This Week’s Inspiration

I mentioned this ad in the GM post as one of my all time favorites. It was made several years ago, and I still marvel at it every time I watch it.

What do I like? Why does this ad excite me?

First, there’s the music, ELO’s “Mr Blue Sky,” so evocatively used here. The repetition of images — as Boris would say, “Guys, this is experience.” I know this guy, my friends are him — even if I didn’t know this guy before, I know him now.

The spot is exquisitely filmed and edited. The shots, which are the foundation, tell the story without the need for words or dialog; they are an almost perfect example of the mantra, show don’t tell. The editing doesn’t draw attention to itself, but it can’t be ignored; it’s perfectly timed to the music, the way the shots are layered. It’s neither frenetic nor slow.

This ad tells a story. A story of boredom, of longing.  And it tells that story with music and visuals, that’s it, thank you for playing.

Compare this ad with the Alzheimer ad. They both use visuals to tell a story, both are emotional (in different ways). But the pace and editing are almost in total contrast. The Alzheimer ad uses long, lingering shots, where this ad has quick repeating images layered across the screen. It shows there’s more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to visual story telling.

Also consider this idea. It’s a car ad.  You never see the car (genre convention, show the car), yet you know exactly what the car is about, right? Do you need to know how fast it goes or what kind of fuel mileage it gets? Do you have to see it to want it? The form of the ad buttresses its function without hitting the viewer over the head with meaning, or CG’s or information. Next time you feel like adding that line of text to tell your viewer some piece of information, think of this ad. Ask yourself, can I convey that same idea by showing it?

Now excuse me, I’m going to watch this ad about 10 more times.  It’s so damned elegant and wonderful.

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