From a pure entertainment perspective, anyway.
Whether it was fear from clients, a lack of effort from agencies or just a general mood that precluded creativity, most of what was on the air was something of a wasteland. Yes, the usual suspects had the usual clever spots, but most of the time we seemed to be fast-forwarded through pods of pharma commercials with attractive 50something women doing tai chi.
So it's with great pleasure that I am sharing two spots that have made me laugh over repeating viewings and--- in a feat that's not all that easy to accomplish-- seem to appeal to the whole family. (e.g. it's not the sort of hipster humor that wins ad awards but leaves Grandma scratching her head.) And that, I'd have to say, is the real achievement here: two clever spots that can pretty much run on anything from ESPN to Disney Channel to Lifetime without skipping a beat. That's a huge accomplishment. And, I'm hoping, a signal to brands that this sort of across-the-board humor is indeed possible.
The first is from the long-running Geico campaign, but this is definitely one of the best. The casting and script are just brilliant.
The next is from a new campaign for Chef Boyardee, a childhood favorite that's gets pushed to the wayside as kids hit their tweens and teens. What's nice about this spot is that you can sort of see the brief (if you work in the business, anyway) but the spot is just so clever, you don't mind.