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My Favourite Gary Freedman Commercials

This is another addition to the globally popular ACES series of featuring commercial film directors that I admire for bringing creative concepts and storylines to filmic life that enthrall viewers.

Acknowledgements by the Advertising Communication industry, with accolades and international awards for their exemplary filmmaking craftsmanship, are hard-won and well deserved.

Gary Freedman

Gary’s creative adventures started after college, when he packed his rucksack, left his hometown of Southend-on-See in England, and set off for Australia where he worked as an Art Director for a TV music channel in Sydney, before moving on to the Y&R Advertising Agency.

His eventual, and highly successful venture into filmmaking led to his motivation in 1998 to team up with Jonathan Kneebone and establish a collective of artists, writers, designers and directors, based in Sydney and New York, USA, called The Glue Society.

The inspirational collective of creative talents, have pioneered an array of commercials and short films that have won many, International and National, Awards.

1. Experian Boost, Stampede

Advertising Agency: Experian In-house, Costa Mesa, California, USA

Production Company: Reset, Santa Monica, California, USA

Post Production: Framestore, Culver City, California, USA

Experian is the world’s leading global information and financial management services, company. ‘Boost’ is Experian’s innovative free customer service app for speeding up improvements to credit history scores.

Directed by Gary Freedman, ‘Stampede’ is part of the Experian Boost campaign commercials, featuring professional wrestler and actor John Cena, and his highly amusing purple cow co-star.

2. Experian Boost, World

Advertising Agency: Experian In-house, Costa Mesa, California, USA

Production Company: Reset, Santa Monica, California, USA

Post Production: Framestore, Culver City, California, USA

Directed by Gary Freedman, the commercial features John Cena in an intimate fireside chat about raising one’s credit scores instantly with Experian Boost.

As can be expected in this continuing Experian Boost story, the purple cow will inevitably enter the frame. The ‘world’ exit of Cena’s co-star however, is quite unexpected and highly amusing.

3. Experian Boost, In Show

Agency: Experian In-house, Costa Mesa, California, USA

Production Company: Reset, Santa Monica, California, USA

Post Production: Framestore, Culver City, California, USA

Gary Freedman directed this amusing send-up of a stereotypical ‘Dog Show’ featuring John Cena and his purple cow co-star.

They make a dramatic entrance to the show that ‘boosts’ their point scores with the judges who are suitably impressed by the competitive ‘canine’ performance of the handler and his show entrant.

4. Sony PlayStation, It’s Time To Play

Gary Freedman directed this frenetic, non-stop action, international campaign commercial with mastery. It’s a fun ‘gamer-romp’ from beginning to end.

The soundtrack features the song “I Predict a Riot” by the English, Indie-Rock band from Leeds, the Kaiser Chiefs.

5. VW Golf GTE, The Button

Advertising Agency: adam&eve/DDB, London

Directed by Gary Freedman, the commercial for the Golf GTE Hybrid vehicle, features an entertaining pastiche of powerfully evil, film genre, push button ‘baddies’.

The commercial ends with a call to Golf GTE drivers, to be the ‘good guys’ who use their hybrid power button benignly.

6. TK Maxx, The Right Way

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK

TK Maxx is one of Europe’s most popular retail chains. Their department stores generally sell designer brand clothing at lower prices than other major stores, as well as bags, shoes, wedding dresses, cosmetics, toys, household goods and furniture.

Directed by Gary Freedman, the American franchise’s Pan-European campaign for the UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Germany, is about how to shop to the ‘maxx’ at TK.

TK Maxx stores can appear to be somewhat chaotic at first, but knowing where to start can become a rewarding treasure hunt of finding items at surprisingly good value for money.

The filmic, and excellently crafted homage to Broadway and Hollywood stage and cinema musicals, such as 42nd Street, makes for a very watchable and enjoyable commercial.

The soundtrack music is by London Composer and Arranger, Joseph Alexander.

7. NRMA Insurance, Every Home Is Worth Protecting

Advertising Agency: The Monkeys, Sydney, Australia

The National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA), is part of Insurance Australia Group (IAG).

The ‘Every Home Is Worth Protecting’ commercial, is part of NRMA’s integrated communication campaign initiative, to aid and facilitate the cessation of deforestation.

The touching story about a young lad and a baby Koala Bear, filmed in rural Queensland, and directed with great pathos by Gary Freedman, brings home to one just how important it is to insure that wildlife habitats are responsibly protected.

8. Virgin Airlines Australia, Up Where We Belong

Advertising Agency: DDB, Sydney, Australia

Special Effects: Moving Picture Company (MPC), Sydney, Australia

Gary Freedman directed this most unexpected visual metaphor for Virgin Airline’s campaign theme of ‘Feel Good Flying’. The inventive and highly amusing depiction of a ‘flying toupee’ plays out to the soundtrack of “Up Where We Belong” by Jo Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.

On AdAge Tara Ford, DDB Sydney’s Chief Creative Officer, aptly described the commercial of a wig taking to the sky as; “fun but with an edge of cheekiness and irreverence that is perfect for recapturing and igniting the Virgin Australia brand.”

9. CANAL Plus, March Of The Emperor

Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France

This classic, highly enjoyable commercial and one of my all-time favourites, directed by The Glue Society’s Gary Freedman and Jonathan Kneebone, received countless accolades that included a Cannes Advertising Festival of Creativity Titanium Lion.