Campaign's top 10 celebrity ads of 2008

LONDON - Campaign magazine unveils its list of the best celebrity ads from 2008.

Ronaldo...star of Nike ad
Ronaldo...star of Nike ad

1. Nike, Ronaldo et al

This must be up in the top five all-time great footie ads just for the simple fact that any bloke watching it gets to see a fantasy he has probably dreamed about a million times come to life in pictures. It doesn't matter that Cristiano Ronaldo blowing you a kiss makes you want to rip his face off for a split-second - it all works to show Nike's true understanding of a football fan.

2. Orange Gold Spot, Snoop Dogg

This ad is a stroke of genius. Snoop Dogg is already a comedy caricature of a rapper, and it would have been easy for this ad to slip into parody where everyone looks like idiots (not just the bald guy from the Orange Film Board when he says "houseys") - but Mother handled it with its usual wit, panache and style. It's such a shame that this account moved because this ad proved there is life left in the idea if handled properly.

3. Snickers, Mr T

In 2008, Mr T returned to our screens with even less pity for fools than before and found himself embroiled in a homophobic furore after lobbing Snickers bars at a speed walker. Whichever way you look at it, the ad gained a lot of coverage and cemented T as the face of Snickers.

4. British Heart Foundation, Steven Berkoff

You can't call many ads truly heart-stopping, but this one managed it, quite literally. Steven Berkoff is scary enough as it is, so seeing him bearing down on you, punching you, bear-hugging you and grabbing your jaw is enough to have you breathing heavily in your seat. An inventive idea for a worthy cause.

5. Daz Cleaner Close, various ex-soap stars

On its initial release, these ads didn't go down too well, but loads of executions in and they are actually starting to feel like a real soap opera. The scripts remain fresh and don't just play off the fact that Daz is a soap powder doing a sopa opera. And come on, who doesn't find a whole host of ex-soap stars doing soap commercials entertaining?

6. Churchill, Sian Lloyd

Hopefully, this question never actually comes up in your life, but if you had to eat a sausage off a fork held by the former weather girl Sian Lloyd, would you? I think the Churchill dog made the right choice in this ad. WCRS has moved this campaign on by adding its own unique brand of quirky charm - possibly a bit too much of an in-joke, but still a funny one.

7. BBC Radio 2, celebrity DJs

Despite a couple of its DJs getting it so wrong on air (Sachsgate, anyone?), BBC Radio 2 is still getting it right in the ad stakes - even if one of the DJs involved (Russell Brand) has now quit. This is a clever idea, nicely realised, which not only showcases the DJ talent, but also gives the viewer an idea of the type of music available on the station.

8. Harvey Nichols, Wallace and Gromit

Getting Aardman's best-known creations and Bristol's favourite sons to advertise the opening of a store in the city was a great idea. The executions carry the joke, which, handled in the wrong way, could have looked gimmicky. Campaign wonders if the food hall sells Stinking Bishop.

9. Marks & Spencer, Take That

This one makes it into the list through the sheer amount of celebrities involved (even if they are Take That). Not the best ad of all time, but it's a glowing show for M&S and moves the Christmas special on nicely. And it does have Myleene Klass in it.

10. Doritos, Ian Pearman

An odd choice here - but how many times will an adland "celebrity" be in an ad? Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO was obviously looking for a way to save money - hence, the managing director turning up as a bouncer who gets his ass kicked by a six-foot chicken.