THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 Best international TV ads

1. Fox Sports


These winning commercials scored exceptionally well at Cannes this year.

This hilarious Traktor-directed campaign contrasts bizarre regional

sports footage from local TV - such as two blindfolded men trying to

beat each other with clubs, and cliff diving on to rocks below - with

the more relevant sports aired on Fox. Although some hold that its

slogan, "Sports news from the only region you care about. Yours", courts

controversy for being an (albeit witty) exercise in xenophobia, most

nevertheless find them a welcome break from typical US channel

advertising, which is notoriously bad. The campaign won the Grand Prix

at Cannes with two-thirds of the jury vote.

Country: USA

Agency: Cliff Freeman & Partners

Copywriter: Dan Morales

Art director: Rossana Bardales

Director: Traktor

2. Nike "freestyle"

Professional sportsmen and regular streetball players feature in this

original commercial which launched during the 50th NBA All-Star game in

February and spawned a number of following spots around Europe. Those

pioneering funksters Afrika Bambaataa took the sounds of bouncing

basketballs and squeaking trainers, and turned them into infectious

music for this acclaimed spot. With perfectly synchronised images and

sounds, this commercial went back to basics to focus on what sport is

all about - the determined action and unswerving focus of the


Country: USA

Agency: Wieden & Kennedy

Copywriter: Jimmy Smith

Art director: Hal Curtis

Director: Paul Hunter

3. Brandt "fridge/oven/washing machine/dishwasher"

The strategy is not exactly rocket science for this ad - destroy the

offending product to get the one you want. But the execution of these

spots is well observed, with great casting and well-timed frustrated

rants. In what can often prove to be uninspired product-based

advertising, this humorous campaign stands out from the crowd and is

well deserving of its gold Lion.

Country: France

Agency: CLM/BBDO

Copywriters: Fred & Farid

Art directors: Fred & Farid

Director: Remy Belvaux

4. San Francisco Jazz Festival "low riders"

It's not often that an ad for a music festival also addresses the issue

of stereotypes - which is why this spot has proved to be such a hit with

the international community. It opens on three homeboys cruising the

streets. But instead of listening to hip-hop, they are tuned in to jazz

music. As a pedestrian looms into view, they hastily change the music to

cliched hip-hop, slink down into their seats, and roll past him. Once

out of earshot, though, they switch back to jazz. The ad not only has a

universal appeal, but it also highlights stereotypes while gently

pointing out that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Country: USA

Agency: Butler Shine & Stern

Copywriter: Ryan Ebner

Art director: Stephen Goldblatt

Director: Brandon Dickerson

5.Lotto Lottery "ballroom blitz"

You might not think an eight-year-old campaign idea could produce

award-winning ads but this amusing spot, continuing the idea that Lotto

millionaires are not like other millionaires, manages admirably. It

features a taxi driver whose dream in life is to be able to pick his own

customers through a musical selection process. He proceeds to choose the

lucky man from those waiting in a queue by finding one who knows the

song Ballroom Blitz. Our delighted air guitar-strumming passenger dances

in the street with his driver, before they speed off together. A perky,

humorous and optimistic spot.

Country: Norway

Agency: New Deal DDB

Copywriter: Thorbgorn Madsen

Art director: Rune Markhus

6. Telecom Argentina "yawn"

The simple idea that communication is about more than just a call is

cleverly conveyed in this spot illustrating the contagious effect of a

yawn. A dawn street scene in Buenos Aires features the yawn of an

all-night clubber on her way home, which ends up triggering off those

she passes, including a dog. This spot has also been lauded for

representing a different angle to most ads typical to the

telecommunications sector.

Country: Argentina

Agency: Agulla & Baccetti

Copywriter: Sebastian Wilhelm

Art director: Juan Cabral

Director: Fabian Bielinsky

7. Anti-drink driving message "prison"

Shock ads are a tried-and-tested formula which can often end up having

the opposite effect. However, this spot features an Australian only

recently out of prison admitting that he's a "murdering maggot" - but

that you're no better than him if you drink and drive. He says forcibly:

"If you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot." However, the ad has

undergone a tongue-in-cheek transformation around local pubs in

Australia - the final endline has been changed to: "If you make it home,

you're a bloody legend."

Country: Australia

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Copywriter: Jay Furby

Art director: Jay Furby

Director: David Gaddie

8. Anti-smoking campaign "golden fishhook/golden shovel/golden


In this campaign Crispin Porter & Bogusky turns traditional anti-smoking

advertising on its head for the Florida Department of Health by

featuring the arresting sight of children taking hidden cameras into

cigarette companies and harassing executives. The kids present the

bewildered executives with trophies congratulating them for hooking

teenagers into the habit. After years of worthy, yet ineffectual

anti-smoking ads, this will hopefully touch those in the young target


Country: USA

Agency: Crispin Porter & Bogusky

Copywriter: Tim Roper

Art director: Paul Kesiter

Director: Christian Hoagland

9. Interflora Denmark "toolshop/football trophy"

A bearded man wielding a power drill is not your average staple for a

flower-giving campaign. Indeed, instead of sycophantic mushy ads trying

to convince men to buy an abundance of flowers for their ladies, this

quirky work encourages the giving of flowers all year round because of

the ensuing unexpected benefits and rewards. A refreshing departure from

its competitors.

Country: Denmark

Agency: Robert/Boisen & Like-Minded

Copywriter: Joachim Nielsen

Art director: Michael Robert

Director: Kasper Wedendahl

10. BMW Motorbikes "magic car"

Shot at night, the beams of two car lights gradually loom from the

distance. As the features of the car are extolled, the lights continue

towards the camera, but just as they are about to reveal the car, they

split to reveal they are two bikes. While not the sexiest of products,

the ad, shot by Paul Arden, parallels the stylish heritage of BMW car

advertising in an interesting and engaging way.

Country: Germany

Agency: Jung von Matt

Copywriters: Till Hohmann, Gudrun Muschalla

Art directors: Till Hohmann, Gudrun Muschalla

Director: Paul Arden


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