Dear Wieden + Kennedy (and most other ad agencies too),
Please repeat on the conference room white board 100 times: A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film. A commercial is not a film.
Or at least stop your PR people from referring to :30's and :60's over and over again as films. They're commercials. They're ads. No matter how beautiful or creatively fueled they are (and your latest work for Nike certainly is, indeed , beautiful), they're ads. They're just ads. Sorry. No amount of creative puffery can change that. Most movies aren't even films let alone :30 and :60 bits of creativity that sell stuff.
So, please, can we lay off the inflated sense of ego and just realize all we do in this business is sell stuff? We can glamorize it all we want. We can give it fancy names. We can even go to Cannes a week after "real" filmmakers do to make ourselves feel as though we are they're equals. We are not. They make entertainment. We sell stuff.
The Pompous Assholes From Adrants
(who, at heart, are really, really nice people who totally understand the business of the press release which, for better or worse, must follow a format that is far removed from how normal human beings speak but, for better or worse, we are stuck with and make fun of from time to time which then causes unrest because of that fun-making which, in turn, causes us to profusely apologize to the very nice human whose job it was to write the standardized information delivery transferal, all of which, for better or worse, rightly earns us the the title Pompous Assholes)
While we do kinda like the production and FX work Martian Labs and Digital Kitchen did for this last Altoids spot from Leo Burnett, we do seriously have to question what was going on in the minds of the creatives when they thought it's be cool to show an atomic bomb-like mushroom cloud made from an Atoids package dropped into a sea of chocolate. Is the Altoids Chocolate mushroom cloud the next third world country threat? Curious, indeed. Perhaps it's just a fitting, insiderish finale to the years of mostly great work Leo Burnett has done for the brand.
Leo Burnett made this pretty little GreenPeace video for Japan, which is currently undergoing some drama having to do with whaling and such.
Because whale meat was the main source of protein for the island after WWII, Japan feels it has the right to go on whaling, even if there's no demand for the meat (according to the Greenpeace pressie, considering we don't ourselves know how much or how little the island folk need whale meat today).
So Greenpeace goes, okay, let's restructure this historical conversation and turn the notion of man-to-whale relationships into one of reciprocal respect, instead of a Giving Tree situation (we hated that book, by the way) - where one side keeps giving until there's just nothing left.
Here's some iPhone spec work from Ryan Landels, Director for a Santa Monica production company. Landels has taken the scene in the movie 2001: A Space Odessy where the astronauts first discover the monolith which Landels has replaced with the iPhone. It's a nice piece of work that could certainly be a part of Apple's official iPhone campaign.
If there's one thing we can say about Apple, we'll say it knows how to set the stage. iPod ads feel completely different from Mac ones without deviating too far from the ruling Apple geek-meets-hipster-osity.
With that in mind, the prospect of seeing the new iPhone ads was really exciting, especially since the debut draws near and the bar was set so high with the nostalgic Oscars piece.
Check them out here: Never Been an iPod, How To, Calamari.
Though the style was a little too minimal (did some kid bang out that tune?), by the third ad the whole concept had grown on us. Like, really. Like, check out the functionality on that sexy beast.
We only wish they'd shown off that spinning-straw-into-gold component we keep hearing about from friends who jizz all over our shoes before they're even done saying the word "iPhone."
Voila: an American Express ad for The Members Project, resulting from a collabo between Lost Planet and Martin Scorsese, via Ogilvy. It is surprisingly likable.
Poking fun at self-satisfied cause-whoring like Gap (red) and Kenneth Cole's Are You Putting Us On?, the spot includes Ellen, Andre Agassi and Sheryl Crow, sitting against a generic backdrop and admonishing the sympathetic to go forth and make a difference.
For those whose ears automatically perked up at Scorsese's name, there's no gunning-down for the cause. But amid the usual vagaries about doing your part, a casually-dressed guy (Tim from the office next door!) suddenly walks across the shot and points out the importance of keeping Lake Winnipesakee clean.
This sparks confusion between the stars and a general, if hesitant, admission that Lake Winnipesakee is probably worth keeping clean.
The spot ends with an empty stool and the usual closing jibjab about submitting your idea to website X. The winning entry gets not $10,000 (the going idea rate) but a whopping $5 million, which may mean this contest is actually worth someone's while.
Writing on Make the Logo Bigger, Bill Green questions Crispin Porter Bogusky's use of sexual harassment in the office place as the focal point of one of its commercials for Haggar. Because the spot focuses on male sexual harassment, it's perfectly fine to turn it into one big joke. Watch the spot. Now watch it again but imagine the men as women and the women as men. Would that approach be acceptable? Would it pass the PC test? We think not.
Yea, yea. We know. It's a joke. We get it. But consider this. Why is it OK to joke about male sexual harassment while, at the same time, it's not OK to joke about female sexual harassment?
We're taken by the infectious pulse of this Spanish Nike ad by Villarosas and production team Agosto. Dubbed Momentum, it showcases an underground battle between famous sports stars, flanked by gypsy drummers.
The audience, which ranges in flavor from urban grit to the polished elite, share a proud-faced intensity that pretty much embodies the emotional Nike ethos.
The press release calls "Momentum" a recognition to "the optimum moment that Spanish sport enjoys." Nice way to put it.
Translation of the closing challenge: "Are you brave enough to be the next?"
In case you wondered what happened to Buddy Lee, he's taking advantage of his height and conducting ass inspections.
This winning spot demonstrates for maybe the umpteenth time that most anything can be sold with a whole lot of ass and a whole lot of tacked-on moan tracks. And while we've never felt inclined to see another person's southern comfort that close, we're sure somebody got off on it, which means the ad wasn't completely for naught.
Dude what is with the tent camera?
For the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), which runs till June 17, SIFF and WONGDOODY join forces to launch Find True Film, a marketing effort that pairs users up with ideal genres.
See the campaign ads. They are kind of cute but also very MTV, which takes the edge off. We do dig the retro feel, though.
* Coquettish Medusa
* Chivalrous Grim
* Ramen (because nothing says "I love you" like false premises and consequent ingestion)
Find True Film suggested Adrants take a laxative and sit for an action flick, so now it's time for Fight Club and Ex-Lax. We'll tell you whether it's a winner.