TV Commercial

On The Beach “Someday” with Iggy Pop

The first time I saw Iggy Pop preform was at the Lawrence Opera House in Lawrence Kansas sometime around 1980. What I remember from that show was Iggy’s intensity and his I don’t give a damn about anything attitude.

Fast forward 40 years and we now have the godfather of punk rock narrating a two-minute monologue on what 2020 brought to us and what we have to look forward to. Iggy’s distinctive gravelly voice overlays a scene of people running along the beach looking forward to brighter, better days ahead. The monologue relives all of the insanity that surrounded everything in 2020. Stockpiling toilet paper, washing your hand 100 times a day, working from home, remember to wear your mask, giving up eating out, and on and on. Iggy ends it on a lighter note though reminding us that the beach will be ready and waiting when we are all able to take that much needed vacation again.

“We got angry, we got sad, we cried. But we picked ourselves up and we started again, knowing that the sun is always shining somewhere,” he says. “At some point someday you’ll be on your dream holiday, thinking ‘Is it too early for a drink?’” 

The spot is set to an orchestral interlude from the track Sunday, off of Iggy’s latest album Post-Pop Depression. Directed by Uncommon Creative’s executive creative director Sam Walker with Pulse Films it first aired on ITV’s Britan’s Got Talent and will run through February. In addition to the spot, there are the obligatory social media campaigns and a partnership with Amazon Prime.

“This will pass. Sometimes it takes the perspective of someone who has seen a lot in their life to make you realize that. Your shoulders drop, and hope returns,” Iggy says as the spot opens. A statement that Iggy can attest to because he’s seen more than his fair share thanks to 50 plus years of his rock and roll lifestyle.

“Never mind the worst week of someone’s life, what about a year in the life of the UK? We wanted to say it like it is, so we needed a voice that has seen it all. Two minutes in Iggy’s company can make anyone feel better, hopefully, everyone.” Uncommon co-founder Nils Leonard said. And he’s right.

“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.