My Favourite Andreas Nilsson Commercials
This is another in the ACES series of featuring commercial filmmakers and directors that I admire for their dedicated craftsmanship in bringing creative concepts and storylines to filmic life that enthral viewers and motivate well-earned accolades from the Advertising Communications industry.
Swedish filmmaker and director Andreas Nilsson studied painting and sculpture before turning his hand to animation, set designs for the Royal Theatre in Stockholm, set designs for live musical acts and music videos, followed by filming and directing scenarios for commercials.
His noteworthy filmmaking skills were honourably recognised in 2016 when he won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Direction.
1. Reebok Classic Club Sneakers, Nails
Advertising Agency: Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco, California, USA
This amusingly surreal commercial, directed by filmmaker Andreas Nilsson, stars American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality Cardi B from The Bronx, New York City, in Reebok’s ‘Sport The Unexpected’ campaign series.
Cardi B is also famous for her trend-setting ‘nail art’ that has become part of her celebrity trademark.
During a conversation about her boy troubles to a friend in a hair salon, Cardi B’s undone shoelaces draws everyone’s attention. Using her magical ‘nail art’, she calmly ‘sports the unexpected’ to fix the problem, and then continues with her ‘nailed it’ story.
2. Amazon Alexa, Ironing
Advertising Agency: Droga 5, 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 in this entertaining, epic, send up of a drama in play that is interrupted for some ‘performance coaching’ for the actors.
3. Volvo Trucks, The Tower
Advertising Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg, Sweden
For the launch of their new Volvo FMX, Volvo FH, Volvo FH16 and Volvo FM heavy-duty trucks, engineers stacked the four large vehicles on top of one another in a 15-metre tall tower, weighing 58 tons.
Directed by filmmaker Andreas Nilsson, the spectacular mobile truck tower was filmed at night on Volvo’s Gothenburg Test Ground. Through the mist and rain, the dramatic demonstration of power and strength, reveals that someone, daringly, is standing on top of the behemoth. Surprisingly, it turns out be none other than Volvo’s President, Roger Alm.
4. Volvo Trucks, The Epic Split
Advertising Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg, Sweden
Directed by filmmaker Andreas Nilsson, and filmed in a closed-off airstrip south of Madrid in Spain, the ‘Epic Split’ commercial for the launch of Volvo Truck’s new dynamic steering system, took the Internet by storm.
The film stars Belgian martial-arts expert and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme, performing a live-test demonstration that motivated 86 million views on YouTube.
The resonant soundtrack of Irish singer and songwriter Enja’s “Only Time Will Tell”, adds an evocative and emotive aspect to a truck commercial that is unexpected and very effective.
Many communication industry awards followed. ‘Epic Split’ was the most awarded viral commercial of 2014 and Andreas Nilsson was named as the year’s most-awarded director worldwide.
Awards included a Black Pencil from D&AD, Best of Show at The One Show, a Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Cyber and Film, a second Cannes Lion Grand Prix for Creative Effectiveness, and a Film Grand Prix at the Eurobest awards in Helsinki, Finland.
And from the International ANDY Awards, 4 gold tributes for Best Automotive Commercial, Best Use of Celebrity, Best Direction, Best Use of Existing Music, and a silver tribute for cinematography.
5. Toyota Tacoma, Tough As Chuck
Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles, USA
Not surprisingly, filmmaker Andreas Nilsson was the Agency’s preferred choice for directing a tongue-in cheek scenario staring the other famous martial-arts tough guy, Chuck Norris, of whom it is jokingly said can strangle an opponent with a cordless phone.
The commercial amusingly intimates that Chuck’s mere signature is enough to imbue a Tacoma pickup truck with his ‘kick- butt’ power.
6. Jordan CP3.VI, Cut Through LA
Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, New York, USA
Andreas Nilsson used his acquired set designing expertise to theatrical effect in directing this Nike Brand Activation for the Jordan CP3.VI sports shoe worn by two time Olympic Gold medalist basketball player, Chris Paul.
Staged and filmed at Venice Beach, California, 40 actors were posed in ‘freeze-frame’ positions. The human chain of basketball players were dressed to look like Paul and each one represented a frozen action of his famed court moves that makes for compelling viewing.
7. Stella Artois Wimbledon, Never Heard of It
Advertising Agency: Mother, London, UK
Another theatrically directed commercial by filmmaker Andreas Nilsson, Stella Artois’s Wimbledon Tennis Tournament campaign commercial, is a lavish and colourful visual representation that takes viewers on a fun journey back in time to Victorian England.
Part of the integrated campaign was the creation of the ‘Time Portal’ in London that provided a fully immersive theatre experience of searching for Wimbledon’s first Tournament in 1877.
8. Stella Artois, The Pockets
Advertising Agency: Mother, New York, USA
Filmmaker Andreas Nilsson directed ‘The Pockets’ commercial for the global marketing launch of the new Stella Artois selling line ‘Joie de Bière’ which is a clever play on the French phrase ‘Joie de Vivre’.
Filmed on location in the Belgium town of Leuven in Dutch, and Louvain in French, the birthplace of Stella Artois, the commercial is a fun encouragement to take a break from obsessive cellphone preoccupations to appreciate the joy of a truly good beer.
Part of the Stella Artois integrated campaign strategy is to promote an extra ‘happy hour’ as a ‘Don’t Rush Hour’ at selected bars and establishments’.
9. Rekorderlig Swedish Premium Cider, Silver Skaters
Advertising Agency; Saatchi & Saatchi, London
Saatchi & Saatchi engaged filmmaker Andreas Nilsson to direct a commercial that would be quintessentially Swedish in character.
Jon Henrik Fjällgren’s Swedish ‘The Reindeer Herder’s Joik’ was chosen for the soundtrack for its mystical resonance, and it is central to the unique mood and atmospheric tone of the commercial.
His composition is based on the ancient and haunting ‘kulning’ herding call, which is also a song.
Set on the frozen Torneträsk lake in Lapland, Sweden, the story centres on two skating brothers Henrik and Anders and their coach/singer Jarmo.
Their quirky routine is complex, but with all three men working together in synch, they create a sequence that seems effortless and ‘beautifully Swedish’.
The commercial won a D&AD Award for Film Advertising Crafts / Use of Music for Film Advertising.