After more than a month of Super Bowl super ad hoopla we are feeling a bit gluttonous and very bloated. A hundred meaningless million-dollar spots and even more meaningless Clint Eastwood controversy? We needed a cleanse. So this week we combed the web for the more cultured side of commercials and we’re quite pleased with what we found.
Field Notes – “Red Blooded”
This web-based ad introduces the tried-and-true Field Notes notebook in its newest color: RED! What would usually be a fairly mundane debut of a new color was made instead into a sweet and genuine love note from Bryan, a Field Notes employee to his wife, Tracie. It’s simply shot and understated, with the camera focused solely on Bryan’s hands and the notebook itself in a medley of incarnations. The creative use of each page is actually an impressive display of Field Notes functionality, while the graphics and décor in the background add cute additional flair. Although we love the ad, we did make sure the Mrs. didn’t see it since Bryan is likely to make us all look like schmucks. Way to go, buddy.
7 For All Mankind – “Behind James”
We’re going to skip the “Behind James” jokes and instead coin an all new term in honor of this 7 For All Mankind ad teaser: Hipsterdelic. First of all, it’s directed by James Franco yet the actor is in almost every shot. Second of all, it’s non-stop, washed-out, camera-in-the-sunshine shots of frolicking well-dressed models set to an Italian western soundtrack. And finally, it ‘s a denim ad with James Franco. That being said, we think it’s entirely appropriate for the 7 For All Mankind brand which is known for laid-back good taste. The teaser has already generated buzz for the full-length film titled “Episodes of an Untitled Film.”
Kodachrome by Xander Robin
Our world is becoming more digital and more impatient every day. This short documentary, created and directed by Xander Robin, is a very necessary tribute to the life and death of Kodachrome, the first ever color film. Kodak discontinued the film (around the same time you downloaded Instagram) and will now specialize solely in digital printers and digital cameras. To create this poignant eulogy to the iconic color film, Robin uses beautiful Kodachrome shots, a soundtrack of Motown and opera and a very enlightening interview with the owner of Dwayne’s Photo, the last shop committed enough to develop the film.
Social Media Week – “Future Hipsters”
The best viral advertisements are effective because they’re funny enough to get shared organically and often. We’re definitely glad to see Social Media Week succeed in making a spot clever enough to stir up viral buzz considering the International gathering is all about being savvy. The “Future Hipsters” video uses soft focus and mock interviews with elderly hipsters referencing trends from dubstep to kitty videos and suggesting that the Internet and social media allow us to know the future before it happens. It’s a funny, light-hearted take on where we’re headed culturally. We especially like the old conspiracy theorist insisting that everything that goes viral is rigged. YouTube promoted videos – we’re onto you …
Chipotle – “Back to the Start”
This animated commercial from Chipotle came out late last year but has started trending heavily since the Grammys. We’re impressed by just how effectively the spot uses Coldplay’s title song to depict Chipotle’s farm-raised message and also just how much more we loved it when sung by Willie Nelson. The ad starts with cute little piggies in confinement and uses some jarring, 1984 style imagery on the dark road to industrialist society before one conscientious farmer leads us all back to happy, free-range farm animals. Chipotle is already considered a friendlier brand in contrast to burger chains and Chinese take out. Their clever messages inscribed on take-away packaging and T-shirts are good enough to get customers sporting their schwag and we think this ad will further boost positive brand sentiment.