Amusing Medieval Battle Parody Commercials
Commercials that feature ancient battles, by armies of yore, are often richly filmic and entertaining.
The theme of clashing imperial empires, and royal sovereignties at besieged castle moats and each other’s throats, always offers a colourful storytelling palette for humorous parodies, cinematic enactments, and epic filmmaking scenarios for directors, cinematographers, and costume designers to showcase their skilled crafts.
1. Google Alexa, Ironing
Advertising Agency: Droga5, London, UK
As part of Amazon Alexa’s ‘voice-activated virtual assistant’ advertising campaign, the ‘Ironing’ commercial is a superbly enacted medieval battle fantasy with a humorously dramatised message of; “A voice is all you need”.
Filmmaker and director Andreas Nilsson’s superb storytelling skills come to the fore again in this epic ‘drama’ that is engagingly watchable.
2. Bud Light and HBO, Game of Thrones
Advertising Agencies: Droga5, New York, and Wieden+Kennedy, New York, USA
The Super Bowl ‘Joust’ commercial was a collaborative initiative by (Home Box Office) HBO’s advertising agency of record Droga5, and Bud Light’s agency of record, Wieden+Kennedy.
Directed by filmmakers David Nutter and Spencer Riviera, the two jousting protagonists in the amusing fantasy drama, are Bud Light’s ‘Dilly Dilly’ King’s Knight, and Gregor Clegane, the huge and notoriously violent fighter from Game of Thrones, who goes by the nickname; ‘The Mountain’.
Bud Light’s Medieval-themed commercials have been a phenomenal success with American viewers.
The long running series of parodies are often referred to as the ‘Dilly Dilly’ campaign. The words ‘Dilly Dilly’, first uttered in a Bud Light commercial in 2017, rapidly became a pop-culture catchphrase.
It’s a fun phrase that has no defined meaning. ‘Dilly Dilly’ can be a greeting, an alternative descriptor for great, awesome, delicious, a toast alternative for cheers, hear-hear, and a host of other substitutions for adjectives and expressions.
3. VISA Platinum, Purchase Protection
Advertising Agency: AlmapBBDO, São Paulo, Brazil
Directed by Argentinian filmmaker and Academy Award Screenwriter Armando Bó Jr., the humorous VISA purchase insurance commercial features a medieval battle scene parody that was filmed on location at a 14th century castle near Prague in the Czech Republic.
The epic scenario involves the amusing story of a soldier anxiously trying to protect his prized and uninsured, platinum shield.
4. Swisscom TV 2.0, Nico
Advertising Agency: Heimat, Berlin, Germany
Switzerland’s major telecommunications provider, Swisscom’s ‘Nico’ commercial, features sweeping, cinematic scenes of amassed Saracen and Roman forces prepared to do battle.
Superbly directed by filmmaker Martin Werner, the mystery of the epic’s ‘cut-away’ scenes from the historic drama, to the mundane, modern-day activities of ‘Nico’, is very amusingly solved in the end and makes for highly memorable viewing.
5. Cox Digital TV, Epic Battle
Advertising Agency: FCB, Chicago, USA
Cox Communications’ is an American cable television company that provides a multichannel digital video service.
Filmmaker Paul Middleditch used his trademark skill in directing humorous scenarios to laudable, cinematic effect, in dramatising the commercial’s message of engagement.
6. Sony PlayStation, Welcome To The Future of Play
Advertising Agency: 180, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Directed by Ruban Fleischer, this epic commercial involving 200 extras is part of PlayStation’s ‘For The Gamers’ campaign.
The very watchable time travel story of a Viking assault, is a amusing parody of the two worlds ‘gamers’ straddle; the one they physically occupy, and the other imaginary one they spend hours of their time delving into with fellow cyberspace compatriots.
7. CANAL Plus, The Bear
Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France
Brilliantly directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen, ‘The Bear’ is a highly watchable parody of a typical Hollywood Film Director; part creative genius and part control-freak. The reason for the odd, thin shape of the bear, named Paul Bearman, is rewardingly revealed at the end of the commercial.
‘The Bear’ motivated 1.5 million views on YouTube immediately after its first airing. It received worldwide acclaim, won a Cannes Film Craft Grand Prix and became part of French popular culture.