CR Blog

New Sony ad

Advertising, Illustration

Posted by Eliza Williams, 16 April 2008, 10:15    Permalink    Comments (20)

Foam City, Sony ad, agency: Fallon London. Production company: HLA. Director: Simon Ratigan

Fallon in London has come over all foamy for its latest spot for Sony, directed by Simon Ratigan, which sees white bubbles released over a city, whose people seem remarkably happy to receive them.

With it's slow-motion feel and sparse soundtrack, the ad has strong echoes of the Fallon's earlier Balls spot for Sony Bravia, but this time without all the colour.


Do something about the Berocca ad by JWT(Apparently?) shamelessly ripping off the OK GO video that got hundreds of thousands of youtube hits.

I mean the Sugar Puffs one was inspired by but lets be honest Mighty Boosh can't take claim to that form of singing no more than P-Diddy could sue someone for rapping. While the Berocca advert steals even the moves from the OK GO video.
2008-04-16 10:51:15

Can you see me yawning?
2008-04-16 12:00:45

I've got the idea for the next one, clouds of plastic bags whipping round Tottenham Court Road? Oh, hang on, no, that actually happens for real.

Ok then, here we go, big surges of coloured dye, released into the Thames, with people giggling and rushing happily from one side of the wobbly bridge to the other to see it?

No? Bah, this is getting hard. Maybe a brightly-coloured thermal image, tracking the emissions from the recycling plants who have to process the millions of plastic boxes as people are goaded into upgrading to new tv's as big as their wall?

What do you mean, 'it's not a positive image?'
2008-04-16 12:45:56

Oh yeah, that Berocca ad is an absolute shameless disgrace! What was the pitch? Just going on YouTube and saying "Like this, y'know. But with, like, Berocca, yeah?" So bad.
Ed Wright
2008-04-16 15:30:53

Strange. Fallon set the standard for beautiful, quirky advertisements, to be shamelessly ripped off time and again, but instead of letting everyone know why they are the big boys, they produce something homogenised that Orange would be proud of.
2008-04-16 17:56:53

Maybe a bit of a stretch, but I was reminded of Sept. 11th watching this. Foam = smoke/debris especially the way it poured down at the start and later when it was falling from on high, people covered in foam = people covered in debris, even the loveliness of the day brings to mind Sept. 11th. It's probably just me, but that connection triggered immediately and made the whole thing quite sad to me, not the message intended I'm sure.
Jef Nickerson
2008-04-16 19:15:56

Jef: wtf? are you american?
Dylan M
2008-04-17 07:57:02

Actually I thought of 9/11 too — it looked like the images of people covered in dust, but this time in foam, for a cryptic Sony advert.
2008-04-17 11:39:40

Interestingly dull. Crap ad like no other.
2008-04-17 12:21:36

Yes, I am American and was at work in Manhattan on Sept. 11th, though not at the WTC itself (I worked in Midtown).

Like I said, it's a stretch, and I think few people would see that in it, but it hit me immediately. I wouldn't go so far as to call it out as being in poor taste, we're far enough removed and the connection is a real stretch, but it leaves me cold. Also, a lot of the people in the advert don't really seem to be enjoying themselves, if the people looked happier, and the soundtrack was happier (well, happy at all), maybe I wouldn't have made the connection.
Jef Nickerson
2008-04-18 16:29:41

It reminded me of 9/11 too - and I'm not from the US!
Its not as happy an ad as it should be. The music is crap - if it was me in a huge load of bubbles I'd be well bouncy and smiley. I'm off to find a bouncy dance tune and to make a bubble machine. Just what Sheffield needs on a dull Tuesday :)
2008-04-22 13:16:02

Reminds me of the time when somebody poured washing up liquid into the fountain in Trafalgar Square, only not as effective. And that was achieved on a budget of 79p.
Mark C
2008-04-22 13:17:27

I have to say that I had exactly the same thoughts watching the ad the first time, a weird feeling I'd seen it before (probably similar to the feeling Kozyndan had watching the last ad), the images of billowing paper from the Twin Towers.
Ben Lewis
2008-04-22 13:21:36

9/11, yes, that's what has been disturbing me! I hadn't put my finger on it what was creeping about it, but I genuinely find it disturbing.
2008-04-22 14:31:49

This concept/aesthetic was so effective the first time. And now? Like no other? Clearly not.
2008-04-22 16:16:20

Sony schmoney, it screams 9/11 but relies on peoples embarrassment not to mention it.
big al
2008-04-22 21:59:06

Very environmentally friendly. And I can see why people think 9-11. The balls idea was fun, colorful and a hint of spontaneity. I can't help but feel these people are just hired actors who want a bit of exposure & cash. Notice there were no people in a panic... I am sure there would be if it REALLY happened.
foam eater
2008-04-24 10:24:22

But have you guys seen the documentaries? And all the still-footage online? It seems that the foam city is so much more than just a one off ad. Finally a step beyond "the 60 second ad", i think it's great!
More of this please!
2008-04-28 18:45:56

I just saw it for the first time and googled 'new sony ad' and '9/11' because I thought exactly the same thing. I can't believe they would go through all the client sign-offs etc without noticing the connection. Very strange that they let it through - were they anticipating this kind of reaction?
2008-05-11 00:05:18

I can't believe this ad got through the focus groups without somebody bursting into tears being reminded of 9-11. How insensitive. Me and my girlfriend, British 20-somethings, both drew the same conclusion that this advert is incredibly memorable for all the wrong reasons. How has the ad agency got away with making such a glaring error? Sony should do the morally correct thing, and withdraw the advert immediately.
2008-05-18 23:55:00

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