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My Favourite Daniel Kleinman Commercials

This is another in the ACES series of featuring commercial film directors that I admire for their dedicated craftsmanship in bringing creative concepts and storylines to filmic life that enthrall viewers and motivate well-earned accolades from the Advertising Communications industry.

Daniel Kleinman

After graduating from Hornsey Art School, Daniel worked as an illustrator before his venture into directing music videos and becoming a laudably successful filmmaker.

The Gunn Report listed the British filmmaker as the Most Awarded Director in the world. Besides his many Cannes, D&AD, The New York One Show, Clio and other awards, he has received the Creative Circle President’s Award, the British Arrows Chairman’s Award, and in ADWEEK was voted US Commercial Director of the Decade.

Daniel is also renowned for his pioneering use of special effects in post-production and as the designer of every title sequence for the James Bond series of films since GoldenEye (1995), with the exception of Quantum of Solace (2008) which was designed by the filmmaking and design collective MK12 studio in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

1. Specsavers, Boiler

Advertising Agency: Specsavers Creative

Filmed on location in idyllic Provence, Daniel Kleiman creates a timeless and whimsical setting of life in rural France for this amusing story about a faulty boiler in a chateau.

The commercial about a visually-impaired repairman is charmingly enacted and a joy to behold.

2. Specsavers, Hotel Sauna

Advertising Agency: Specsavers Creative

Daniel Kleinman must have had great fun directing this story about a hotel guest’s hapless sauna experience.

The commercial features a surprise appearance by world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay who is left uncharacteristically speechless by the guest’s ‘steamy’ encounter.

3. Old Santander Bank, Piggy

Advertising Agency: Arnold Worldwide, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Daniel Kleinman’s skilled film direction brought the ‘Piggy’ story ‘to life’ with great emotive charm in a commercial that is immensely watchable.

4. Snickers, Kung Fu Warrior

Advertising Agency: AMV BBDO, London, UK

British actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson, famous for his Mr Bean character, stars in this humorous dramatisation of the Snicker’s selling line “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry”.

Daniel Kleinman’s cinematic commercial of Mr Bean as a bumbling Kung Fu Warrior, is a viewing delight for the millions of Mr Bean fans across the world.

5. Guinness, noituloveE

Advertising Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London, UK

The strange title of the commercial comes from the word ‘Evolution’ being written backwards, and as the commercial reveals, it is an amusingly apt name.

Directed by Daniel Kleinman with the collaboration of visual effects company Framestore in London, the commercial was the most-awarded commercial worldwide in 2006. It received over 30 awards and a Film Grand Prix at Cannes.

Perhaps more importantly, the commercial was a great success for Guinness boosting their volume and value shares to the highest level ever achieved.

6. Xbox, Champagne

Advertising Agency: BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), London, UK

The commercial directed by Daniel Kleinman, was not only loved by ‘gamers’ across the world, but also by Advertising Award Juries.

‘Champagne’ received many accolades that included a Cannes International Advertising Festival Gold Lion for Entertainment & Leisure, and an Art Directors Club of Europe Gold award for Cinema Commercials as well as an overall Grand Prix.

More than a decade later Xbox’s satirical message still strikes a playful chord that resonates globally and the commercial continues being viewed weekly on YouTube.

7. Carlsberg Beer, Moon Landing

Advertising Agency: Fold7, London, UK

Daniel Kleinman’s visually spectacular storytelling of an amusing Carlsberg parody about the world’s first beer to land on the Moon was loved by millions of viewers and universally shared.

8. Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut, Henry VIII

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

I love this superbly directed Tudor period spoof by Daniel Kleinman that is especially appealing to history lovers of England’s sovereign dynasty.

King Henry VIII of England is notorious for having eight wives and dozens of mistresses but besides his love of women, his other great passion was hunting.

A leg injury he received in a jousting competition plagued him throughout his adult life. The loss of mobility this caused him made him change the hunting code of that time.

Instead of riding after a deer, he had a deer brought to him. His courtiers then handed crossbows to him to achieve a ‘clean kill’ that required considerable concentration for effective accuracy.

Knowing some of the historical background, I find the story of a hunting party attendant compulsively breaking the absolute silence the King commanded, very amusing and enjoyable to watch.

9. Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut, Nosferatu

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

This a great spoof of the silent movie era classic ‘Nosferatu’ that was based on Bram Stoker’s famous Dracula novel.

Daniel Kleinman has faithfully recreated the look and feel and even some short scenes of the original classic horror film, and skillfully injected an element of humour that in my view is absolutely masterful.

10. John West Salmon, Fighting Bear

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Filmed on the banks of the River Dee in the Scottish Highlands, this famous Cannes Gold Lion winner of 2001, directed by Daniel Kleinman, was an early viral advertising success story.

The Viral Company’s tracking monitor in November 2006 recorded a staggering 300 million online views. Even more remarkable is that its viral success seems endless. The commercial still motivates millions of downloads and shares across the world