December 2006

Mastercard commercial
HLA’s Simon Ratigan has directed this new TV spot for Mastercard, which aims to tug at those Christmas heartstrings by emphasising the significance of family and friends. The spot is reminiscent of artist Mark Wallinger’s 2000 video installation Threshold to the Kingdom, which contained slow motion footage of people greeting each other at airport arrival gates. As in Wallinger’s film, Ratigan shot genuine arrivals over three days, choosing to focus on long-haul flights where the meetings were likely to be the most intense. “All these people walked through arrivals two weeks ago,” he says. “It was very interesting to get a script or an idea where they cast no-one, there’s no make up and you don’t know what you’re going to get. What we got was amazing raw emotion. If we’d tried to cheat that, we’d have made a Christmassy ad seem a bit cheap.” Agency: McCann Erickson. Creatives: Jason Stewart, Brian Cooper.

 

Softlightes, Heart Made of Sound
There has been a lot of stop frame animation around of late, but there is always room for more when it is as beautifully executed as this. Kris Moyes’ video for The Softlightes’ Heart Made of Sound spells out every word of the song in a mind-boggling variety of ways. Naturally, the promo became something of a labour of love. “We had a 14-day shoot and I was very prepared,” says Moyes. “We were shooting around 25-30 words a day (about one word every 15-20 minutes), which ended up being too much for my friend Jon who pulled out halfway through. The solid ideas were executed in the first few days allowing the others to ferment. Naturally there were a few that didn’t go exactly to plan, so I had to treat them on a case-to-case basis. I think the results from the ones that needed lateral thinking are my favourites, especially ‘and’ which was spelled out with the laptop, external drive, Wacom tablet and iPod speakers.” The promo can be viewed at www.kmoyes.com.

 

Playstation 3 commercial
For anyone who might still think that the  PlayStation 3 is merely a computer games console, these new ads from TBWAChiatDay in New York beg to differ. The spots see a Rubik’s Cube fly in the air before splattering paint on the walls, a group of eggs explode into fully-grown crows, and an animatronic baby cry “Mama” when faced with the machine. Barmy but brilliant stuff. Creatives: Blake Kidder, Patrick Almaguer. Production co: MJZ. Director: Rupert Sanders.

 

Hewlett Packard commercial
Publicis West in Seattle created this multi-layered animation for Hewlett Packard, which demonstrates how the new HP BladeSystem C-Class can help streamline your day. “The idea behind Crazy Town was to create a visual world that no one had ever seen before, a world whose style could not be easily categorised,” says copywriter Glenn Rockowitz. Inspired by Chris Mills’ music video for Canadian rock band Tragically Hip’s track Vaccination Scar, Rockowitz approached him to direct the spot. “I watched [the video] dozens of times and could still not make head or tail of what was real and was not,” he continued. “It was a dark and beautiful collage of visual styles ranging from animation to stop-motion to photo-real imagery.” A soundtrack created by Todd Ashley (lead singer of Firewater) singing through a kazoo completes the bizarre effect. Creatives: Scott Fero, Glenn Rockowitz. Production co: Spy Films.

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