Well, we made it. Two thousand and sixteen. THE FUTURE. You guys look great, really. I mean, the holiday hangover of adjusting to a socially acceptable daily caloric intake and not binge-watching How To Make A Murderer in the middle of the day aside, this year is just full of possibility. And here we are, together again, hand in hand, gazing into each other's eyes, about to wrap ourselves in the warm, welcoming embrace of brand creativity. Too much? Onward!
What: A 24-minute short doc that follows one man's globetrotting quest for the ultimate FIFA 16 fantasy team.
Who: EA Sports, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam
Why We Care: Whether you practice your rabona in the backyard or don't know the difference between Real Madrid and Real Housewives Of Milwaukee, you can appreciate the level of sheer soccer nerdery going on here. Sports gaming has conditioned us to consider ourselves experts, but this brings together the actual world of football—the top scouts, statisticians, and legendary players—with the often ridiculous gaming fantasy. Plus, Lionel Messi makes an appearance and actual says more than two words. For an ad, that's got to be some sort of record.
What: A goosebump-inducing repurposing of John F. Kennedy's 1963 speech about the strength and potential of Ireland, to help promote wind energy of all things.
Who: Irish Wind Energy Association, Rothco
Why We Care: Look, we're a sucker for a repurposed speech, especially ol' JFK. According to the agency Rothco, Ireland is one of the most energy-dependent countries on earth, so the goal of the ad was to swell national pride while raising awareness for an alternative solution. "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics, we need men who can dream of things that never were and ask 'why not?'" Okay, a sexist line no doubt, but still pretty inspirational, non?
What: An introduction to The Man Your Man Could Smell (And Play Tennis On A Whale) Like. Also known as Legendary Man.
Who: Old Spice, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Why We Care: Look, there won't be another Man Your Man Could Smell Like because, as with many great things, Old Spice has lost the element of surprise. But! Legendary Man has some serious potential with lines like, "Is there a limit to how much living I can live in my life?" combined with a baseball-spouting whale with sunglasses.
What: An desert-based, action sports extravaganza that introduces us to a collection of stunt drivers and off-road experts who would not be out of place alongside Mad Max.
Who: Monster Energy
Why We Care: This is like a kid playing with Hot Wheels in a sandbox. If the sandbox was California's Glamis Sand Dunes and the Hot Wheels came with scantily-clad women and energy drinks.
What: A short film following a a group of friends on their search for a favorite NBA player.
Who: Nike, Wieden+Kennedy Portland
Why We Care: These charming kids, along with LeBron, Serena, Future, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Paul George, and Kobe Bryan... OK, wait there is no way Kobe should be in this conversation. Just a terrible season so far. A legend no doubt, but no. That said, hot tub book club.