Here is some of my work that have won awards from awhile back.
SBC (one of the baby Bells) asked us to create a spot for the Olympics that showed all of their products. We chose to tell a nice story.
When Target launched Super Target, we just wanted to tell the truth: Sometimes you just need a bigger Target.
Before the iphone (hey, that was only 2008) there was this thing called "Call Waiting." This spot dramatizes why you need it. It won a Clio,, Cannes and a DGA award.
The very first day I came to the agency as Executive Creative Director I met with the CMO of Toro who screened several spots and asked me if I thought they were worth the half million apiece they cost. Frankly, they were junior team work and I said so. He told me if we couldn't do a good snow thrower spot for 150K we were fired. This is the spot that kept the business. Two things: always tell the truth to clients even when it hurts. And don't assign your best client to a junior team.
Pfizer was launching a new flea and tick product for dogs and cats. Rather than a talking dog or other silly things, we decided to leverage the emotion of being a "pet parent."
What do you do when the client's product is in a really, really ugly bottle? Leverage it. If it's this industrial looking, it must work. Somehow the client let us do it. Lots of awards.
Well, and then once the client notices that you're calling their bottle ugly you can still do good advertising.
When life gives you lemons...like a brief that wants you to talk about "better glass clarity" (c'mon, seriously?) somehow good advertising does out of it.