By Will Morley
Updated August 03, 2020 at 05:05 PM EDT

As well as honoring TV programming, the Emmys also recognize the year’s best commercials. In the five considered here for the Outstanding Commercial Emmy, we get a real sense of how creative television advertisements can be, with wildly different content in each.

The Best Job commercial for Procter & Gamble is not only nominated at the perfect time, trading on its Olympic connection but also has a universal appeal – moms. Highlighting exactly how pivotal moms are in making their kids winners is a message we all need reminding of. It’s like a less creepy Toddlers and Tiaras.

Target no doubt buckled under the pressure of its ironic nickname Targét and employed a distinctly French vibe to its Color Changes Everything ad. “Aloutte”, parkour and what seem to be renegade Cirque Du Soleil stylists run amok Pleasantville-ing things up with explosions of color.

In the most somber, but none-the-less emotive of the group, Chrysler’s Halftime in America Super Bowl ad is pretty powerful stuff. Patriotic in the extreme it plays like a party political broadcast, except its Clint Eastwood who approves this message, and he’s effectively flogging you a car.

The Deutsch LA ad agency and VW scored a huge viral hit last year with their The Force spot. Trading on that success they created another Star Wars related commercial with dogs barking the instantly recognizable theme to air as a teaser to their next big Super Bowl spot, both of which are now nominated for an Emmy.

Split in two halves, The Dog Strikes Back has the impressively realized story of a dog losing weight, inspired by the new VW bug and then we pull back to see various characters in the Star Wars universe watching the ad on their TV, referencing 2011’s kid Vader spot. Cleverly meta or just self aggrandizing? The main point is that dog is wearing a fatsuit.

So which should win? Should emotional resonance trump humor, or should it be about visual inventiveness? And most importantly, do the ads work?


Super Bowl commercial guide