TV Commercials

“Parallels” is One of the Best Commercials I’ve Seen All Year.

StrawberryFrog and director Dante Ariola have produced an absolutely killer ad for Jim Beam. “Parallels” asks makes a simple point. “The choices you make define what you become”. Willem DeFoe narrates the story and plays characters in a duality, showing the contrast between choices that are well made, and those that are not.


The narration is so simple, and so direct. Powerful and potent. The visual direction and story build to a singular point that references the beginning of the spot, and the product is mentioned only once in the actual piece. (I’m pretty sure the full color ad slick on the end was an after thought tacked on by someone else) This spot is part of the “Bold Choices” campaign created by StrawberryFrog for Jim Beam, and is indicative of the kind of stellar work they produce. I really hope they continue with these kinds of TV spots for Jim Beam in the future.

Now if you produced a spot that is going to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday, I hope you made a bold choice to produce something this good.


NFL Timeline Evolution of the Game Microsite.

If you happened to be one of the millions that watched the Super Bowl last Sunday night you probably paid close attention to the commercials. If you were paying attention you might remember the NFL “Timeline Evolution of the Game” commercial that raises awareness about new rules and regulations that have come to be since the early 1900s.

That TV spot is the center piece to an integrated campaign that includes a microsite which features a timeline of equipment and rule changes through out the history of the sport. The timeline contains interactive objects, and highlights important players from that period.

Like the TV spot that this site supports, the end user scrolls through the history of the NFL from Lambeau Field to the LA Memorial Coliseum. One thing that I really like about this site is the way it could transfer into an even more expansive offering via a tablet based application like “Penant” for the iPad.


PMH TV Spots for JCPenny. Americana Updated.

If you have been lucky enough to catch any of the TV spots for JCPenny in the last week or so, you might have noticed a similarity to Target ads. That design minded aesthetic is something that PMH was known for in the direction of the ads they styled for the Target brand.

Directed by MJZ’s Rocky Morton, the new suite of TV spots for JCPenny have clean, colorful well designed look, that are humorous, and at times bordering on cute. There is nothing wrong with that. The spots work fusing great visuals, editing, and copy writing to complete the set.

I hope these ads are as successful for JCPenny as the ads PMH produced for Target were. JCPenny, like other established retail giants (Sears in particular) have felt a pinch from newer rivals like Khols over the last few years as brand perceptions have shifted about the quality of their product, store fronts, and price points.

In addition to the “Fair and Square” campaign that the previous spots support, JCPenny is launching another spot for February directed by Grand Large’s Gaysorn Thavat. This spot features Billie Holiday’s 1937 recording of Irving Berlin’s “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm,”as the soundtrack and tries to establish that feeling of modern-day Americana, which is what JCPenny is something that this entire series of ads does with with technicolor punch, and a bit of whimsy. Personally I think these are the best TV spots JCPenny has released in years.