TV Commercial

“All Rise” Community America

With the Covid 19 Pandemic still raging my TV viewing habits have switched and I’m not watching much in the way of live TV anymore. Actually, I pretty much stopped watching live TV a while back. I don’t even watch sports live anymore, and because of that, I’m not seeing any local TV commercials.

Because of that, I missed this really great spot for Kansas City based Community America Credit Union by Nexus director Robertino Zambrano and Cactus. The spot features Zambrano’s signature illustrative style and a voice-over by star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“Robertino uses his trademark illustrative style to tell this heroic story of hope, collective ambition and the power of rising up as a community.

Carefully animated transitions full of movement and life make the piece feel like a choreographed dance of lines and flashes of colour, creating a visual collage of artful heroic moments.

The voiceover and hero portrayed is Patrick Mahomes, star of the Kansas City Chiefs, the local team to the CommunityAmerica headquarters. This isn’t just his story though, it is the collective story of the rise of every small business owner, delivery man, parent, whose lives are all intertwined in a collective hope to build something big together as a community.”

Miller Lite The Original Social Media

During the height of the internet boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s one of my favorite TV commercials was the Miller Lite spot “Evil Beaver” produced by Traktor. Like so many ads at that time the commercial was completely insane and unlike any beer commercial being run at the time. The thing is though, it did its job. It was fun, memorable, associated the product with the brand and got people talking. And it was part of a larger campaign that tied everything together with a single tagline “Art Directed by Dick”. All of the Miller Lite spots were well-produced, clever, and really thought out, but “Evil Beaver is the one that stuck with me. (probably because it’s so off the wall)

FAst forward to 2019/2020 and Miller lite has scored another home run as far as I’m concerned. Working with DDB Chicago. they are playing into the current zeitgeist of people pulling away from social media and the backlash of fake followers, likes, and the overwhelming need for continuous engagement in these spaces.

Building on its campaign positioning of Miller Time as the ‘original social media,’ Miller Lite is bringing a limited number of its dark-coloured Offline Cans to bars across the country to inspire more drinkers to take a break from social media and spend time with friends over a beer. The limited-edition matte black cans will be available in more than 500 bars and taverns in 27 states starting this week. Miller Lite’s Offline Can will be supported by two new TV ads, social media (ironically) and a point-of-sale marketing campaign that aims to inspire drinkers to invite friends for a night out over Miller Lite.

In select bars where the cans are available, Miller Lite will reward some drinkers for going offline with their own Miller Lite Offline Can, where permitted and while supplies last. Using Facebook’s new ‘SideFlix’ technology, bar-goers can invite their friends to join them in putting down their phones and ‘going offline’. If the group collectively puts their phones down for 30 minutes, they could be eligible to receive a Miller Lite Offline Can. SideFlix is a digital experience using Facebook Instant Games and Facebook Messenger that offers friends the opportunity to share in a connected experience across their devices when they’re together in real life (IRL).

Both DDB and Miller Lite saw the potential to leverage this technology to encourage and reward ‘device-down’ connection when friends spend time together over beers. Miller Lite is one of the first brands globally to utilize Facebook’s SideFlix and this is a first-of-its-kind experience for Molson Coors Beverage Company. Created by DDB Chicago, Miller Lite’s new 15-second spots, meanwhile, focus on missed connections — people staring at their phones instead of interacting with friends. Like the first ‘It’s Miller Time’ spot, ‘Followers’ that began airing in fall, the new ads finish with the tagline: ‘Here’s to the original social media.’

Creating Hyper-Real Sports Indents for AD Sports TV.

In 2015 Dubai UAE based Les Follies Design Haus, commissioned Frame to create eight over the top idents for the re-launch of the Abu Dhabi sports channel AD Sports TV. This is a series that I somehow missed when it dropped. The look is absolutely outstanding. The first video below is the behind the scenes recap explaining how Frame pulled this off. The second is the directors cut of the indents.

In a collaboration with Obeida Sidani, Executive Creative Director at Les Folies, Director and Creative Director Anders Schroder at Frame came up with the idea of having top athletes of various sports performing in the streets with the iconic buildings of night-time Abu Dhabi as the backdrop. As they are performing the surroundings would transform into their respective playing fields.

The team at Frame creative directed, conceptualized and animated the transforming floors under the athlete and the particle systems around them.

Anders wanted a still photography HDR look that would be the polar opposite of the popular organic film look with shallow depth of field and handheld camera shake. He wanted to achieve a look that was almost synthetic and videogame-like with extreme angles and razor sharp infinite focus but all achieved in-camera. A look that would be synonymous with high performance rather than the performers themselves.

To take its a step further Anders suggested to recreating this look in live action. The technique is based on the idea of shooting with multiple exposures and then combine them in post. Furthermore, Anders wanted to shoot high-speed with zero motion blur and considering this was a night shoot which added tremendously to the difficulty.

Together with DP Zubin Mistry they asked themselves: How do we shoot fast paced action high-speed, everything in focus, no motion blur, at night, with both the buildings and the sky and athlete fully exposed?

The answer was motion control, an insane lighting package, Master Primes wide angles, Phantom Flex 4K, and lots of compositing. Using the motion control rig they filmed each shot in several passes moving the massive light rigs out of the shot each time background and buildings were being shot. The motion control rig enables the team to be able to squeeze in another cool gimmick; slow motion athletes in the foreground and time lapse cityscapes in the backgrounds – in the same shot!

The result is a spectacular and hyper-real look that feels almost CG-like even though most of it was shot in camera.

I’m Loving Spike Jonze’s new commercial for Kenzo.

One thing we can all look forward to this fall and winter are the absolutely moronic perfume ads that get produced for each holiday selling season. There will be plenty of reuse from the ones that have been around for a couple of years, because they are always big budget affairs, and the manufacturer tries to get the most mileage out them as they can. One however, will be a breath of fresh air, even if they won’t be able to show it in its full 3-minute entirety on TV. That ad is the new Spike Jonze directed spot for Japanese perfume makerKenzo.

The online spot which has gathered more than 2 million views in the last 3 days, features hypnotic choreography as a young socialite Margaret Qualley, escapes the stale atmosphere of a formal gala to go nuts in the hallways of the empty building. The choreography was created by Ryan Heffington becomes a full blown rapturous explosion that you simply can’t look away from as Qually dances  to the tune of “Mutant Brain” by Sam Spiegel, Jonze’s brother, and Ape Drums.

I love it, from the laser beams to the statue licking, to the contrast of the green dress against the desaturated color pallet, to the sheer insanity of it all. It’s as though Jonze looked at commercials like the one Dior produced and said, no more. And thank god he did.