This holiday season, Alltel reprises last year's concept -- vintage animation -- to push the superiority of its My Circle unlimited free calling plan. The ad features the carrier's Nick Nayloresque mascot Chad, yukking it up with Santa about how some people just don't get the meaning of Christmas.
And like last year, Alltel's effort falls in the shadow of Apple, which also pinned the old hero vs. villain dirge to an animated backdrop. Unlike the chill scruffy Mac, however, the guffawing greased-up Chad rings a lot less likable.
Production work by Bent Image Lab, agency Santo.
In yet another TD Bank ad featuring Regis and Kelly, Abraham Lincoln shares his (angsty, angsty!) feelings about being the face of the mostly-worthless penny.
Kelly -- who lacks the social delicacies to perceive this might be a dangerous topic -- seizes this opportunity to tell the audience that TD Bank loves pennies so much, "they'll count them and convert them to dollars for free."
Reminding us yet again that it's the best thing to ever happen to December, Target launched a swingy, charmed-life kinda ad for its Holiday Gift Finder.
In it, a postmodern Santa in a snowed-in aluminum tower locates the perfect gifts for Wifey, Child, Token Ethnic Friend and Skeptical Mother-in-Law, right from his laptop. Each present is beautifully wrapped and received with an acceptable degree of gratitude.
"That's Christmas wrapped!" quips an endorphin-soaked voiceover.
Because why ask over-obvious leading questions like "What do you want?" when you can pop psychographic data into a form, then peruse a list of age-appropriate products? Wow. Gifting is now as easy as advertising on Facebook.
We'd totally use the service, too, if FirstBank hadn't already handled our gift issues.
Scale Back Alabama is a yearly campaign to encourage state inhabitants to shake off some love handles. Those that register for the program, which is free, are encouraged to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks -- which isn't improbable to do in a healthy way, provided you have resources and encouragement.
This year, Alabamans are getting a little help from Roger Shultz, a finalist from The Biggest Loser. To promote the effort, Luckie Underground -- the basement-confined baby brother of Luckie & Co. -- launched "Gettin' in Shape," a playful PSA with its own YouTube channel.
Witness while a very large dude dressed like the Heart of Dixie pumps iron and selects fruit with conviction, all under the peppy direction of Shultz.
See that victory dance at the top of the library steps? That could be you, my friend.
We're not really sure why, unless it's a pun on "Sweet," the spot's last word.
However you feel about sticky streams of chocolate dripping from the sky, the track in the ad is gratuitously cute and almost excuse enough to watch it a few times.
Directed by Tronic for Sony; music by Nylon.
"Photography is a journey. How will you remember the trip?"
Posing the question for its Rebel XSi, Canon aired a nostalgic spot where a mother records her son's frame-by-frame transition from boy to pro football player.
A perfect choice of music turned the memories of strangers into something more intimate. We were moved -- and plenty more engaged than with those Dolce spots.
Last year Apple charmed us with an unexpected Mac vs. PC holiday ad, produced in the style of season's classics like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
The animated Mac and PC characters return in "Tree Trimming" and "I Can Do Anything," two spots guaranteed to make your pupils dilate to at least twice their natural size.
With low-key cheer (and not-so-nice intentions), each reminds us how feeble (but adorably!) petty PC is, and how Mac just can't help being awesome, chill and warm-hearted.
Even the bunnies know it.
"First time playin'? First time...?" and "Oh, avalanches, yeah!" are the only two lines Shaun White has in this objectively weak ad for Target's Limited Edition Shaun White Snowboarding game.
If Ozzy Osbourne is ad land's favourite over-the-hill bad boy, Shaun White is its slacker of choice. Prior to this spot, the snowboarding pro starred in a couple of pointless HP ads that, like classic teen movies, are intended solely to make middle-aged men miss college.
Last year Canon ran a series of ads where tennis pro Maria Sharapova follows her dog Dolce around, snapping an endless string of doting pics the way pet owners like to do.
This year, we see the fruits her labors reaped: this new spot depicts PowerShot-toting fans racing over to the tennis star -- and taking pictures of Dolce instead of her.
Maria's not happy about that. But on the cheery up, Dolce's apparently lost the ability to think out loud in a Spanish accent.
For every cloud, a silver lining.
In "Set," Crown Royal tells the tale of an old jazz cat who passes opportunity to a young, wise-eyed trumpet player on the street. It's our favourite kind of trope: one about rebirth, and how the American dream can pass from one hand to the next.
And while Crown Royal is only seen briefly in the spot -- moving across the frame on a waiter's tray -- it ends with an elegant kick-back to the label: "For every king, an heir. For every king, a crown. Crown Royal."
I quite liked it, but a hoodied kid peering over my shoulder walked by and went, "Ugh, is that a liquor ad? What do they gotta use jazz for? That makes no sense at all."