Erin Petersen

Favorite commercials of 2010

By - Jan 1st, 2011 04:00 am
Get a daily rundown of the top stories on Urban Milwaukee

While staying at my sister’s house over Christmas, I had the great fortune of re-discovering DVR. I don’t have cable, or satellite or any of the fancy light boxes that play only the TV I want to see, so having hundreds of hours of pre-recorded movies and television at my fingertips was a real treat. If nothing else, it meant that I could fast-forward through obnoxious holiday ads so that I never have to hear Pomplamoose’s saccharine rendition of “Jingle Bells” ever again … I hope.

And speaking of television ads (cough* segue), the landscape in 2010 was a vast wasteland for advertising. Everyone (present company included) waited with bated breath for what promised to be the most controversial batch of Super Bowl ads ever, which turned out to be the most boring and expensive ads instead — save for Snickers®, who gave us the image of Betty White being tackled. That was fun.

Despite the over-saturation of the E*Trade baby (see below) and another round of painful ads for light beer, there were a few gems this past year. Here’s my list of a few of  the better (read: funnier) campaigns of 2010 for your enjoyment.

D-Con “Mouse for Dinner”

This campaign technically began in 2009, but the most recent TV spots are quite possibly the funniest ads for rat poison, ever. Try not to think about the horribly painful death those mice will endure, and instead focus on the homicidal glare in the mouseman’s eyes.

Allstate’s “Mayhem” Campaign

Truth told, Dean Winters sort of freaks me out. Maybe it’s the roles he’s cast in, but he just sort of looks like the kind of dude that might punch a woman in the face. (Please don’t sue me Dean Winters). That said, as the new face of Allstate Insurance, his signature hard edge is sort of funny and ironic.

UbyKotex “Apology”

Earlier this year, Kotex launched a new line of pads and tampons for teen girls.  With the line came one of the better ad campaigns of the year, in which Kotex gives the feminine hygiene industry a middle finger by parodying the ridiculous soft-focus montages and cheeky euphemisms from the ads of our youth.

Zappos “Telephone”

Zappos launched its ” Powered by Real People” campaign, ironically featuring puppets acting out actual recorded calls. Those ads were funny enough, but then the online accompaniment,  ZapposTV, started airing  funny vignettes and webisodes, acted out by real employees. This one came at the start of the Lady Gaga craze, and makes me laugh every time.

Skittles “Tube Sock”

At some point in the last 2-3 years, someone spiked the water coolers at Mars® with LSD. Or, more likely the water coolers at TBWAChiatDay, the ad agency responsible for some of the creepiest Skittles® ads you’ve ever seen. And that is a good thing.

Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World”

These ads sort of came out of nowhere. I’m pretty sure that few people actually drink Dos Equis, but the “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign is so deliciously random I may just have to crack one open soon. Though the Dos Equis man is often overshadowed by his muscle-bound counterpart, The Old Spice Guy, the latter is getting a bit played out these days.

Lastly, I’d like to petition to have the following ads taken off the air and all evidence of them destroyed:

The Charmin Bears. We get it. We all know what toilet paper is for, and also the benefits of a soft 2 ply roll versus the cardboard you’ll find in bus station bathrooms. No one wants to see cartoon paper dingleberries to illustrate that point. No one.

The E*Trade Baby. Outside of Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking, Too, I don’t ever, EVER want to see babies personified with adult voices, much less a baby who’s kind of a douchebag.

Any and all Axe Body Spray commercials. Obnoxious, misogynistic and highly misleading. The only people who wear Axe body spray are 12-year-old boys whose eccrine glands are on overdrive, or twentysomething grossers who normally smell like farts and/or fists. Not good.

Geico’s “Caveman” ads. Not even funny the first time, and that was years ago.

And because it’s a holiday and I’m all hopped up on commercial-goodness, I’d like to share this regional favorite from back in the day with all of you. My hometown of Racine is sort of the half-way point between Milwaukee and Chicago, and as such, our local television affiliates picked up ads from both cities. This was a classic from the Chicagoland area in the early ’90s, with a pretty catchy jingle. It just may be one of the BEST LOCAL COMMERCIALS OF ALL TIME:

Happy New Year!

0 thoughts on “ADversary: Favorite commercials of 2010”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great stuff, Erin. Thanks. — Strini

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us