High Five: July

July 9, 2015 / High Five

By Alex Reeves

The best advertising is strange but true.

Some of the best advertising is absolutely bizarre, from Tango, Orange Man to Hamlet, Photo Booth. And as long as advertising’s job is to stand out from the noise that surrounds us the weirdness is set to keep on coming. This month’s round-up of the best advertising is weirder than most and, we would argue, all the better for it.

Brand: AA
Title: We’ve Seen It All
Production Company: Outsider
Director: Scott Lyon
Ad Agency: adam&eveDDB
Creative Directors: Aidan McClure, Laurent Simon
Creatives: Rory Hall, Steph Ellis
Editing Company: Work
Editor: Art Jones
Sound Company: Factory
Sound Designers: Anthony Moore, Tom Joyce
Post Production Company: The Mill

AA – We’ve Seen It All

It’s a cliché to say that great advertising comes from finding ‘nugget of truth’ and building on it, but clichés are often true. The idea here is based on a feeling everyone who’s ever broken down at an awkward time can relate to, particularly if you grew up on on our neurotic little island: What will the breakdown people think of me? Well rest assured, implies this ad with warm British humour, because the AA have seen much worse and will fix your vehicle without (an unprofessional amount of) judgement.


Brand: Finlandia
Title: 1000 Years
Production Company: Knucklehead
Director: Siri Bunford
Production Company Producer: Anandi Peiris
Director of Photography: Ben Smithard
Ad Agency: Wieden+Kennedy London
Creative Directors: Graeme Douglas, Scott Dungate
Creatives: Mark Shanley, Paddy Treacy
Agency Producer: Michelle Brough
Editing Companies: Whitehouse Post, Lucky Cat
Editors: Adam Marshall, Xavier Perkins
Sound Company: Factory
Sound Designers: Anthony Moore, Phil Bollard
Post Production Company: MPC
Grade: Matthieu Toullet

Finlandia – 1000 Years

Admittedly, we’ve seen quite few ads like this for alcohol brands. As the youth becomes more and more obsessed with being unique, just like everyone else, we get more and more brands appealing to their free spirit tendencies with films like this. But when it’s done well it’s quite convincing. The people it profiles are an interesting mix of people, and some of them are even old enough to be offering sage advice. Director Siri Bunford has done a solid job, applying her deft touch to a straightforward idea and bringing out the inspirational message at its core.


Brand: Rekorderlig
Title: Silver Skaters
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Andreas Nilsson
Production Company Producer: Charlotte Woodhead
Director of Photography: Stephen Keith Roach
Ad Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi London
Creative Directors: Rob Potts, Andy Jex
Creative: Adam Chiappe
Agency Producer: Josh Sanders
Editing Company: Cut+Run
Editor: Ben Campbell
Music Company: Major Tom
Sound Company: GCRS
Sound Designer: Munzie Thind
Post Production Company:  Electric Theatre Collective

Rekorderlig – Silver Skaters

This is brilliant for the same reason Cadbury’s Gorilla was – you can’t quite explain why, but it makes you happy. “Beautifully Swedish” reads the ad’s crisp couplet of copy. Whether the bizarre antics of these beardy gentlemen are particularly Swedish isn’t clear to our British minds, but we’ll have to trust director Andreas Nilsson knows what he’s doing – he did win the Film Grand Prix at Cannes Lions last year for his work for Volvo after all. What we can attest to is the film’s beauty. It’s weird, but it’s definitely wonderful too.


Brand: Southern Comfort
Title: Spray Tan
Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Andreas Nilsson
Production Company Producers: Jay Veal, Mirka Taylor
Director of Photography: Sebastian Winterø
Ad Agency: Wieden+Kennedy New York
Creative Directors: Mike Giepert, Caleb Jensen, Jimm Lasser
Creatives: Rajeev Basu, Laddie Peterson
Agency Producer: Cheryl Warbrook
Editing Company: Arcade
Editor: Geoff Hounsell
Sound Company: Heard City
Post Production Company: The Mill

Southern Comfort – Spray Tan

Andreas Nilsson and Wieden+Kennedy strike again with another perplexing-yet-compelling piece of film. Southern Comfort have been spinning their web of weirdness for a while now, but nothing has quite matched that first high of their Beach commercial in 2012. This comes in as a close second, we think. Focusing again on men who lack conventional good looks but feel like rock stars anyway, it’s the antidote the smug, sharply dressed, dead-behind-the-eyes models other alcohol brands seem to prefer.


Brand: Veterans for Peace
Title: Battlefield Casualties
Production Company: Agile Films
Director: Price James
Production Company Producer: Micki Pearlman
Director of Photography:  John Miguel King
Editors: Rob Simpkins, Amy Beton
Music Composer: Darren Cullen
Sound Company: Tom Deane Sound
Sound Designer: Tom Deane
Post Production Company: Gramercy Park Studios

Veterans for Peace – Battlefield Casualties

The best charity ads don’t need to douse you in misery to be effective, even if their subject matter is justifiably miserable. Veterans for Peace and Director Price James have pulled off a much more effective technique here – they’ve dared to joke about the horrors of life after war. Astonishingly, their parodies of Action Man commercials are actually funny. What’s more astonishing is that while the comedy is black, the laughter they provoke is a compassionate kind, targeted at the absurdity of war rather than the suffering of its victims.


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