The best ads honored at the 2009 Clio Awards.

Advertising deconstructed.
May 15 2009 1:33 PM

Abe Lincoln Does the Nasty

And other great ads honored at the Clio advertising awards.

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  • A 1963 Volkswagen ad that asks, "Have you ever wondered how the man who drives a snow plow drives to the snow plow?"—taking a car that was implicitly about economy and flipping the emphasis onto reliability.
  • "I'd Like To Buy the World a Coke," from 1971. (Actual title: "Hilltop.") The judges noted that this was one of the first "big" ads, made at a time when most advertising concentrated on product attributes.
  • A 1987 ad for the U.K. newspaper the Guardian—involving a punk and a pile of bricks—in which different points of view add up to a tale that's far more nuanced than it first appears.

To top it all off, the ceremony included a special red carpet appearance from five of advertising's most famous brand icons. People dressed in big zip-up costumes portrayed Charlie Tuna, the Nestlé's Quik bunny, the Kool-Aid Man, and the Michelin Man—aka "Bibendum," and also the subject of a slightly comic phobia in the William Gibson novel Pattern Recognition.

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The fifth brand icon? Morris the Cat. Morris, the 9Lives spokeskitty, attracted more attention than the other four icons combined. This was because he was an actual cat, and totally adorable. (He wore sunglasses!) Still, you had to feel for the poor guy in the Charlie Tuna suit, who was forced to stand right next to the feline superstar while getting completely ignored and no doubt sweating profusely into his furry blue tuna flesh.