By Staff, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 12 December 2008 12:40PM
1. Hovis, 'go on lad'
It was a tough act to follow, but with a £15 million relaunch budget and Ringan Ledwidge behind the lens, this Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy ad was a worthy successor to "boy on a bike". The 122-second epic, celebrating the bread brand's 122-year heritage, was backed by a prolific PR campaign that instantly got the nation behind this patriotic romp through the past century of British history.
Writer: Gavin Torrance
Art director: Danny Hunt
Director: Ringan Ledwidge, Rattling Stick
2. Nike, 'take it to the next level'
No ad has quite managed to capture every man's childhood dream - to become a Premier League footballer - with such realism. The ad, produced by 72andSunny and directed by Guy Ritchie, is a rip-roaring ride through the blood, sweat, tears - and vomit - of a footballer, placing the viewer in his boots. As well as gripping TV audiences, it achieved a phenomenal online following, with nearly three million hits on YouTube.
Writers/art directors: John Boiler, Glenn Cole, Jason Norcross, Bryan Rowles
Director: Guy Ritchie, Anonymous Content
3. Volkswagen Golf, 'enjoy the everyday'
Enlisting the help of Scott Lyon, the director of Mark Ronson's music videos, and Paul Hartnoll, one half of the pioneering electronica outfit Orbital, made this "mash-up" from DDB London a captivating and lighthearted follow-up to last year's sombre "night drive" spot.
Writer: Noah Regan
Art director: Graeme Hall
Director: Scott Lyon, Outsider
4. Barnardo's, 'break the cycle'
Bartle Bogle Hegarty's hard-hitting campaign for the children's charity Barnardo's consisted of five scenes of a girl mugging someone, crying in a cell, getting slapped by her father, struggling at school and injecting drugs. It was backed by an equally harrowing online film that showed adults shooting at children.
Writers: Dominic Goldman, Nick Allsop, Simon Veksner
Art director: Dominic Goldman
Director: Jeff Labbe, Sonny
5. Toshiba, 'time sculpture'
Despite the tenuous comparisons made with the Ariston "on and on" spot from the 80s, this ad for Toshiba is anything but dated. Using a cutting-edge version of the "bullet time" technique used in the movie The Matrix made for a visually perplexing commercial that, despite criticisms that it lacked a big idea, still earned Grey London a rare appearance in our top ten.
Writer/art director: Andy Amadeo
Director: Mitch Stratten, Hungry Man
6. BBC, 'the journey to the East'
Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett applied the Midas touch to this campaign promoting the BBC's coverage of the Olympics. As collaborations go, Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R was on to a winner with the team behind Gorillaz, and this animated adaptation of the Chinese Legend of the Monkey King delivered a style and soundtrack that captured the magic of the Games.
Writers/art directors: Paul Angus, Ted Heath
Director: Jamie Hewlett, Passion Pictures, Zombie Flesh Eaters
7. Drench, 'Brains' Drench dance'
It was a clever move to link the Thunderbirds character Brains with a product that essentially hydrates that very body organ. But the real stroke of genius was Ewan Paterson's idea to get the gangly puppet to groove along to another retro favourite, Rhythm Is A Dancer by Snap, in this CHI & Partners spot. The result was some hilarious dance moves - not dissimilar to those immortalised by David Brent - that were bang on brand.
Writer/art director: Ewan Paterson
Director: Ringan Ledwidge, Rattling Stick
8. Transport for London, 'moonwalking bear'
Notwithstanding the usual blogger accusations of plagiarism, this ad, created by WCRS, was an ingenious way to highlight how easy it is to miss things when you're not concentrating. As it doesn't lend itself to repeat viewing, the ad ran for only a limited time on TV and in cinema, but when it did, the appearance of the moonwalking bear had audiences genuinely astonished. It also gained a huge following online, with more than ten million views on YouTube, and counting.
Writers: Tom Spicer, Simon Aldridge
Art directors: Kit Dayaram, Vince Chasteauneuf
Director: Chris Palmer, Gorgeous
9. The Natural Confectionery Company, 'bring on the trumpets'
Who would have thought a small red jelly bear's rallying cry of "bring on the trumpets" would have become this year's advertising catchphrase? Fallon cleverly tapped into the recent resurgence of surrealist humour with this bizarre insight into the psyche of a jelly sweet, earning the agency its only spot in the top ten this year (it featured four times in 2007).
Writer/art director: Matt Keon
Director: Tom Kuntz, MJZ
10. Volkswagen Polo, 'dog'
In the year that DDB London celebrated the 40th anniversary of its relationship with the car brand, the agency came up trumps with this tale of a singing, if occasionally anxious, dog. The mutt's shaky nervousness outside his owner's Polo may have got a few dog-lovers' backs up, but his charming crooning to Spencer Davis Group's I'm A Man livened up the otherwise dull car ad market and led to a significant uplift in footfall to VW dealerships.
Writer: Feargal Ballance
Art director: Dylan Harrison
Director: Noam Murro, Independent
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk