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The 10 smartest ads of 2011

From quirky technology companies, to big-budget beer spots, to Darth Vader selling cars, it was a fun year in advertising. Presenting Breaking Copy’s 10 Smartest Ads of 2011.

10. Google Chrome, “Dear Sophie.”

The most touching in a series of several Google Chrome web commercials released this year.
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York
Executive Creative Directors: Calle Sjoenell, Pelle Sjoenell, Robert Wong, Jesse Juriga
Art Directors: Steve Peck, Caprice Yu
Copywriter: Jeff Johnson

9. T-Mobile, “Angry Birds Live”

Tapping into the mobile gaming phenomenon, Saatchi & Saatchi set up a live Angry Birds stunt in Barcelona. Above is the resulting web video.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Italy
Copywriter: Luca Lorenzini
Art Director: Luca Pannese
International Creative Director: Jason Romeyko
Read more.

8. Walmart, “Younger Skin”

Part of a new Walmart campaign developed by The Martin Agency, this ad contains the cutest line delivered in any commercial this year: “Grandpa’s gonna be so happy when he wakes up.”

Agency: The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.
Chief Creative Officer: John Norman
Group Creative Director: Joe Alexander
Creative Director: Vanessa Fortier
Associate Creative Director: Trent Patterson
Senior Art Director: Matt Davis
Copywriter: Deric Nance
Art Director: John Szalay
Read more.

7. College for Creative Studies, “Talk to your kids about art school”

This was a low-budget local campaign that went viral online, probably because it’s funny and it tapped into a sense of how people feel about creative education.

Advertising Agency: Team Detroit, Dearborn, Mich.
Chief Creative Officer: Toby Barlow
Creative Director: Gary Pascoe
Art Director: Vic Quattrin
Copywriter: Joel Wescott
Account executives: Tim Galvin and Ashley Budchuck
Read more

6. Kayak, “Bright Man”

The reason this ad is so smart is the way the actor delivers the punchline, “Try and keep up.”

Agency: Barton F. Graf 9000 New York
Creative Director/Copywriter/Art Director: Gerry Graf
Read more.

5. Bud Light, “App”

This ad almost flew under the radar as just another goofy beer spot, but I think it’s really good. Why? It taps into the right-now feeling of needing to upgrade to a smartphone.

Agency: McGarrybowen Chicago.
Read more.

4. Heineken, “The Entrance”

Obviously designed to win advertising awards, this ambitious, cinematic ad also was fun to watch and probably sold a few beers.

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam
Executive Creative Directors: Mark Bernath and Eric Quennoy
Art Director: Alvaro Sotomayor
Copywriters: Roger Hoard/Carlo Cavallone
Read more.

3. Hahn SuperDry, “Super In, Super Out”

Yet another beer spot makes this list, and this one was my favorite of the year. Drink in the 1980s macho kitsch!

Agency: Publicis Mojo Sydney
Executive Creative Director: Micah Walker
Writer: Justine Armour
Art Director: Ruth Bellotti
Read more.

2. New Era, “Rivals Are Forever”

Yankees fan Alec Baldwin sure was in a lot of commercials this year, but the funniest was a series in which he trash-talked baseball with Red Sox fan John Krasinski. The first in the series is above, but the whole series is excellent. You can watch them on New Era’s YouTube page.

Agency: Brooklyn Brothers
Writers: Charlie Grandy and Mike Schur
Read more.

And now, the smartest ad of 2011:

1. Volkswagen, “The Force.”

Combing Star Wars, childhood and the sci-fi magic of having a new car with remote ignition, this ad was a commercial message that was actually fun to watch. It’s hands-down the smartest ad of 2011. Having debuted during the Super Bowl and currently with 45 million YouTube plays, this is probably the most-viewed ad of 2011 as well.

Agency: Deutsch LA
Group Creative Director/Copywriter: Eric Springer
Group Creative Director/Art Director: Michael Kadin
Senior Copywriter: David Povill
Senior Art Director: Ryan McLaughlin
Art Director: Craig Melchiano
Read more.

Related post: The 10 Dumbest Ads of 2011.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Advertising, Copywriting

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