June 13, 2012 at 12:21 PM ET
From dogs barking a "Star Wars" theme song to French acrobats dancing through a city, companies are getting ever more creative to get you to watch their television commericals instead of skipping over them.
This week, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, an industry trade group, lauded the best of those TV ads of 2011 for companies including Volkswagen, Target and Chipotle.
Volkswagen’s “The Bark Side” commercial won in the musical arrangement category for the sequel to its popular Darth Vader spot that ran during the Super Bowl in 2010, which included a boy dressed in a Vader costume and magically starting his parent’s car. The ad that won the award this year featured dogs barking out “The Imperial March.”
Target’s “Color Changes Everything” ads took honors in production design, among other awards. The spot featured acrobat jumping out of a hot-air balloon in colorful outfits while the song “Alouette” plays.
In this age of DVRs and the Internet, ad agencies face a harder challenge than ever as they try to get viewers hooked by appealing to their emotions.
Despite the growth of Internet advertising, TV commercials are still king. Last year, companies spent $60.5 billion on TV ads for brand name products, double what was spend on Internet ads, according to Advertising News.
The complete list of winners can be found here.