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The 10 top ads of 2011 Add to ...

<p>Chalk up another reason to be thankful for moms. Even as the advertising industry races madly off in all directions with frenzied bids to get their clients&rsquo; messages in front of consumers &ndash; through Facebook apps, QR codes on wine bottles and billboards and banana peels, sponsored tweets, etc. &ndash; ad agency creative directors know they&rsquo;ll still have trouble explaining to their moms exactly what it is they do.</p><p>But a great commercial? Ah. That requires no explanation. And so, even if TV advertising seems to be on the wane, the form is reaching ever higher, with mini-epics that tug at the heart, give voice to the voiceless, make us laugh, snag a moment in the cultural dialogue &ndash; and, yes, occasionally even sell something. </p><p>The best ads of 2011 reflect the ups and downs of our economy: after their brushes with death a few years ago, auto makers have found a bit of swagger &ndash; and so have their ads; Google makes us feel warm and fuzzy about its takeover of the planet; and Canadian ad agencies, who don&rsquo;t usually have a free hand to spend as generously as their U.S. counterparts, found a way to grab attention this year by using some high tech that didn&rsquo;t bust the bank. </p><p>These are, of course, subjective choices. So if you disagree, feel free to let us know. But please, leave your mom out of it. </p>



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