THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 best international TV ads

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 19 December 2003 08:30AM

1. Ikea - 'lamp': This original and memorable ad trounced Honda "cog" to scoop the Grand Prix at Cannes. A lamp is dumped outside in the harsh elements and spies its new replacement through a window. The sentimental music plucks at your heartstrings and you can't help but feel sorry it. Then a Scandinavian man castigates us, saying: 'Many of you feel sorry for this lamp. That is because you are crazy. It has no feelings and the new one is better.'

Country: US

Agency: Crispin Porter & Bogusky

Writer: Ari Merkin

Art directors: Mark Taylor, Steve Mapp

Director: Spike Jonze

2. General Electric/Dako - "suckling pig"

This 15-second spot doesn't need the luxury of 30 seconds to make an impression. A suckling pig is taken out of a GE oven and placed on a table so it is directly facing the oven. Stunned by the beauty of the oven, the apple drops out off the pig's mouth and falls to the floor. Makes the point in a humorous way without falling back on close-up shots of brushed chrome.

Country: Brazil

Agency: Neogama BBH

Writer: Isabella Paulelli

Creative director: Alexandre Gama

Director: Michel Tikhomiroff

3. Saturn - "sheet metal"

Imagine a car ad without cars. A few years ago this would have been unthinkable. But this year, agencies have started to depart from the norm, such as Goodby Silverstein & Partners with "sheet metal". Not a single car featured in the 60-second ad. Instead, the ad shows the people who drive them pulling out of driveways, queuing at traffic lights and turning corners as if driving a car, but with no vehicle in sight.

Country: US

Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Writer: Jamie Barrett

Art director: Mark Wenneker

4. Peugeot 206 - "the sculptor"

Not only did this ad pick up a gold at Cannes, it also won the journalists' prize. Boasting a dusty Bollywood look, the ad shows a young Indian guy bashes his old banger into the shape of a Peugeot 206, even getting an elephant to sit on the bonnet. He then drives it away at the end of the spot, reckoning he looks like God's gift.

Country: Italy

Agency: Euro RSCG Mezzano Costantini Mignani

Writer: Roberto Greco

Art director: Giovanni Porro

Director: Matthijs Van Heijningen

5. Nike - "stickman"

Nike ads scooped an armful of awards at Cannes this year and "stickman" captivated the jury. The stickman shows off his sporting prowess, wowing the crowd. The animated figure interacts seamlessly with the human characters and the upbeat soundtrack adds to the action.

Country: The Netherlands

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Writer: Tim Wolfe

Art director: Frank Hahn

Director: Josh Taft

6. Parque de la Costa - "bird"

A small team of surgeons is operating on a man. Suddenly, a bird flies out of the patient's stomach. The ad cuts to the man on a rollercoaster at Parque de la Costa where, open-mouthed, he enjoys the terrifying twists and turns. A quirky idea for an ad for a theme park.

Country: Argentina

Agency: Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi

Writer: Gaston Bigio

Art director: Jonathan Gurvit

Director: Nicolas Kasakoff

7. Nike - "before"

This ad evokes the moment of adrenalin-fuelled anticipation of the starting gun being fired before the race, when sports men and women prepare to give it their all. You know that it's a Nike ad long before the endline is shown: a fitting testament to 20 years of brilliant advertising.

Country: US

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Portland

Writer: Jonathan Cude

Art director: Storm Tharp

Director: Lance Accord

8. ESPN - "shelfballs/kiss the double"

This ad perfectly captures how sport is interwoven into the fabric of our lives, as well as how much it can bring out the petty child in grown men. In this spot, two office workers throw a ball on to a shelf and then argue over the "rules". One of them declares that he should have the final word as he's "wearing shoes". Beautifully observed.

Country: US

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy New York

Writer: Kevin Proudfoot

Art director: Kim Schoen

Director: Acne

9. Bud Light - "greeting cards"

Bud Light work from DDB's Toronto shop is a firm favourite among Cannes jurors; last year, its "fridge" spot walked off with a gold. This year, it was the turn of "greetings cards". Bunked off your wife's cousin's wedding to hit the golf course? The Bud Light Institute produces a bespoke card as part of its extensive apology range for crap blokes. The Bud Light philosophy? "It's easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission."

Country: Canada

Agency: Downtown Partners DDB Toronto

Writers: Peter Ignazi, Carlos Moreno

Art directors: Carlos Moreno, Peter Ignazi

10. Nike - "angry chicken"

An angry chicken is on the warpath and this ad shows people trying to escape from it. Beautifully directed by Traktor, the ads have you holding your breath as the runners trying to dodge the bile-filled bird.

Country: US

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy Portland

Writer: Mike Byrne

Art director: Danielle Flagg

Director: Traktor

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This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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