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Captivating Transformers

Steven Spielberg’s 2007 ‘Transformers’ blockbuster was directed by Michael Bay. The American science fiction action movie used a multi- award winning combination of computer animation and live-action film footage and was based on Hasbro’s phenomenally popular transformer toy line.

The movie’s hugely successful box-office takings motivated four subsequent sequels. ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ in 2009, ‘Dark of the Moon’ in 2011, ‘Age of Extinction’ in 2014 and ‘The Last Knight’ in 2017.

A sixth edition of the movie franchise called ‘Bumblebee’ is scheduled for release in December this year.

The creative ingenuity of Hasbro’s transformer concept inevitably became an inspiring reference for advertising commercial practitioners and filmmakers for derivative expressions of visual storytelling and communication.

And in the case of Euro RSCG, London, and their Client Citroen, they were way ahead of Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay.

1. Citroen C4, Dancing Transformer

Advertising Agency: Euro RSCG, London

Directed by Neill Blomkamp to the soundtrack of “Jacques Your Body” (Make Me Sweat) by Les Rythmes Digitales, Citroen launched their own ‘Small Screen Transformer’ version in 2005.

A major selling feature of the C4 was its extensive use of technology and the single-minded focus of the commercial. Many automotive specialists still regard the dancing Citroen as one of the best car commercials of all time.

2. Citroen C4, Ice-Skating Transformer

Advertising Agency: Euro RSCG, London

French directors Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, Ludovic Houplin and Herve de Crecy, operating together as H5, filmed the second commercial in the transformer series on a frozen lake in Canada in 2006.

Additional filming was done by Audiomotion on a Sheffield ice rink for visual effects production company The Mill in London.

The Clio and Epica award winning commercial’s soundtrack is ‘Walking Away’, a TocaDisco remix, by British electro-funk band, The Egg.

3. Apollo Alpha Tyres, Thrill Up Your Beast

Advertising Agency: JWT, New Delhi, India

Directed by Andreas Bruns, this recent Apollo commercial is an entertaining and imaginative visual expression of the brand’s promise.

It centers around a surreal story of a mechanic who upgrades his bike with Apollo Alpha tyres to find that it transforms into a living, breathing, black mechanical beast!

4. Vodafone, Power Transformer

Advertising Agency: Jung von Matt, Hamburg, Germany

Superbly directed by Sebastian Strasser, this metaphorically visual exaggeration of Vodafone’s transforming power is very watchable.

The surprising opportunities at hand that one can grab hold of in the most unexpected circumstances and places, is a memorably effective dramatisation of the brand promise.

5. Nissan X-Trail, Crossover Transformer

 Advertising Agency: TBWA, Moscow

The commercial was directed by Alex & Steffen, a German directing duo that specialisies in visual effects, and the orchestral music soundtrack that underscores each unique environment, is by Adelphoi Music, London.

The effective transforming visual analogies are about the crossover X-Trail’s intelligent 4×4 system that can adapt to changing conditions faster than the blink of an eye.

Whether driving on sand or gravel, rain or snow-covered surfaces, or negotiating tight turns, the system will automatically send power to the wheels that need it most.

6. Honda Brand Diversity, Hands

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London

Directors Smith & Foulkes pay tribute to Hasbro’s transformer toy line in this commercial celebrating the Honda Company’s 65 years of brand innovation thanks to the inventive curiosity of its engineers and industrial designers.

Honda ‘Hands’ won a One Show Advertising Awards gold pencil for Video Direction, another gold pencil in the Consumer Television category, silver for Cinema Advertising and named the ‘The Best Automotive Commercial of 2014’.

The commercial which is informative, amusing and engaging to watch, motivated over 6 million views on YouTube.