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BestAdsonTV: Guest Judge: Pete Johnson, ECD, Arnold Worldwide, Boston

BEST TV
1st Place: Mayhew Animal House "Unloved". Dogs. Dogs on skateboards. Dogs wearing sunglasses. Talking dogs. Dogs... They've been at the center of some of the most dreadful advertising of all time.

But every so often we find the right tenor of a dog and its owner and through that, we uncover a truly natural, emotional story worthy of the real connection we share with our four-legged companions. I have a 13-year-old Black Lab, and as I watched this spot on my laptop on an over-booked American Airlines flight bound for Miami, I teared up a little as I imagined how special it is to watch her gleefully struggle to greet me every day I come home... So, you know. Dogs.

2nd Place: Dos Equis "Dogsled". Does the joke get old? Maybe. Does subconsciously associating yourself with a fictitious archetype of absurdist masculine virility ever get tired? Never. Much like our favorite Hemmingway-esque gadabout, I'm grateful for the way this campaign stays the same but always seems to get better. "The last time he flirted with Danger, Danger got clingy". Well done.

BEST PRINT
1st Place: Stories! Doublehead. Sometimes I look at work that I admire and try to think of how it was sold. Sometimes I look at work that I admire and think about how difficult it was to produce. And sometimes I just like the thing I'm looking at. This work for Stories! is one of those I just like. Well-formulated photography instantly transports the viewer into a rich visual world that's ripe for creating one's own narrative. And at the end of the day, providing a landscape for people to concoct their own stories is a far more effective tactic than anything else we do.

2nd Place: Laundromat "Easy Come Easy Go". The internet on this plane just went down and I can't log onto the BestAdsontv to re-consider the choices. Figures. Accordingly, I think i'll give second place to the print ad that I remember most (old school, I guess): Congrats, Laundromat "Easy Come Easy Goes".

I’ve always held a soft spot for graphic storytelling in print. The kind that makes you stop and stare and think and decipher and interpret. The less apparent the better. In that magical time when my in-flight internet was working, I stared at this ad for a long while and thought about it far longer than I should have. And that, is about all you can ask of a print ad.

BEST OUTDOOR
1st Place: Kokopelli Backpackers Hostel. So let me get this straight— A popular backpacker hostel in Lima, Peru opens a sister operation high in the mountain city of Cuzco (a popular second stop for their guests). To encourage guests to stay at their new Cuzco destination, the Lima contingent provides departing travelers with business cards complete with the hostel's address and a chewable coca leaf that can help counteract the altitude sickness they'll no doubt experience upon arrival.

Genius. I love this idea. So simple, smart and effective. It not only gets inside the guests' natural behavior and need, but also tells a story about the indigenous people of Peru and their traditions.*

*I would just like to point out that my first draft of this review was absolutely dripping with inappropriate cocaine jokes. Many of which I found ultimately distasteful enough to omit.

2nd Place: ANZ Bank - GAYTMs. It's Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras in Sydney and you're a bank who sponsors it. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO? Well, Whybin TBWA of Melbourne did something quite simple. They imagined what the gayest ATM in the world would look like, and then they made it. The result is a testament to how simple, well applied visual design can change perceptions almost immediately, and how it can turn something as lifeless as a bank into something more representative of our better selves.

BEST INTERACTIVE
1st Place: Carlsberg: Happy Beer Time. This is a tough one to like as much as I do. A general rule of thumb is to never encourage brands to fabricate an elaborate system of digital behaviors for consumers to apply to their lives. 99% of the time consumers will hate you for trying too hard, or just not care. However, sometimes (and mostly when it involves the perpetuation of deeply discounted alcohol) consumers might just adopt your brand into their lives. Case in point: #HappyBeerTime from Carlsberg and Konsetellation. Carlsberg got its consumers to play the elusive User Generated Content game, and the consumers got drunk. Win win.

2nd Place: Pampers Diapers: ZZZ Radio. As a father of two young children, I know exactly how awful it is to operate in the fog of sleep-deprived exhaustion. I may be biased, but I'm also an ad guy, and this Pampers campaign out of the Philippines reminds me of those far-fetched ideas I often see in student books of which I'm eternally jealous.

The design associated with the campaign is a little all over the place and wonky, but at its core is a solid idea that cobbles together hardware and human emotion to produce something that has a tangible effect in people's lives.

About Pete Johnson:

This week's guest judge is Pete Johnson, executive creative director and creative lead at Arnold Worldwide, Boston.

Pete, with his creative partner, Wade Devers lead creative for the Boston office and the development of its talent. Pete joined Arnold Worldwide as senior vice president, group creative director focusing on digital and integrated campaigns. Pete joined from LBi New York where he helped transform the creative merger of independent agencies such as Icon Nicholson, Syrup, Lost Boys and Special Ops into one digitally focused, integrated creative shop. Prior to his time at LBi, Pete served as creative director at Tribal DDB and before that, senior copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather and McCann Erickson.

Article first published on Bestadsontv.com.