THE ONE SHOW WINNERS: Last week’s The One Show, the US’s premier advertising awards, is a showcase for some of the most inspiring, hilarious and depraved ads of last year. Jamie Barrett describes his personal high points

We saw wacky. We saw crazy. We saw madcap. We saw goofy and off the wall. We even saw zany and kooky. We saw it all - and more - judging the One Show this year.

We saw wacky. We saw crazy. We saw madcap. We saw goofy and off the

wall. We even saw zany and kooky. We saw it all - and more - judging the

One Show this year.

But somewhere along the way I heard a creaking sound. I think it was the

sound of a pendulum swinging. A pendulum from the more comedy-driven

work of the past few years to something a little less gaggy. Because as

much as I loved the funny stuff, the work that sticks with me six weeks

after the judging took place is work that operated on a different level.

Work that did not elicit a single guffaw.

The ’surfer’ spot from Guinness, for instance. That is a world


The music, the images, the editing. It’s one of the most riveting 60

seconds I have ever sat through. But perhaps the most amazing thing

about it is the fact that someone put this idea on paper and sold it to

someone. Go into a conference room with your beer client tomorrow and

sell them a commercial with a herd of white horses galloping on waves.

Good luck.

Then there was the Volkswagen Cabriolet spot called ’big moon’. This is

probably the smallest biggest idea I’ve ever seen. It is simply four

people driving down a road at night, turning into a parking lot to go to

a party, and then deciding that they would rather keep driving. Not

exactly white horses on a wave, yet it knocks you out. A tiny but true

observation, executed in a way that makes you want to buy the car, hang

out with the actors, purchase the Big Moon CD and hire anyone who had

anything to do with the spot.

But, hey, I haven’t gone completely soft. I still like laughing until

snot runs out of my nose just as much as the next guy. Which is why

you’ve gotta love spots like Budget’s ’propulsion’, the Budweiser ’real

heroes’ radio campaign, and the eTrade ’basketball’ad.

Some other comedy highlights. The Wassup spots. Add ’wassup’ to the Hall

of Fame of catchphrases along with ’where’s the beef?’ and ’I love you,

man’. You may not be feeling it back in the old country but, trust me,

here in the new world ’wassup’ is a phenomenon.

Nike’s ’morning after’ ad. Year 2000 was sitting there for months, just

begging for some clever ad guys to take advantage of it. But only Wieden

& Kennedy and Nike truly did.

The Tobacco Commission stuff. All this took was for someone to go into

their AV department and slap a laugh track on some footage of a Senate

hearing. Like most brilliant ideas, it is stunningly simple. And

hilarious. And indicting.

The X Show. Giant breasts, steamy animal sex, beef jerky, tight

buttocks, Swedish twins, football and pizza. All mentioned in the same

ad. That’s just strong writing, that’s all that is.

Four other campaigns worthy of note. The beautifully crafted Electric

Car brochure for General Motors. The writing and design on this piece is

so immaculate, it actually makes you want to pass on your next TV

project and go and work on some nice juicy collateral.

The student campaign for Vietnam Tourism. The strongest of many strong

entries, it uses superimposed images of bridges and buildings to remind

us that the time to visit the beautiful and unspoiled nation of Vietnam

is now.

The Sports Illustrated print campaign. Oh yeah, I nearly forgot. A good

ad is sometimes a great photograph accompanied by a really powerful

thought. The wheel has not been reinvented in the the Sports Illustrated

print campaign, but it is certainly rolling along.

Finally, the VW Turbonium site ( Simple, graphic,

conceptual ... it’s a reminder that, these days, great work is happening

in many more forms and places.

The 2000 One Show. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll probably end up

drinking Guinness and driving a Volkswagen.

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