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High Five: A Bundle of Creative Surprises


Creative director at Absolute Post's animation studio Blind Pig, Ric Comline, takes a look at an eclectic selection of personal favourites

High Five: A Bundle of Creative Surprises

Top five all-time pieces of advertising? Well, this is a fun and inspiring way to start the year. My work is primarily in motion design and animation, so that would be an obvious place to start. But I’m also a big movie fan and love the craft of filmmaking, as well as great writing and image-making. I really like work that is a little bit surprising - either in its content or the way it’s communicated. I also love work that takes the viewer on a bit of a journey...

Nike - 'Air Max: Go Lighter, Go Longer'

Agency: ManvsMachine
Sound: Zelig

My first selection is ManvsMachine’s Nike Air Max campaign from 2017. This is just so good, and something I come back to again and again. I love the sketchbook approach to exploring loads of different dynamic materials that express different qualities of the Air Max shoes. There’s a lot of beautiful CG in here, the colour palette, clarity in the camera and lighting is stunning, and to top it off, the edit and music bring everything together so satisfyingly. Perhaps most of all, I admire the creative bravery and wisdom of using the product / logo so sparingly in the film - it’s what makes it so re-watchable and what makes Nike as a brand so cool.

The New York Times - 'The Truth Is Essential: Life Needs Truth'

Agency: Droga5 New York
Production: Somesuch
Director: Kim Gehrig
Post: Method Studios
Sound: Wave Studios

Another amazing bit of craft. This spot really blew my socks off when I first saw it. The music and edit is just fantastic in this spot - it’s so expansive, so much of life is in there. The spot twists and turns on a frame, or a beat, from deadly serious to light levity. The picture research is stunning, again flipping from the geopolitical / global to the domestic and intimate. It really reminds of the amazing Arthur Jaffa film 'Love Is the Message, the Message Is Death”.

U.S. Marine Corps - 'Anthem: 72'

Agency: JWT Atlanta
Production: The Mill+
Director: Ben Smith
Post: The Mill London

This next spot is for the U.S. Marine Corps and is a bit of a change of tone. The execution is so on point. The concept of using a static sculpture to tell such a spectacularly dynamic story is as impressive the epic swooping camera that pulls us through scene after action-packed scene. The way the compositions flip in scale from micro to macro, sometimes both in one shot like a sculptural collage is super impactful and engaging.

More4 - Stanley Kubrick Season

Agency: 4creative
Production: Knucklehead
Director: Siri Bunford

According to YouTube, Channel 4’s trailer for their Stanley Kubrick season first aired in 2008. I remember it so vividly, what an awesome piece of filmmaking and a fantastic tribute to one of the all-time greats. Kubrick was all about detail and research, clearly a lot has gone into this with easter eggs a-plenty! This short promo manages to conjure up both the eerily phantasmagorical Overlook Hotel from 'The Shining', as well as the exciting busy bustle of an authentic film set. It makes me want to watch the documentary 'Room 237' again, where all the intentional and perhaps unintentional meanings of 'The Shining' are laid out.

Nike - 'Nothing Beats a Londoner'

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
Production: Riff Raff
Director: Megaforce
Post: Time Based Arts
Sound: 750mph

Last but very far from least is another Nike spot, 'Nothing Beats a Londoner'. Rightly sung from the rooftops when it first came out, this is still such a fantastic spot. I live in Southeast London and there’s lots about this depiction of London that is familiar and beloved to me. There’s so much great humour, some brilliant and inventive camera work and a plethora of VFX taking the visuals from the sublime to the ridiculous. There aren’t many ads that I welcome a three-minute edit of, but this is definitely one of them.

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Blind Pig, Wed, 18 Jan 2023 12:30:03 GMT