Swizzle Bowl 2011

Top Five Spots That Nailed It

1.    Audi “Release the Hounds”: Because it says, “Escape the confines of old luxury” from beginning to end.
2.    Carmax “Kid in a Candy Store”: Because it reinvents a cliché to make a simple point, hilariously.
3.    Chrysler “Born of Fire”: Because it says “Imported from Detroit” through and through and it tells you why you should care on an emotional level. It’s a commercial story told in a poetically rich tone of voice with an idea that marries history with modern cultural significance. Thoroughly impressive.
4.    Bridgestone “Reply All”: Because it’s entertaining and you don’t change the channel until you hear the payoff, which follows through on the surprise without disappointing.
5.    Carmax “Gas Station”: Because it says “We believe customer service shouldn’t be a thing of the past” from beginning to end.

Top Five Shameless Examples of Overspending

1.    Kia “Epic”
2.    Bud Light “Product Placement”
3.    Home Away “Smush”
4.    Motorola “Empower the People”
5.    Lipton Brisk “Eminem”

Top Five Most Expensive Spots That Didn’t Suck

1.    Audi “Prison Break”
2.    VW “Black Beetle”
3.    Coca-Cola “Seige”
4.    Budweiser “Wild West”: A Coen Brothers-inspired windup to an Elton John payoff? Who can argue with that?
5.    Hyundai “Anachronistic City”

Top Five Beer Spots


Top Five Most Derivative Spots

1.    BMW “Defying Logic”:  This felt like it wanted to be Nike’s “If you let me play sports?” And didn’t come anywhere close.
2.    Bridgestone “Carma”: Budweiser frogs this was not.
3.    NFL “American Family”: HBO has done this, and better.
4.    Mercedes “Welcome”: This felt like it was trying to be the great Saturn spot by Goodby. Wasn’t.
5.    Chevrolet “Discovery”: Here’s to the crazy ones? Anyone?

Top Five Spots Where Animals Act Like Humans, Either Good or Bad

1.    Bud Light “Dog Sitter”
2.    Bridgestone “Carma”
3.    CareerBuilder.com “Parking Lot”
4.    McDonald’s “Grizzly Bear”
5.    VW “Black Beetle”

Top Five Worst of the Night

1.    Pepsi Max “Love Hurts”
2.    Pepsi Max “First Date”
3.    Pepsi Max “Torpedo Cooler”
4.    Go Daddy “The Contract
5.    Go Daddy “New .Co Girl”

Top Five Missed Opportunities

1.    Groupon “Tibet”: This spot managed to make us dislike both Groupon and Timothy Hutton, both of which we liked before.
2.    Mini “Cram it in the Boot”: Is slapstick comedy appropriate for Mini Cooper?
3.    Stella Artois “Crying Jean”: WTF?
4.    BMW “Changes”: Should have spent your money on a good idea, then worried about the song.
5.    Hyundai “Hypnotized”: When you have the opportunity to get Jeff Bridges as your VO, you should also have the means to make sure your spot doesn’t suck.

Top Five Mashups

1.    Eminem and Chrysler
2.    VW and Star Wars
3.    Ozzy and Justin Beiber
4.    Janis Joplin and Puff Daddy
5.    That actor from Fargo and Elton John

Top Five Most Gratuitous Uses of a Celebrity

1.    Teleflora “Help me Faith”: Faith Hill? Why?
2.    Groupon “Tibet”: Timothy Hutton? Ditto.
3.    Snickers “Logging”: Roseanne Barr?
4.    Skechers “The Break Up”: Did that have to be Kim Kardashian?
5.    Mercedes Benz “Welcome”: Puff Daddy? C’mon.

Top Five Funniest/Bordering on Creepy

1.    Doritos “The Best Part”
2.    Bud Light “Dog Sitter”
3.    Best Buy “Ozzy vs. Bieber”: I have to admit, Ozzy’s delivery of “What’s a Bieber?” made me laugh.
4.    Bridgestone “Carma”
5.    Snicker’s “Logging”: This campaign is still a good idea at the end of the day.

Note: Had the VW “Darth Vader” spot not been leaked beforehand, it would have appeared more often on this list. We do love it so.

About Stef

Stefani Zellmer co-founded Swizzle with husband and business partner Chris Davis in 2009. After 17 years in the advertising industry, working for agencies big and small, she felt it was time to work for a different kind of agency. Her own. While she's not obsessing over Swizzle, she's fretting about her other two children, and wishing the former would grow faster and the ladder would grow slower. In her spare time, she thinks about writing that novel while she watches Glee.
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One Response to Swizzle Bowl 2011

  1. palvey says:

    My most favorite assessment of SB ads yet. You should send this to Ad Age. They’re collecting a variety of rankings/assessments.