1. Denmark has the best buses in the world.
Simply the sexiest, coolest, most epic public transportation commercial ever.
It will win all the ad awards next Spring. And no ad agency was involved.
2. “FLAME SAX!!!!!”
The most kick-ass Old Spice ad ever, and the interactive ad of the year.
The muscle-activated drum and percussion kit of Terry Crews kicked Isaiah Mustafa right off of his high horse. Ad agency: Wieden & Kennedy.
3. Watch grandma die violently five times.
This is the best jobs site ad ever.
The drama is set up perfectly, and the hilarious spot directly hits that feeling of being at a job that you absolutely hate. Ad agency: Draftfcb Buenos Aires.
4. The real story of The “Three Little Pigs”
The best TV ad for a newspaper/magazine ever.
Brilliant. “Keep your chinny chin chins up, fellas.”
Makes me want to read The Guardian. End of story. Ad agency: BBH, London.
The best airline spot I’ve ever seen.
It’s so simple and charming.
Widerøe, the largest regional airline in the Nordic countries, had a simple message they wanted to convey: we cover Norway.
And McCann Oslo delivered that message with heartwarming panache. The casting, the acting, and most importantly, the idea — all perfect.
6. Best Beer Commercial of the Year.
What’s not to love? It’s got a cops and robbers chase, “crashes,” cheesy 1980s music—and, brilliantly, the spot doubles as a Don’t Drink/Drive ad.
Shot in Los Angeles.
Ad agency: Clemenger BBDO, Australia.
7. Say NO to Meth. Say YES to roller skating.
And the local ad winner of 2012.
Via the “Legends of the So Bad They’re Good Local Ads”, Rhett and Link.
Say yes to: Roller Skating. You’ll be guaranteed to go to college.
8. Manly Men.
The best home improvement store commercial ever.
It is the Field of Fucking Dreams of home improvement store spots. Just watch it. Tears in the goddamn eyes. I’m going outside right now to illegally build a shed on the roof of my NYC apartment building. Ad agency: Heimat, Berlin.
9. cRaZY Japan.
The best department store commercial ever.
Your counterargument is invalid.
There had to be one Japanese spot on this list.
Ad agency: Asatsu-DK, Tokyo
10. SHIT KIDS SAY.
And finally, here’s the three best PSAs of the year.
First, Unlike 95% of these types of PSAs, I think this spot for UK children’s charity NSPCC might actually prompt some action—because the kid actors sell it.
Listen carefully, as the shit the tykes say turns gradually darker.
Ad agency: Inferno, London.
11. Stayin’ Alive.
The best CPR awareness ad ever. Hands down.
Vinnie Jones, the legendary footballer and the man who makes Guy Ritchie films more watchable strikes again for the British Heart Foundation. All I can say is: focking brillyant. Ad agency: Grey, London.
12. First World Problems read by Third World Kids.
Ad for Water For Life, shot in Haiti.
Does turning an ironic meme into a serious PSA work?
It does when you match the problems perfectly with the settings.
And the First World Problems the ad agency collected are good ones.
It’s a great concept.
Ad agency: DDB NYC
Related: the 12 best print ads of 2012.