My Favourite Lance Acord Commercials
This is another in the globally popular ACES series of featuring commercial film 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.
After graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute in Photography and Filmmaking, Lance worked with photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber who is renowned for his iconic images that leveraged the Calvin Klein brand to global prominence.
The Bruce Weber studio also made documentaries, and music videos and Lance won a MTV Music Award for Best Photography for his work on Fatboy Slim’s ‘Weapons of Choice’ music video, directed by Spike Jonze, and featuring actor Christopher Walken.
In 1998 Lance Acord and business partner Jackie Kelman established Park Pictures Commercial Film Production Company. Their new venture proved to be a successful springboard for Lance who went on to win 25 Cannes Lions, 18 AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers) awards and becoming a 3 time nominee of Best Commercial Director by the DGA (Directors Guild of America)
1. Doritos, Cool Ranch Bassquake
Advertising Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, USA
Pepsico’s Doritos ‘Bassquake’ dance-battle, directed by filmmaker Lance Acord, is an amusing parody of a classic ‘Western Standoff’
Starring Hollywood actor Sam Elliott, and American rapper, hip-hop artist, singer and songwriter, Lil Nas X, the commercial also features a surprise cameo appearance by American singer-songwriter and actor, Billy Ray Cyrus.
Backed by a soundtrack inspired by Li Nas X’s Billboard-topping single, “Old Town Road”, Sam Elliot and Lil Nas X, deliver very ‘cool’ performances that are highly engaging and great fun.
2. Snickers, Fix The World
Advertising Agency: AMV/BBDO, New York, USA
The Mars Company’s Snickers brand won the Super Clio award for the best Super Bowl commercial of 2020.
Directed by filmmaker Lance Acord, with a deft comedic touch, ‘Fix The World’ was applauded by Clio Jurors for it’s fresh way of addressing the daunting problems facing the world today with metaphorically dramatised humour that was attention-getting.
3. Nike, Dream Crazy
Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, US
Directed by filmmaker Lance Acord, Nike’s ‘Dream Crazy’ advertising campaign features athletes of all ages who successfully fulfilled their dreams that were thought to be crazy.
The topical inclusion in the commercial of Colin Kaepernick as the narrator, adds resonating meaning to the message; “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”
The former National Football League player bravely put his own career at risk by controversially kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games in protest to racism and police brutality.
At the One Club’s 46th annual show, Nike’s integrated campaign won Best in Show, 10 Gold pencils, two Silver, four Bronze, along with four Best of Discipline honours in Creative Effectiveness, Integrated, Print & Outdoor and Social Media.
One of the Gold wins was in the Cultural Driver category, which recognises ideas that have major impact on society and exist outside traditional advertising and design categories.
Wieden+Kennedy was honoured as Agency of the Year and Nike as Client of the Year.
At the Cannes International Festival of Creativity the Nike campaign won an Outdoor Grand Prix and a Grand Prix in the new Cannes Lions category, Entertainment for Sport.
4. Xfinity Comcast, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Returns
Advertising Agency: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, USA
Xfinity is the trade name of consumer cable television, internet, telephone, and wireless services provider, Comcast Cable Communications, LLC.
After an absence of nearly 40 years, Steven Spielberg’s endearing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, returns for a holiday season reunion with his friend Elliott (Henry Thomas), who during the intervening years, has become a family man.
Eliot, his son, and daughter, introduce E. T to the advancements he has missed such as the Internet and Virtual Reality.
Directed by filmmaker Lance Accord, the warm bonding of E. T. with Eliot’s family, is touchingly nuanced, and rewardingly emotive to view.
To preserve the integrity of the beloved movie ‘Alien’, Steven Spielberg was consulted throughout the making of the Xfinity short-form storytelling film. From concept to story-board, to production, and final editing.
5. Sony PlayStation PS4, Star Wars Battlefront
Advertising Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), New York, USA
Directed by filmmaker Lance Acord with his trademark storytelling excellence, the cinematic ‘Star Wars Battlefront’ is a reminder of the huge impact the ‘Star Wars’ movie franchise has made on popular culture.
The commercial’s entertaining scenario dramatises the bond between gamers in the sharing of their exhilarating PS4 gameplay experiences.
6. VW Passat, The Force
Advertising Agency: Deutsch, Los Angeles, USA
This charming story about a Star Wars inspired little ‘Darth Vader’ is a skilfully directed portrayal of child-like imagination by Lance Acord.
The multi-award winning visual narrative is accompanied by a music soundtrack of ‘Imperial March’ by composer John Williams.
Aired during the Super Bowl American Football Championships, ‘The Force’ commercial, according to Advertising Age, has become one of the most watched and shared commercials of all time and to this day, its remarkable public impact of over 61 million motivated reactions in a matter of hours, remains a much discussed and written about topic of advertising communication case studies.
7. Apple iPhone 7, Frankie’s Holiday
Advertising Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Los Angeles, USA
Lance Accord’s directional skill brings this unusual Festive Season story to filmic life with remarkable emotive depth.
The commercial is a metaphoric take on author Mary Shelley’s iconic Frankenstein aberration played here by actor Brad Garrett. I love the detail of Mary Shelley’s portrait hanging on the wall of Frankenstein’s mountain cabin.
Frankenstein’s heart-warming attempt to find some social interaction solace resonated with millions of viewers, and received wide coverage on all the major TV News Channels.
8. Firestone Tyres, Pick UP
Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago, USA
The romantic ‘Pick Up’ commercial is part of Firestone’s advertising campaign depicting unassuming slices of rural Americana in humorous and emotive scenarios, about the care country folk take of their well-travelled vehicles.
Cinematically directed by Lance Acord, and filmed in Taft, California, a small oil town southwest of Bakersfield in the scenic San Joaquin valley, the engaging narrative is supported by the resonant soundtrack of “True Love Will Find You in the End” by American singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston.