My favorite ads of November



These spots didn't necessarily debut in November, 2015 but that's when they caught my attention. Here's a roundup of the spots I liked this month, after the jump.


"Cable World - Big Idea" for DIRECTV


This campaign is a sequel of sorts to a great campaign that the incomparable Christopher Guest did for the same client back in 2012. This time Bryan Buckley is at the helm but we still get Guest's company of hilarious regulars plus Jeffrey Tambor. This isn't the first spot in this campaign (see it here) and I went back and forth on which one to pick but ultimately I'll vote for a seafood based punchline any day.

"Training Day" with George Clooney and Danny Devito for Nespresso


It's George Clooney and Danny Devito. I don't know what more to say. This hilarious spot for coffee brand Nespresso was directed by Grant Heslov and shot by Phedon Papamichael. So obviously it's well shot and well acted but pay particularly close attention to the sound design. Sound Lounge and engineer Peter Holcomb are the unsung heroes and their work really sells the humor.


"Inspire Imagination and Keep Building" for Lego



I have an abiding affection for Lego and while the toy isn't gender specific it's nice to see a story about curiosity, experimentation, and discovery that features a girl. Copywriter, Whitney Ruef has crafted a great script with resonance. This sweet spot was directed by Brigg Bloomquist and beautifully shot by Pablo Berron. 

"Kraken: It's What You Do" for GEICO



I really like this "It's What You Do" campaign from GEICO. Generally speaking I'm a fan of absurdist humor in spots and GEICO can do it very, very well. It was a tough call deciding which one to go with but at the end of the day I'm a sucker for RELEASING THE KRAKEN. Director Wayne McClammy does a great job blending the deadpan delivery of the two commentators with the insanity taking place on the course. Be sure to check out the Dora the Explorer spot too.

"Grandma" for Johnsonville


Speaking of absurdist humor, this spot from Johnsonville more than fits the bill. It starts as an almost over the top typical ad with prominent product mentions and placement but then suddenly takes a bizarre turn. Shot and directed by Michael Schrom, I love the performances especially the reaction from the grandfather at the other end of the table. The whole campaign is worth watching for humor that is both absurd and subtle.

"A Great Big Universe" for Apple



Inevitably, I was going to get to an Apple spot. They're just too good too often to ignore them. This spot for the new iPad Pro features gorgeous photography from outer space paired beautifully with the song "Sound & Color" by Alabama Shakes. Does it tell you what's new about this iPad? Not really. But that's not what Apple's ads are about anyway. The spot, like many recent spots from the brand, is about how the technology they build will blend into your life & enable you to do more with it.

"Staples" for the New York Lottery



I've mentioned my love of absurdist humor before, I am equally a fan of a great deadpan delivery. This spot is part of a multi platform campaign from McCann called, You'd Make A Better Rich Person. This was another instance where it was hard to choose which spot to go with but in the end it was the actor's earnest delivery and that he calls Leonardo daVinci, Leonardo daVincis that sealed it for me. The idea of roasting the eccentric ways that the wealthy waste their money to sell average people on playing the lottery is brilliant. It invites you to dream about how you'd responsibly care for your fortune while also allowing you to laugh at the idol rich whose ranks you wish to join. 

"Never Again: Eulogy" for Canon



This spot is full of cringe-y goodness. Director Ian Liu does a great job with his wonderful lead and letting the discomfort build in the cutaways to the family. From a construction standpoint this is a fairly simple spot (just eight shots, six lines of copy) but each shot and line are used so well. It's a lesson in the idea of less is more. Humor isn't always dependent on the perfect punchline. Placing the camera and letting the situation play out will sometimes yield the best comedy. 

"Say sorry for the holidays" for Temptations


First thing, I am not a cat person. I like them just fine but not enough to share my life with one. Second thing, I was going to hold off on doing any Christmas spots until at least Dec. 1st but I can't resist this one. This spot is just dead-on. We all know theses people, they show up in our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds. We've all felt embarrassment and pity for their helpless animal charges. I know the ins and outs of working with animals. It would have been so easy to do this spot with clips grabbed from Youtube and I appreciate that adam&eveDDB and director Austen Humphries did it right.