3/2/10

eHarmony Commercials Cross a Line It's Time Advertisers Crossed

Did it happen after Obama became a serious candidate for Office?

It seems that 5 years ago, you'd see very few (and in fact I can't remember any) commercials featuring interracial couples.  eHarmony has been at the forefront in a change I've been watching come along for a while, one that signals a very big shift in how advertisers view the American sentiment with regard to race relations.

It's part of a welcome change, but I wonder whether the commercials are shown mostly in the wonderful melting pot that is my geographic area of South Florida.

Are they aired in your area?


2/24/10

PushBox becomes PushBoxTV, Confesses

I have a confession.

Although I spent five years studying film, I'm not and never have been a film buff. This disparity has probably kept me out of the public world of film and tv more than any other secret.

How did this happen?

My first film appreciation class was one of those filler courses I'd chosen to meet some sort of requirement.  I had no intention of majoring in the discipline, nor its sister, Media/Communications.  I'd originally come to school to be a Social Work major then realized I was simply interested in communicating with people.  And when the first film class absolutely hooked me in, I just had to add a second major to my college repertoire.  For me, it wasn't about the actors or the lines, but about the representation of life, the reflection of the culture projected onto a big screen.  I wanted to learn all the rules, then learn how great directors broke them one by one.  I was not disappointed.

So here I am, years later, blogging about commercials.  It's because the tiny TV ads function in the same way as major filmworks.  As our shortest films, they represent a time and place in our cultural atmosphere and attempt to reflect who and what we are as a group.  Commercials do that more efficiently than any other medium, but require all of the same skills as filmmaking.  And I don't have to memorize the lines or the actors, but remain thankful to those of you who do so, and continue to write about them.

2/18/10

PushBox Voted: "Embrace Life"- Best Use of TV Commercial

The first time I viewed this, one of the best televisions spots I've come across, I was mesmerized.  And that's with the sound turned off completely. There's no need for it.

Just watch.



An original approach to road safety advertising from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership http://www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk/


Well done.

Writer/Director: Daniel Cox
Producer: Sarah Alexander
Executive Producer: Neil Hopkins

Cast
Father: Austin Spangler
Mother: Lara Corrochano
Daughter: Clare Denning

Music
Composer: Siddhartha Barnhoorn

Assistant Director/ Production
1st Assistant Director: Lucy Wigmore
Assistant Producer: Vicky Del Campo
Runner: Tom Harburt

Camera:
Director of Photography: Luke Scott
Phantom Technician: Jason Berman
Focus Puller: John Mitchell
Gaffer: John Cantwell
Spark: Gary Nagle
Camera assistant: Steve Mayhew

Art Department:
Production Designer: Aoife Wilson
Art Director: James Custance
Storyboards: Peter Johnston

Hair and Make-up
Make-up Designer: Victoria Riches
Hair Stylist: Haylie Jay

Set Build:
Construction Manager: Callum Andrews
Transport Captain: Bernard Cox

Post-Production
Editor: Daniel Cox
Colorist: Pat Wintersgill
Graphics Designer: Laylah Driscoll - Insert Graphics

Marketing and Promotion lead: Neil Hopkins
Communications Team: Mims Davies and Steve Whitehead

Idea Generator: Laylah Driscoll

2/13/10

No Trouble, No Worry. Talking Dogs Need Not Apply - Traveler's Commercial

Lots of advertisers have tried to entertain us by humanizing animals, but most of them just don't get it.  Talking dogs are marginally funny and only for the first few seconds.  And having them hold signs in their mouths isn't a better option.  Take a look at this Pup Peroni spot for proof. 

Maybe it's that companies have to try harder when their product is an intangible.  I'm betting that's why most of the commercials I find fun to watch come from eTrade babies or pink-haired Erin and her esurance

It seems Fallon Minneapolis ad creators Scott O’Leary and Ryan Peck reached just a little further into their creative pockets to pull out engaging material, and with their Traveler's "Prized Possession" ad, they've won me over.  Yes, it's another ad featuring an animal with human characteristics, but it's one that's done right.  There are no special effects to speak of.  I instantly empathize with this dog's need to protect his prize without a word barked, or sign written.  Because the action, at once typically human and canine, is underscored by the simple lyrics and raw emotion in the voice of Ray LaMontagne, this message needs nothing more.

By the end, I find I'm just a scruffy little dog trying to protect my bone.  And I want a red umbrella.



Ray LaMontagne's full song, Trouble, from the album by the same name.