The Emmy Awards celebrates artistry in television. So it might seem odd that there is a category celebrating the commercials that so rudely interrupt viewers as they attempt to take in some of that artistry.
But advertisers provide funding that helps those programs make it to the air in the first place – and at their best, those commercials can feel less like an interruption and more like something you may actually want to watch. It's one reason that many people watch the Super Bowl – when advertisers bring out their best – as much for the commercials as the game itself. It's no coincidence that some of the nominees for an "Oustanding Commercial" Emmy aired during the big game.
And among those nominees is some Canadian creativity. Here's the list:
Advertiser: Always Ad agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
Production company: Chelsea Pictures
Leo Burnett's Chicago office is credited for the commercial here (unlike in Cannes, where the Toronto and London offices that also worked on the campaign were given credit as well.) The campaign started as an online video, and received so much recognition that Procter & Gamble Co. bought airtime during the Super Bowl to showcase it to an even wider audience. Leo Burnett Toronto CEO Judy John was the lead creative on the campaign.
Ad agency: BBDO New York
Production company: O Positive
The hilarious ad reimagining classic sitcom The Brady Bunch using the candy's "You're not you when you're hungry" tagline – complete with a cameo from Steve Buscemi as Jan – was among the best of the Super Bowl this year.
Ad agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners
Production company: eLevel Films/Goodby Silverstein & Partners
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Photoshop (which has its own sometimes problematic legacy in advertising) Adobe reminded Oscar viewers of how the software is used in design and in film.
Ad agency: Anomaly
Production company: RSA Films
For the second year in a row, Budweiser trotted out an achingly adorable Labrador puppy to manipulate viewers' emotions, which isn't even a fair fight. It was much more popular than Budweiser's other Super Bowl ad, which appeared to mock craft beer enthusiasts. Stick with the warm and fuzzy, folks.
Ad agency: TBWAChiatDay
Production company: Smuggler
What better way to honour the legacy of retiring New York Yankee Derek Jeter than to let him loose among his fans? This spot shows the baseball superstar taking a surprise walk to Yankee Stadium, greeting New Yorkers, signing autographs and giving hugs along the way.
Ad agency: TBWAChiatDay
Production company: Park Pictures
At a time when advertisers are (thankfully) showing fathers in a more positive light, Nissan's Super Bowl ad represents a bittersweet story of a father and son who are often apart, set to Harry Chapin's song Cat's in the Cradle. Obviously, they find togetherness in a car ride together.