High Five: July

July 3, 2014 / High Five

By Alex Reeves

This month’s best video advertising is a feel good hit for the summer.

Great advertising inspires people. And not just to part with their hard-earned cash (although it’s supposed to do this too). With the sun shining in through our open window, watching each of our favourite pieces of the month’s video advertising has left us with a feeling that maybe humanity and the world we live in isn’t so bad after all. So throw aside your cynicism, watch these prime examples of branded moving image, and feel inspired.

Brand: Avis
Title: Unlock
Production Company: Academy Films
Director: Marcus Söderlund
Production Company Producer: Medb Riordan
Ad Agency: VCCP
Creative Director: Jim Thornton
Art Director: Veryan Prigg
Copywriter: Kieran Knight
Agency Producer: Larissa Miola
Editing Company: Final Cut
Editor: Joe Guest
Music Company: Soho Music
Sound Company: GCRS
Sound Designer: Ben Leeves
Post Production Company: Finish

Avis – Unlock

A car rental company may seem like a fairly mundane client to some, but not for VCCP, who appear to have got whipped up in the excitement of adventure Avis offers its customers. That’s a good foundation and it’s enhanced brilliantly by the ambitious film craft in the execution. Perhaps propping up the reputation of Swedish directors, Marcus Söderlund brings a light touch of quirky humour to the ad too, which goes a long way to add a bit of humanity and warmth.


Brand: McDonald’s
Title: Hunter-Gatherer
Production Company: Outsider
Director: James Rouse
Production Company Producer: Tex Travi
Director of Photography: Alex Melman
Ad Agency: Leo Burnett
Creative Directors: Matt Lee, Pete Heyes
Art Director: Steve Robertson
Copywriter: Laurie Smith
Agency Producer: Graeme Light
Editing Company: Work
Editor: Art Jones
Sound Company: Wave
Sound Designer: Aaron Reynolds
Post Production Company: MPC

McDonald’s – Hunter-Gatherer

An ad of its time, this one. Agencies love to depict acts of human kindness these days, and if they get you all weepy with a commercial then they’re doing something right. It’ll definitely be too soppy for some, and others will view it with cynicism. But if, like our friend with the bump here, you’re feeling a bit vulnerable, this ad is here to tip you over the edge and give you a healthy dose of oxytocin – the drug of choice in this age of nice advertising. 

Brand: National Express
Title: Silver Lady
Production Company: HSI London
Director: Olly Williams (represented by Another Film Company)
Director of Photography: Sam Goldie
Ad Agency: Isobel
Creative Directors: Rob Fletcher, David Alexander
Agency Producer: Denise Robinson
Editing Company: Stitch
Editor: Leo King
Sound Company: 750mph
Sound Designer: Phil Bolland

National Express – Silver Lady

Yes, it’s David Soul! That’s the man who played Hutch, right there, singing his 1977 smash hit Silver Lady. Not an obvious creative approach to a campaign for a coach company, but like Cadbury’s Gorilla and Honda’s Impossible Dream, it puts its faith in the awesome power of the feel-good musical track, ignoring any complex brand positioning strategy. It’s simply a good laugh. And it’ll probably give David a welcome boost in royalties too.


Brand: Nike
Title: The Last Game
Production Company: Passion
Director: Jon Saunders
Production Company Producer: Ryan Goodwin-Smith
Ad Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Creative Directors: Alberto Ponte, Ryan O’Rourke
Art Director: Ryan O’Rourke
Copywriter: Alberto Ponte
Agency Producer: Erika Madison
Editing Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Peter Wiedensmith
Music Company: Walker
Sound Company: 750mph
Sound Designer: Sam Ashwell

Nike – The Last Game

For us, this has been the most classy brand move of the whole World Cup. Far from a simple TVC, it’s a five-minute online film designed to be spread by social media. And it has definitely spread. We’ve seen this kind of plot before, but in reminding us all why the unpredictability of football is so exciting, it’s a message that’s easy to buy into. It helps that the animation, courtesy of Passion and Jon Saunders is impeccable and the music is a great fit, too. This is branded content played at the highest level.


Brand: Stella Artois
Title: Hawk
Production Company: Indy8
Director: James W Griffiths
Production Company Producer: Charlie Stanfield
Executive Producer: Rupert Reynolds-MacLean
Director of Photography: Sam Care
Ad Agency: Mother London
Creative Directors: Hermeti Balarin, Ana Balarin
Creatives: Mariano Cassisi, Matias Corbelle
Agency Producers: Sophie Lloyd, James Turnham
Editing Company: Marshall Street Editors
Editor: Toby Conway Hughes
Sound Company: Factory
Sound Designer: Jon Clarke

Stella Artois – Hawk

Indy8 are still a relatively new company, but they’ve nailed branded content from day one and this series of films for the Belgian lager is a great example of how. The copywriting from Mother here has all the anthropomorphic wit you could ask for, characterising Rufus the hawk as a suave, serene protector of the skies, well within the realms of how Stella Artois wants to be perceived. With BAFTA-winning director James W Griffiths finding some impressive shots of the bird in flight, it’s a great piece of filmmaking too.


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