Directed by Johnny Hardstaff, the idents are based on the simple premise of “testing high definition to the limit”. What makes them special is the imaginative forms the tests, which are based on real experiments that Sony conduct, take. They each emphasise different high-def qualities, including brightness, detail, depth, colour and sharpness, but in beautiful ways. This is achieved by, variously, smashing a cabinet of multi-coloured glass objects and setting fire to 28,000 matches. One features mechanical sponge painting, while another stars a coiffured poodle.
All are set to a soundtrack of Def Leppard’s Rocket. “I think these spots have a real sense of humour,” says Hardstaff. “They’re tongue-in-cheek and playful, and there’s something gently subversive about counterpointing f1 with Standard Poodles and sponge painting. The films are tests – we only had one chance at the matches test, and had no idea what it would do.
“I took two years away from advertising and became aware just how lucky I am that great creatives at good agencies ask me to do these things,” he says. “Smashing huge amounts of coloured glass to the sound of cock rock? I’m so in love with advertising again.”
Advertising agency: Fallon, London
Exec creative director: Richard Flintham
Art director/copywriter: Matt Keon
Production company: RSA Films
Director/designer: Johnny Hardstaff