The 10 Best Online Ads Of The Year

06/21/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Besides the nearly infinite amount of inventory out there, probably the biggest problem with online advertising is that usually, the creative sucks.

Unlike TV, where there are at least Super Bowl commercials and French-influenced story-telling, or print, where there at least the cinematic spreads in high-end glossies like Vogue or Vanity Fair, online ads almost always fail to capture the imagination. Publishers like IAC, with the Daily Beast, and Gawker Media, with its frequent site-skinnings, are trying, but we're not there yet.

2009-05-21-detectivestripes.jpg Because we'd like this to change -- what digital publisher wouldn't? -- we've decided to celebrate the best digital creative produced over the last 12 months. With the help of Ads Of The World's vast repository, that's what's we've done here, compiling what their many users say are the 10 best online ads of the last 12 months.

A note: All but one of the ads we present here -- the very highest rated by Ads Of The World's users -- are either "viral" videos or indepedent microsites, which unless users were directed there by a banner, means they don't benefit any publishers. Perhaps this is the best indication yet that publishers need to hurry up and embrace newer, more customizable units than the banner?