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Advertising’s Time Travellers

Popularised by science-fiction novelists since the 1800’s, the idea of time travel has inspired a host of successful TV-series ‘time-warp’ adventures, and going back in time film scenarios, like ‘Midnight In Paris’ that won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, in 2012.

Written and directed by Woody Allen, the film about screenwriter Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson, who travels back in time, each night at midnight, is considered to be one of Woody Allen’s best ever movie endeavours.

For advertising conceptualisers, time-travel fiction is also an inspiring creative resource for imaginative brand communication ideas, filmic executions, graphic recollections of past events, and dramatised consumer proposals that are entertainingly engaging.

1. Heineken, Cheers Or No Cheers?

Advertising Agency: Publicis/Le Pub, Milan, Italy

Directed by filmmaker Rodrigo Saavedra, to a soundtrack of Stevie Wonder’s song “Superstition”, ’Cheers Or No Cheers’ is a tongue-in-cheek, time-travel send up, of teetotallers throughout history, as social outsiders of not appropriately responding to ‘good-cheer’ occasions.

But now with zero alcohol Heineken, teetotallers can participate socially in cheering to their heart’s content with broad smiles all round.

2. Heineken, The Trailblazers

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Milan, Italy

The Heineken brand message of expanding ones horizons as symbolised by an imaginative time-warp epic, was directed and brought to humorous life by esteemed filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen with his customary storytelling expertise.

Full of drama and action, the cinematic parody of past, present, and future Heineken ‘Trailblazers’, makes for fun viewing.

3. Lacoste, Timeless

Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France

Superbly directed by filmmaker Seb Edwards, the short-story scenario is a ‘time-jump’ through 80 years of history during which Lacoste evolved from a sports brand to a fashion brand.

Aided by a great soundtrack featuring Max Richter’s song “November”, the love at first sight story-line, makes for very rewarding viewing of ‘what makes life beautiful’.

4. Sapporo, Legendary Biru

Advertising Agency: Dentsu, Toronto, Canada

‘Biru’ is the Japanese name for beer. Co-directed by filmmakers Mark Zibert and Gary Thomas, the cinematic Sapporo commercial took over a month to film in Guangzhou China, and is a compelling ‘epic’ of breathtaking attention to detail.

Dentsu wanted to translate the rich cultural heritage and diversity of Japanese artistic craftsmanship, into a visually powerful, and ‘fluid’ time travel narrative for a ‘Legendary Biru’.

They certainly achieved their goal. The seamless visual scroll through centuries of heritage to present day, is a masterful filmic achievement and a delight to watch. The commercial imbues Sapporo Biru with a national pride and brand identity of impressive stature.

5. Puy du Fou, Eternals

Advertising Agency: Les Gros Mots, Paris, France

The historically themed ‘Puy du Fou’ park, situated in the Vendée region of Western France, has won many international awards for its outstanding innovations of spectacular visitor attractions.

Directed by esteemed filmmaker Bruno Aveillan, ‘Eternals’ is a superbly produced cinematic epic, of time-travel fantasy encounters, that are highly engaging to view.

6. Cartier, The Odyssey

Advertising Agency: Marcel, Paris, France

King Edward VII of England referred to Cartier as “the jeweller of kings, and the king of jewellers”.

The Paris Jewellers’ long tradition of royal patronage includes the courts of Europe, Russia, Serbia, Siam, Greece, Romania, Egypt and Albania.

The focus of this spectacular commercial of Cartier’s 165-year history, directed by renowned filmmaker Bruno Aveilan, centres on the coming to life of Cartier’s Panther motif that has been an integral part of the brand’s identity since the late 1940s.

The subsequent time-travel scenario of the live Panther’s global journey to the past, highlights key moments from Cartiers sumptuous, long history.

Included is a scene of Brazilian inventor and aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont and his ‘Demoiselle’ monoplane, for whom Cartier created his first men’s wristwatch so that Alberto could check his flight-times while keeping both hands on the controls.

Another scene depicts the panther at an Indian palace, filled with Cartier’s famous nature inspired jewellery pieces, before coming home to supermodel Shalom Harlow at Cartier’s birthplace, the Grand Palais in Paris.

The cinematic short-film epic, premiered at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2012, and went on to accrue a Cannes Gold Lion, more than 40 other International Gold awards, and 180 million views around the globe.