’s all up for citation. Let’s begin.

5: Bavaria Lemon “Charlie Sheen Is Reborn”
We’re sure we’re going to regret this when he starts up again, but God help us, we can’t help enjoying Charlie Sheen’s comeback–at least the advertising part of it. As talk of his new series, Anger Management, bubbled away over the past few months (the trailer recently appeared online), Sheen slowly started to recirculate culturally, mainly by starring in a small handful of fairly well-received commercials that played off of his well-known… qualities. There was the DirecTV spot which ends with a downward-spiraling victim who ultimately must “reenact scenes from Platoon with Charlie Sheen,” and then the Fiat “House Arrest” ad. Now, a spot for Dutch alcohol-free beer Bavaria Lemon has Sheen checking out of rehab only to be confronted with a world gone booze crazy–even the cops and pregnant ladies are swilling. It’s an obvious gag, but there’s also something oddly real, almost poignant about it. Of course the subject of addiction would never be addressed in a North American beer spot in this or any manner, which makes this effort, from Amsterdam agency Selmore, all the more enjoyable (likewise, the unbleeped “What the f?”).

4: Tipp-Ex: “Hunter and Bear 2012 Birthday Party”
Correction fluid brand Tipp-Ex emerged from obscurity in 2010 with a buzzed-about choose-your-own-ending YouTube campaign called “Hunter Shoots A Bear.” The follow-up, launched this week, is that rare case of a sequel surpassing the original. In the new campaign, created by agency Buzzman, the hunter and bear are mates and the interactivity revolves around time travel. There are over 40 video options involving everything from Roman chariots to Excalibur, some of them with added layers of interactivity (there’s even a September 11-themed video for 2001 and it’s sort of touching).

Number 3: TNT “A Dramatic Surprise On A Quiet Square”
“Somewhere in a little town in Belgium, on a square where nothing really happens, we placed a button.” That’s the setup for this Improv Everywhere-inspired promo for TNT from agency Duval Guillaume. The dramatically choreographed stunt was seen by about 20 Belgians on the street–and 8 million others around the world.


Number 2: Smart Car Argentina “Smart Twitter Commercial”
To launch the Smart Car on Twitter, BBDO Argentina created a flipbook-style animation from a series of several hundred tweets in the brand’s feed. Visitors to the brand’s Twitter page can press J to follow the car on a journey along a street past trees, traffic, and houses and eventually arrive at a small ad message. It’s a bit of a one-off trick (and it didn’t seem to provide any incentive for people to actually follow the brand; the account had 1,766 followers at this writing), but the project caught people’s attention and demonstrated a new way to use Twitter–to create non-verbal narratives. If nothing else, it’s a refreshing break from those trying-too-hard-to-be-casually friendly branded social media posts.

Number 1: Nike “Make It Count”
The premise behind “Make it Count” is that Nike handed a brief to director Casey Neistat to create a commercial for its FuelBand product, based on the idea of making it count. Instead of going out and shooting the agreed-upon spot, Neistat took the budget and went out a filmed himself traveling around the world for 10 days, thereby becoming an embodiment of the “Make it Count” message. It may come off as self-indulgent and the end product heavy-handed, but the project almost transcends criticism on those levels–the video itself isn’t a conveyance for a message; the act of creating it was the message. For skeptics (including those who have ever done an ad for a big brand or reported on one), there are a few things that seem a little off about the whole mythology around the video (how many clients, even those at Nike, would just send a director away to do a commercial and then just wait patiently for the final product?) but the end result is effective–the video drew much more attention and discussion than a spot based on a “Make it Count” script would likely have earned.

About the author

Teressa Iezzi is the editor of Co.Create. She was previously the editor of Advertising Age’s Creativity, covering all things creative in the brand world.