In it, a rock band of middle-aged guys praises the product by belting out a version of Elvis' Viva Las Vegas— rewritten as Viva Viagra.
Eric Webber, managing partner of Webber/McJ marketing and public relations agency, was among the crowd panning it: "If I had an erectile dysfunction problem and Viagra solved it, I'd probably celebrate too, but not by hosting a jam session with my friends."
•To watch it: go to viagra.com and click on "Watch the music video."
Made me misty-eyed:Diamond Trading Co.
We all know that some — if not most — ads for diamonds are going to shamelessly turn on the schmaltz to manipulate (or guilt) folks into paying a bundle for sparkly baubles. Yet the holiday ad from Diamond Trading Co. (a subsidiary of De Beers) still brought little lumps to a lot of throats.
The ad by JWT shows a loving couple driving down a snowy city street. They hold hands as music plays: "I think that possibly, maybe, I'm falling for you. Yes, there's a chance that I've fallen quite hard over you."
At a stoplight, the man slips a diamond pendant into the women's hand. The light turns green, but they don't move as she leans over to kiss him.
Best characters/ mascots/spokespeople:Apple computers
Actor Justin Long — the Mac — and comedian John Hodgman — the PC — were stellar in 17 new TV ads this year for Apple computers. The PC (usually in a dorky suit) and the Mac (cool and casually attired) discuss their attributes, with the PC humorously revealing his failure to match up. The ads by TBWA/Chiat/Day masterfully humanize a complex technical comparison.
"Absolute perfection," says Mike Lear, associate creative director at ad shop The Martin Agency.
•Honorable mention. Memorable car ads are rare, but sultry Grey's Anatomy actress Kate Walsh made it look easy in a pitch for Cadillac's new CTS. After ticking off a few of the car's many features, she purrs the real bottom line: "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?"
•Watch the ad and outtakes at: cadillac.com/cadillacjsp/footer/downloads.jsp
Best use of music:Coca-Cola
It's hard to beat Coca-Cola kofor its feel-good music. The company that brought us the ditty, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke," kept up — and updated — the tradition this year by mixing catchy music with video game-like animation in an ad that got such high-profile airings as on American Idol and the Super Bowl.
The song Give a Little Love is the theme in an upbeat ad designed with the look of the video game Grand Theft Auto. A tough-looking guy does good deeds — such as nabbing a purse snatcher and giving money to a street musician — to lyrics such as "You give a little love and it all comes back to you." Agency Wieden & Kennedy created the ad and licensed the music from writer and singer Paul Williams.
Best 'green' ad:GE Ecomagination
Eco-friendly and super-sweet — what more should a green ad be? OK, maybe talk about a product with substance, but GE's gead for its wind energy equipment does that, too.
In the ad, a boy runs up a seaside hill and captures a gust of wind in a jar. He carries it through fields and streets, even on a train, until he gets to a family gathering. There, he opens the jar, and the gust blows out the multitude of candles on his grandfather's birthday cake. Says the voice-over: "Capturing the wind and putting it to good use. Wind energy from GE."
The ad by BBDO, New York, is part of GE's series on "Ecomagination," a companywide initiative that includes plans to spend more than $1.5 billion annually by 2010 on eco-friendly research and development.