10 Great Commercials Of 2009

Time just published its “Top 10 Any Category We Can Think Of” issue, and buried in there is a group of 10 great ads from the past year. Well, maybe not “great”–I would rather shove Norplant in my eyes than watch Evian’s rollerskating babies spot, but some of the other ones are pretty good. There’s also some great music in the list, including “Rapper’s Delight,” a Radiohead track, Bach, and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

This one is probably my favorite, and just a near-perfect ad in general–although I still don’t want an American Express card.

Top 10 TV Ads [Time]


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  1. Alter_ego says:

    I was just talking to my roommate about how much I love that American Express commercial. Some of the faces are obviously arranged, but the ones that are just sort of incidental are so endearing to me.

  2. shalegac says:

    I’m surprised the GE Wizard of OZ Scarecrow ad didn’t make it. There are commercials few and far I can even tolerate (I’m getting cranky in my middle age); and I liked that one.

  3. flugennock says:

    Television? What is this “television” you speak of?

  4. humphrmi says:

    “Peace of mind when you travel”

    I LOLd.

  5. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    Sony’s recent ad campaigns are great – especially the PS3 ads.

    With a stick!

  6. Digitizer says:

    Ah, top 10 lists, so popular, so controversial….so Letterman.

  7. Magspie says:

    I like the stupid roller babies commercial. Why does consumerist hate babies so much? I know I’m not gonna be liked for this but babies > cats.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      depends on perspective.. my cats don’t need their butts wiped and can feed themselves

    • kexline says:

      I’m sort of with you. Cats > babies, for reasons mentioned above (plus nobody will prosecute you for locking them in the bathroom to work out their issues if they go temporarily insane). Babies are only better than cats insofar as cats never start gamely repeating every bizarre-ass thing you ask them to. Toddlers > cats.

      Anyway, I love the Evian commercial even though I think babies are mostly good for holding doors open. I think anyone who deeply hates it is just suffering subconscious echoes of the Ally McBeal oogachocka baby.

    • Chris Walters says:

      To be clearer, I don’t hate babies. I hate that particular commercial, where every baby looks fake, from the skin tone to how they move. I’m offended at how technically crappy it is.

      I also never, ever want to see a shot like the one in the commercial where a handful of babies spring at the camera and latch onto a chain link fence. I’ve seen too many zombie movies to ever feel comfortable about anyone trying to get me from the other side of a chain link fence.

      Also I just want to say uncanny valley and thank you.

      • Magspie says:

        Okay, you are right about it being a bad commercial. I know that intellectually, but I just can’t resist those adorable baby faces. Although I may not be able to watch it now that you’ve likened them to zombies. That is terrifying. (And I hate Evian, natch.)
        Also I’m sorry for saying you hate babies. That was perhaps a bit of hyperbole. There does seem to be something of an anti-baby, pro-cat vibe on the Consumerist in general, probably more among the commenters than the writers. I’m just gonna go on and keep saying people here hate babies though, it’s more interesting than being fair about it.

        • hotdogsunrise says:

          I love babies. There are some commercials with babies (and old people) that always make me cry. Yes, I’m a wuss. However, this commercial … do not like. It doesn’t look real at all. Of course babies don’t do this; but the technology is just lacking.

          I love dogs, but every movie where they are talking… (shudders). It just looks so bad!

    • Scoobatz says:

      I think the baby commerical is cute, but where are the parents? That’s what I want to know.

  8. kexline says:

    Kudos to Coke. I’d never seen that one before, and it’s just lovely. Coke has a legacy of excellent, often somewhat abstract, ads, and it’s always nice to see that continued.

    Also, I was impressed by the GM commercial at the time, and was glad to be reminded of it — if companies must do ads in response to their own financial peril, I’d rather see a high-budget mea culpa than one of those ridiculous full-NYT-page thank you cards that at least a couple of the banks did. The latter came off as Nelson Muntz laughs in print.

  9. Chinchillazilla says:

    Maybe it’s the entomologist in me, but I’m a really big fan of the Coke ad.

  10. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Time magazine .com has no idea how to do “View All” do they? I believe Wired nails this feature. View All shows you all the pages, not a trite list.

  11. immaculate gaenor says:

    I thought the GM ad was very well done. It’s a risky move to say in an ad “we’ve fucked up massively and now we’re in a hole but we’re going to dig ourselves out of it” and they did a good job. It’s not cutting edge advertising, but it’s better than a PR statement full of jargon.

  12. Hank Scorpio says:

    That Shelter.org.uk ad is amazing.

  13. Scoobatz says:

    While we’re at it, can someone explain the new line of Target ads to me? I find them very uncomfortable to watch.

  14. SugarMag says:

    That Coke one is lovely. I’ve never seen it before.

    I enjoy the AX one but will never be their customer, and, I always think it will be for arthritis medicine..you know, all those handles to turn is painful and makes me weepy…*sniffle*

    The Travelers one is great. Any commericial that gets me to watch the whole thing is good.

  15. God_of_Gamblers says:

    What?! No love for Vince and the “Slap-Chop?”

    How can you not laud a commercial that has the lines, “You’re going to love my nuts!” and “Linguine, fettucine, martini, bikini!”

    …it makes makes me feel like I’m being hypnotized into removing my wallet from my pocket!

  16. jparadis9 says:

    They’re is a lot more great ads …. All i saw was faces…