The legendary director has put out two bangin’ new mini-movie ads that premiered at the Super Bowl and the Oscars, raising the creativity/commercial conundrum afresh.
One associate in commercial film production said her teenagers barely distinguish between a five-minute commercial and a full-length feature film. “In terms of impact and what they take away from it, they don’t particularly care or remember how long it lasted,” she says.
With more and more top movie directors getting behind the camera for ads these days – here’s a new one for Coach featuring Michael Jordan and directed by ‘BlacKkKlansman’ director Spike Lee – that’s perhaps not as surprising as it might seem. But it does raise an interesting question over how deep/wide the creativity/commercial divide really is.
Sir Ridley Scott, the English director of cult movies ‘Alien’ and ‘Blade Runner’, has done his first commercial work in 20 years with ‘The Journey’ for Turkish Airlines. It premiered at the Super Bowl in early February and took off across the airline’s social media channels, racking up close on 12 million YouTube views in the intervening three weeks.
The six-minute mini-movie, made to celebrate Turkish Airlines’ 85th birthday (Ridley Scott is himself 81) stars Sylvia Hoeks, who acted in ‘Blade Runner 2049’, and Portuguese actress and director Aure Atika.
The Bond-style action and intrigue film takes place in Istanbul, and women are the protagonists, with the only male presence a helpless voice and a café-goer who fails to attract the heroine’s attention. Scott is known for placing women front of camera. “My mum brought three boys up: my dad was in the army and so he was frequently away. During the war (World War II) and post-war, we tended to travel following him around so my mum was the boss,” he has said. “She laid down the law and the law was God. We just said ‘Yup, okay’ – we didn’t argue. I think that’s where the respect has come from, because she was tough.”
Sir Ridley has also put his legendary sci-fi vision to work on the world’s best-selling cognac, Hennessy, to bring their X.O. sipping experience to sensory life. This is the 60-second version of the ‘Seven Worlds’ campaign, which aired during the telecast of the 2019 Academy Awards later in February.
Scott, who also directed ‘Gladiator’ and ‘The Martian’, says he was attracted to the project because “I was inspired by the potential for art and entertainment to bring this story to life.”
Where do you stand on creativity and commercial?
Does it matter where that haunting sound, scene or line you still remember with total clarity after years or decades came from, a film or a commercial?
And after all, there’s such a thing as box-office takings…
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