Here is an end-of-year list of ads that reflect DIY inspiration, a geek sensibility or simply had a sense of humor tuned to the tech world. There's some irony in this list of somewhat traditional TV ads spots. I saw only one or two of these ads on TV. All of the ads are found on YouTube and I've found most of them because someone sent me a link. So I'll call this a list of:
Top Tech Ads Not Necessarily Seen on TV in 2007.
John Hodgeman's Apple ads. These ads continue to be great. It's ironic that Apple's stand-in standup is the straight man to Hodgeman -- the PC as bumbling Lou Costello. The "Don't Give Up on Vista" ads are funny, especially the one with the presidential podium. Apple.com features an animated version of the ad in the spirit of the old Rudolph the Reindeer Christmas TV shows. Apple Vista Ad 1 Hodgeman at the Podium Ad
I'm a Wii -- a clone of the Apple ads but this ad suggests that a game platform can be more fun. It does make me really want to Wii, I mean, want a Wii. The Wii Ad
The JC Penny "Aviator" ad. A nerdy young girl gets a crazy idea -- to build a rocket to take her to the North Pole. If you can imagine it, you can make it. JC Penny Aviator Ad
The Dell ad campaign "Yours is Here" in particular, the ad with the "Watch Us Work It" by DEVO soundtrack. Wrenchs and more...makes you wanna make something. Dell's DEVO ad
Will it Blend iPhone -- Kind of an anti-ad. This iPhone carbonizer reminds us soberly that all gadgets turn to dust. iPhone in a blender.
Honda's The Cog ad -- Disassemble a Honda Accord and use all the parts to make up a very clever Rube Goldberg contraption. It's a symphony of motion that's watchable over and over. Honda's Cog ad
HP's "Eternal Dreamer" ad featuring Michael Gondry -- a fluid piece that moves creatively between the physical and virtual world, between ideas and reality. I like this ad much better than HP's Gwen Stefani campaign. HP's Eternal Dreamer
Halo 3 "Believe" ad -- This ads reminds us how we grew up playing with toy soldiers -- green army men and mounds of dirt. The melancholy soundtrack makes you think you're watching a "Greatest Generation" documentary. Halo 3 Believe
Assassin's Creed ads - Beautiful, stylish, subversive re-imagining of the time of the Crusades. Hidden daggers and conspiratorial history. I wish this were movie-length. Ad for Assassin's Creed Behind the Scenes Promo
Coca Cola "What Goes Around Comes Around" ad -- a nasty Grand Theft Auto video turns sweet and syrupy. Each one of us can make the world better. Coca Cola Ad
Here are several videos that look into the advertising industry itself (as awful as sausage-making). The first is a British satire on ad agencies called Truth in Advertising. (I want to start using the term "media wankers.") There's also "The Breakup," a Microsoft-produced video featuring an arrogant advertiser as the lover and a fed-up consumer as the beloved.
Finally, if you want a over-the-top spoof of overindulgence, check out "Consumerism: The Musical."
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.