TV Commercial

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.

 

 

Loss of Control.

I used to own a motorcycle and ride on a regular basis. It’s been years though since I have. As a former owner and rider I am keenly aware of motorcycles when I am out driving in my car, and do my best to keep a safe distance and take added road safety measures. Unfortunately not everyone does though. The PSA below doesn’t involve a motorcycle and a car, but it does show the dangers that motorcyclist encounter, and does an epic job of driving home the potential outcome of an accident. Produced by QUAD productions for La Chose, director Bruno Aveillan, QUAD, and post production house FIX Studio have created a powerful spot. The voice over anchors the message and drives it home as the 60 second spot draws to a close. And as heavy as the message is, this has a fabulous visual look to it. The post production work is so solid, and all of it helps pull this together. 

Every 2016 Super Bowl 50 Commercial Right Here

SB50Well this Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, and frankly my give a rip factor is at about zero. It’s not that I’m anti football, it’s just that I really don’t care to watch the Bronco’s play in another one. This is what, number 9 since 1977. I would say I’m going to record it to watch the commercials but the reality is why? All the commercials are now leaked online before the game, so if you really want to see them you can. No need to tune in and sit through the Super Bowl in order to catch some “million dollar thirties”.

Which brings me to this question. Have Super Bowl commercials jumped the shark?

I would have to say yes, because there is no point in forking over that kind of money, for a spot that will air once, probably be missed, not heard, or forgotten, and will only be re-aired as a cut down fifteen second spot for even more cash. The Super Bowl has marquee factor, but if your thirty or sixty second spot is supposed to make an impact, sell a good or service, and be memorable I’m thinking it has less of a chance these days. Every Super Bowl party I have been to, people are yacking it up and having a good time. When the commercial break happens, it’s hard as hell to hear it, sometimes see it,  let alone remember what it was for.

So, if you are  like me and just don’t give a damn about the game this year, but do want to see what a few million buys you in TV advertising, all the commercials are right here. Oh, and a number of these are the full 60 second extended version of the ad.

I think I’m going to go see a movie Sunday night. I’m pretty sure I’ll have the theater all to myself.

Thinking Things Through. Planning Things Out. Motel 6 “Room to Room”.

Most of the time when you see a well produced TV spot, you don’t think about what it takes to pull it off. The visuals are engaging and you are entertained for 30 seconds and you move on. Recently Motel 6 launched a new spot “Room to Room”. The live action spot is deceptively complex, the previsualization video showing the making of shows just how complex, and how well thought out this spot is. The blend of Live action and post VFX work is really well done, and goes to show how much went into the production of this spot for Motel 6’s 50th anniversary. Directed by King & Country the spot was designed to highlight renovations without appearing to intrusive to guests. To pull it off King & Country uses a series of “in-the-nick-of-time’ gags” to keep things visually interesting and engaging. The characters are oblivious to the changes as the camera catches them happening right before they interact with the rooms, so we don’t give the impression that renovations are ongoing. This shows off all that a full-service studio does, from concepting and planning, directing and editorial, to animation, VFX and finishing.

The Mojito, The Maestro, and the Musician.

M&C Saatchi has created a series of 3 advertisements for Havana Club Rum. The spots are running on TV, but the extended versions on youTube are where they really shine. Each spot taps into a storyline that is distinctive about Cuban culture and it’s relationship to the product. The tie in is handled so well. Subtle, not in your face with little or no mention of the actual product. Each spot has a really nice look to it capturing Cuba, and the people that live there. The story lines for all three are rock solid and the editing and post work is fantastic. It’s to bad no one is willing to pony up the money for an extended media buy for these. I guarantee people would watch the full minute and a half version on TV given the chance.