Old School TV commercial easily my favorite campaign of 2009.

December 31, 2009

The best marketing in 2009 did not arrive via new media. It wasn’t a so-called “viral.” Nor was it “consumer driven.” It was an ad and it came in the form of a TV commercial –you remember those?

The best advertising in 2009 wasn’t edgy or ironic. Frankly, it was anything but. Our deserving winner was old-fashioned, easy going and pleasant. Driven by classical music. Sedate.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Droga 5, Mother or BBH didn’t produce the best advertising in 2009. While those shops made lots of fine work they did not create the finest. Nope. The best ad in 2009 was made by one of the biggest, oldest advertising agencies in the world: Ogilvy & Mather.

Appropriately, this terrific TV commercial wasn’t for a hip technology brand or the latest new, new thing. As a matter of fact, the best advertising in 2009 was for something more associated with last century than this one.

Without further ado, the best advertising in 2009 was the “Smiles” campaign for the American Express card.

Shot by Kevin Thomas for O&M in New York, I can think of no piece of creative I admired more in 2009. Two months ago I wrote about the campaign in detail. Fittingly, that post (Amex review) continues to be one of the more popular stories on my blog. The comments it received are universally praiseful.

Likewise, my young daughters shriek with delight whenever the commercials appear in our living room. In this respect the spots are more popular than even Spongebob Squarepants.

It gives me great pleasure to close by stating the most shocking thing about this campaign is how utterly un-shocking it is. Will it win gold in Cannes? Probably not. And that wouldn’t shock me either.

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7 Responses to “Old School TV commercial easily my favorite campaign of 2009.”

  1. SRP said

    Adweek’s most popular campaigns of 2009: http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/agency/e3ib109e311f1631c0c97d7436b54ae782e
    I wholeheartedly agree with “There’s an app for that” and E-trade babies. Still like Amex work better…

  2. adchick said

    I agree with you…I have loved the AMEX spot since it appeared. I stop what I’m doing to watch it every time. It’s beautiful.

  3. Andy Webb said

    The spot that always gets a laugh from me is the Dos Equis commercial.

    So perfectly tongue-in-cheek, so generous in the entertainment department.

    If I drank, I’d buy the beer just to reward those brewmeisters for their generosity.

  4. SRP said

    Andy-
    Dos Equis good choice. Fun fact: My agency (Euro RSCG) does this work in NYC.

  5. Andy Webb said

    Well then, my hat is off to you, my friend.

  6. SRP said

    Uh-Oh…
    I’m getting a few messages suggesting this campaign is not original. Indeed, some searching on the web reveals eerily similar work. I found a European Audi commercial, for example. Two reactions: 1) nothing is new; everything is contrived and derivative. 2) Sigh…

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