Best ads 2010
By Phil Bilbrough
Some ads need to be recognised for their above and beyondness. This list probably give you an insight into me more than anything. I would love to see and hear your best ad list. While I’m waiting for that here is my best ads for 2010 and their categories are…
1. Best ads for telling us what to say
Great year for public service ads. And when a line from your ad is repeated in club rooms, bars, on 7 Days  and in workplaces you have truly succeeded.Regardless of the tone of how that line is repeated, if people are using a line from your ad you are across the line. The “Ease up on the drink ” from ALAC is a winner. Its given us a language – the words – to confront an alcoholic friend.
Similar yet a fraction off the mark is the “Are you OK ” TVC , whose campaign site is www.areyouok.org.nz . A campaign by the Ministry of Social Development , the Families Commission , supported by ACC  , and the New Zealand Police .
This ad asks us to confront an acquaintance over his violent behaviour and ultimately ask him to seek help. Similar to “Ease up on drink” we are being encouraged to take action although we aren’t the victim or perpetrator. This misses the mark because it doesn’t give us much of a script to confront someone and it underplays the heroic person who actually does stand up and asks, “Are you OK?” Its a key role yet a bit down the priority list of for this ad. Forget those last lines this ad is in my list of top ads of 2010. The cardboard people resonate with me deeply.
“Ease up on the drink” and “Are you OK” worldclass public service ads.
2. Political correctness scrutinised!
Are our true feelings toward Yetis as charitable as the law tells us to be. Perhaps not. This an uncomfortable ad. Would I let Yeti sell me a DVD player? I need to examine my feelings hard. This is a supreme Yeti ad, the Yeti Eclipse Mints ad, and there is another  in this series.
3. International recognition ad
Another Phil, with whom I am acquainted, plays the dehydrated masseur excruciatingly well and the overseas ad sites  loved him for it. This is Fresh-up’s Thirst is creepy .
4. Best use of exclamation marks
Just love Primo Extremo . A creative director with whom I once worked with had the favourite saying of, “It is what it is.” He would pull it out any time and it probably made sense on one or two occasions. This ad reminds me of him saying those words. Its a milk product. Milk is a commodity. It is what it is. Its up to the Agency to give it some personality, a NEW reason for being (“its an energy drink!!” someone yells), and I think the Primo agency people did just that.
5. Best use of old people, a sprinkler and dolphins
How can you lose with catchy upbeat pop music and a cast of thousands and jumping dolphins – well you can’t, I mean, you can’t and Instant Kiwi  doesn’t. I also identify with his singing talent.
6. Online Mastery
I didn’t see this campaign advertised on any websites or TV, but I was a recipient of the email from them, fine its great. AA Travel come on down for this great summer campaign 101 Must do’s for Kiwis .
One hundred and one holidays in New Zealand and a chance to upload the 102nd. Yeah the online marketing basics of some interactivity, some information (and link for more), a bit of empowerment (vote, rank and submit your own idea) combined with an offer (win $2k towards to your holiday) and executed in a manner truly be-fitting of our beautiful country. One hundred and one reasons to ditch going to the Gold Coast for another year.
There is a bit of bucket list trend in NZ at this moment – thing to do before you die – is climate change really freaking us out that much?
7. Best ad under austerity
Production budgets were probably cut in 2010. I don’t like beer ads, well that’s a lie. Heineken keeps me entertained (in many ways) with numerous ads like the Expedition Leader , and the Entrance . High production values there. Speights like a good but of production , but this Speights ad  looks to be shot in 16mm and in an urban environment. Austerity yes, yet quality. Lower the budget and boast creativity. There, just made myself public enemy no. 1 of agencies everywhere.
And the winner is….from Sprite . This is just cool. It evokes the heat of a polluted sun searing a hot court in confined urban environment. It surprises without having a punchline. Most of all it shows what Sprite feels like.