Saturday, July 3, 2010

MINI-LIST: Memorable Modern Commercials

I have been neglecting the TV category, so here's a quick list of memorable/favourite commercials from the last decade or so. There were certainly many ridiculously crazy and awesome commercials from the 80's and early 90's, but I will leave that list in the capable hands of someone else with a better memory than me. Instead I will focus on commercials that stick in my brain from the age of the Internet.

5. Volkswagen: Singing in the Rain
What the hell? It's an "updated" version of "Singing in the Rain" where Gene Kelly is having what seems to be a musical seizure. You like this? Actually, yes. I think it's creative and well made. But isn't it awful that they pasted a dead guy's face on to a break-dancer to make a buck? Well, I will point out that the goal of advertising is to grab your attention. I think this does. Can anything good be taken away from this raping of a classic? Yeah, it introduced me to the group 'Mint Royale' and they are pretty cool. Was that actually a real person dancing or a suit filled with electric Jell-O? Uh... real.

4. Honda: The Cog
What the hell? It's a series of car parts playing out a most elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine. Okay, is this real? Despite some doubt, apparently in 2003 two cars were torn asunder and then constructed into this domino machine that finally worked properly after many takes. How many takes are we talking about here? Several months of work and 606 takes altogether. Where can I find more amazing Rube Goldberg thingies? Well, you could check out the Mythbusters Christmas Special, or Ok Go's amazing video for "This Too Shall Pass". Any others? What am I? Google?

3. X-Box: Guns
What the hell? It's hundreds of people engaging in a huge imaginary Mexican standoff and then blasting the hell out of each other in a giant imaginary war. Was this commercial banned? Everywhere I look online it says it was banned, yet I have no idea why. There is no blood or gore of any kind. There aren't even any guns! Do you think it's because the commercial is suggesting gun violence? Probably, but let's face facts, you'd see more violent imaginary wars in any playground. So why is this so cool? Because it shows that all you need to have fun is an imagination. Why do you look so sad? If society is so uptight that they won't show an imaginary fight on TV, there's no chance I'll ever be part of one in the real world. Sigh!

2. Embrace Life
What the hell? It's one of the best PSA's, NAY, best commercials I've ever witnessed. Why does it work? Because it's simple, and makes its point beautifully. More simple and beautiful than frying an egg that represents your brain on drugs? Yes. Are you going to tell me anything else about it? No, just shut up and watch it already. Shouldn't I ask you a fifth question? Well, you just did. Congratulations.

1. Nutri-grain: Feel Great
What the hell? Yes, what the hell indeed. Yet another commercial that I'd much rather you watch than having myself feebly try and describe it. Why is it so great? Well, besides being one of the craziest commercials ever, it's also one of the funniest, and most quotable. Every time I watch it I'm left with more and more questions. Is that a good thing? Absolutely. I just want to know more about these characters and what happens next. Kelloggs made this? Probably the weirdest thing they've ever made. Does that woman freak you out? Word.


kingshearte said...

What, no North American House Hippo ad? Personally, I think that's the most awesome ad ever.

Mainly because I really want a North American House Hippo.

Shane Patenaude said...

Undeniably a great commercial. It honestly didn't come to mind, but now that I think about it, I'm not sure when it first aired. I feel like it's a lot older than I think, and maybe would fall into another category of commercial lists. In any case, it deserves an honorable mention.

kingshearte said...

I don't know when it started airing, but I remember seeing it while I was living with Gill in Hali, so it was around at least sometime between 2003 and 2005.

Cole D'Arc said...

100 lists! boo-ya! i feel great.

RyHo said...

After watching that Nutri-grain commercial, I think I'll just go cry myself to sleep. Full-on fetal position for this one.

Shane Patenaude said...

Uh... sorry about that. I had just assumed that I had made some good choices. Instead I may have scarred you for life.

But that seatbelt commercial, intense, amaright?

Cole D'Arc said...

hey, something that's scarring is definitely memorable. unless your brain deliberately shuts off access to the memory as a defence mechanism, that is.

Cole D'Arc said...

DOT COM!! I feel great