Monday, December 1, 2014

2014: The Good, the Bad and the US Airways

The best thing about a year's end is having the hindsight to look back and judge everything that happened in a particular field. Since our field is advertising, we're going to look back at the good, the bad and a little ugly from this year in advertising.

The Good

John Lewis Christmas Advert 2014 - #MontyThePenguin

Yeah, it just came out like a few weeks ago, but there's no doubt in my mind that it's the best ad of 2014. John Lewis has a history with terrific Christmas ads, and this one lives up to the name they're setting for themselves in that area and then some. 

P&G Thank You, Mom 

Remember the Olympics? That was this year. P&G brought their message to the Olympics by way of thanking moms. Another excellent way of illustrating how your product doesn't have to be up front when the storytelling is this good. 

Apple - Holiday - TV Ad - Misunderstood

So this one technically came out in December 2013, but we're going to put it in here regardless because it is so good and terribly underrated. Apple can put out some pretty downright terrible ads, but they also put out ones like this which make you remember that this is the company that did "1984." And I wish we had seen more of this instead of people's voiceover while touching iPad minis, but such is life.

Misty Copeland - I WILL WHAT I WANT

Under Armour showed us a great mixture of cinematography and great copy. Those two things usually only go together in great films. But here, they've presented them in a 60 second spot that resonates deeply and kind of makes me want to buy Under Armour (mission accomplished, right?). 

The Bad

Nationwide - Petyon Manning Does Things While Jingling

It's not 2005 anymore. The charm has worn off on Peyton Manning commercials. Maybe it's because of Papa John's, or maybe it's because some people finally decided to remember his glory days at Tennessee (Google it). Either way, this ad is just laziness personified. It does nothing for Nationwide other than showcasing someone at their company knows Manning's agent. 

Axe Body Spray - Vicious Dictators and Stuff

Count me in the group of people who didn't think that Axe Body Spray ads could get any worse. People in the 60s would've called most Axe ads stupid and misogynistic. They, however, decided to top themselves by making an ad so overly grandiose that it's not even stupid-funny. It's just stupid. 

Budweiser - Cute Puppy Tells You To Drink Responsibly While Still Drinking Budweiser

Budweiser faking social responsibility to, in fact, get people to buy more of their terrible beer. And they do so by trying to use a cute puppy. The phoniness of this reeks from frame one and it only gets worse from there. 

I swear to everything I hold dear: the first time I saw this commercial, I thought it was a sketch from Key & Peele or SNL. The lyrics are so over-the-top I'M A TRUCKIN' AMERICAN that I was sure it had to be parody. Bad news: it isn't. It's so serious, you guys. The best thing I can say about this one is that it makes me laugh. A lot. 

The Ugly

US Airways and New England Patriots Twitter fails. You do the rest of the work. I can't even look at them anymore.