Nicely contrasting creative approaches in this week’s ads

Joaquin Phoenix drowning for animal rights charity PETA, a kaleidoscopic journey to Joyville from Cadbury and a trip down memory lane for Poupon mustard are among the ads that are making their mark this week

Joaquin Phoenix drowning for animal rights charity PETA, a kaleidoscopic journey to Joyville from Cadbury and a revival of a classic Poupon mustard commercial are among the ads that are making their mark this week.

This simple ad for PETA, directed by photographer Michael Muller, calls for viewers to ‘go vegan’ in an effective illustration. Hollywood star Joaquin Phoenix plays a man drowning, while the voiceover points out that this is what it must feel like for a caught fish struggling for its last breath on land. Reportedly, the network ABC has declined to show the ad during its broadcast of this year’s Academy Awards on Sunday for being too political and controversial – cue free column inches and internet buzz for the charity.

Created by Y&R’s New York office, a new ad for Dell showcases the power of imagination by bringing an anthropomorphic cast of characters to life. ‘Thomas and the Alternative Universe’ features a comic-book author and illustrator dreaming up a grumpy toad, a nervous rabbit and other magical creatures with the help of his Dell tablet as he journeys to work on a train. Directed by Bjoern Ruehmann through Furlined, the photo-real VFX were supplied by MPC, which took great care to define the personalities of the CG characters.

To see how MPC worked with the live action crew to create the CG characters, check out the making of film here.

Dijon mustard brand Poupon, meanwhile, is revisiting its classic ‘Pardon Me’ ad from the late 1980s (see stills below) in a new commercial to be aired in full during the Oscars broadcast.

Created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, ‘Grey Poupon: The Lost Footage’ is shot in retro style and reimagines the original – and much-spoofed – ad, which featured a civilised exchange of the sought after mustard between two chauffeur-driven Englishmen. The new version sees the transaction turn into a somewhat less civil, full-blown car chase when one of the mustard fans refuses to return the pot. You can watch a teaser for it below, and the full ad will also be shown on a dedicated website following the ceremony,

Cadbury launched the latest in its Joyville series of ads for Dairy Milk. Created by Fallon and directed by the Partizan production stable’s Canada, the surreal ad follows a Dairy Milk apprentice as he is taken on a Willy Wonka-style tour of the chocolate’s mythical factory to discover the secret of the product’s taste.

‘Thomas and the Alternative Universe’ credits:
Agency Y&R, NY
Creatives Fern Cohen, Margot Owett
Executive producer Craig Jelniker
Production company Furlined
Director Bjoern Ruehmann
DOP Roman Vasyanov
Executive producer David Thorne

Cadbury ‘Secret Journey’ credits:
Production company
Producer Russell Curtis
Agency Fallon
Agency producer Angus Smith
Creative director Santiago Lucero
Creatives Dan Watts & Sam Hibbard


CR in Print
The February issue of CR magazine features a major interview with graphic designer Ken Garland. Plus, we delve into the Heineken advertising archive, profile digital art and generative design studio Field, talk to APFEL and Linder about their collaboration on a major exhibition in Paris for the punk artist, and debate the merits of stock images versus commissioned photography. Plus, a major new book on women in graphic design, the University of California logo row and what it means for design, Paul Belford on a classic Chivas Regal ad and Jeremy Leslie on the latest trends in app design for magazines and more. Buy your copy here.

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