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My Favourite Martin Werner 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 enthrall viewers, and motivate well-earned accolades from the Advertising Communications industry.

Martin Werner

Production Company Academy Film’s website describes Danish born Martin Werner as one of Scandinavia’s most awarded and highly sought after directors.

He started his career in film as an art director, advanced to directing commercials in 1994, and rapidly became one of the most respected and loved directors in Denmark and far beyond.

For me his comedic flair and storytelling craftsmanship, are remarkable. The nuanced humour, textured subtlety, and understated emotion he is able to bring to his filmic executions, I believe, places him in a very elite class of the world’s top commercial filmmakers and directors.

1. Hi-Fi Klubben, Welcome Listeners

Advertising Agency: &Co NOA (North Alliance Network), Copenhagen, Denmark

Nordic high-end Hi-Fi retailer Klubben’s research analysis revealed that surprisingly, 85% of social media users watch videos with the sound turned off.

Superbly directed by Martin Werner, the ‘Welcome Listeners’ commercial was part of integrated campaign about listening being a gift that should never be taken for granted, nor ever be forsaken.

Klubben’s call to action to listen to each other, the other side of the story, and to switch on to what the World around us is saying, motivated over 58 million impressions, 19 million video views, and 390,000 shared- messages.

And on YouTube, the commercial was described as; “the first ad that no one ever skipped”.

2. Jack & Jones, Made From Cool

Advertising Agency: &Co NOA (North Alliance Network), Copenhagen, Denmark

Like me, many people may not have been familiar with the Danish Jack & Jones clothier before the integrated ‘Made From Cool’ campaign brought the brand to global attention.

Martin Werner’s skillful direction and the powerful screen presence of Oscar-winning actor Christopher Walken, in a somewhat surreal role, as an eccentric genius, who happens to be a formidably brilliant tailor, makes for compelling viewing.

Although intriguingly, Christopher Walken does not speak in any of the commercials, his famed voice can be heard in some accompanying ‘voice-overs’.

3. Orange Telecom, Alone In The World

Advertising Agency: Publicis Conseil, Paris, France

The ‘Alone In The World’ commercial is part of an integrated campaign to highlight Orange mobile’s 24-hour service guarantee.

It ensures that in case of loss, theft or damage, the loan of a replacement smart-phone will immediately be made available.

Martin Werner directed this dramatised and amusing metaphorical scenario of the desolation people often feel when their mobile contact is lost, even for a few minutes.

The entertaining exaggeration is something many smart-phone users are bound to be able to relate to.

The featured soundtrack song is B-52’s “Rock Lobster”.

4. Swisscom TV 2.0, Nico

Advertising Agency: Heimat, Berlin, Germany

‘Nico’, an epic commercial for Switzerland’s major telecommunications provider, was directed by Martin Werner with sweeping scenic scenes of amassed Sarcen and Roman forces prepared to do battle.

The mystery of the modern-day, ‘cut-away’ scenes of Nico, and his relevance to the unfolding ‘big picture’ is rewardingly revealed at the end.

5. Magnum Double, Release The Beast

Advertising Agency: LOLA Mullen Lowe, Madrid, Spain

Magnum’s ‘Release the Beast and Dare to go Double’ campaign that launched their Double Chocolate, Double Caramel and Double Caramel Ice Cream bar offerings, was directed by Martin Werner with the stylistic panache of a Vogue magazine fashion spread.

The commercial builds on LOLA Mullen Lowe’s highly successful brand communication strategy of the past six years of moving away from hidden, and perhaps guilty pleasure, to focus on a positive, unapologetic, and celebratory view of pleasure.

The soundtrack features Jack White’s “High Ball Stepper” from his Lazaretto album.

6. Magnum, The Will

Advertising Agency: LOLA Mullen Lowe, Madrid, Spain

Directed by Marin Werner, Magnum’s ‘The Will” commercial, celebrating true pleasure, stars fashion icon, living legend and modern-day muse, Iris Apfel.

Throughout her life Iris has always pursued her own path to pleasure that she expounds in her personal take on life; “I have always lived my life like no-one’s watching. What a waste to live in fear of judgment. Go for it!”

7. DNB (Den Norske Bank), The Tourist Hatching Season

Advertising Agency: POL, Oslo, Norway

The commercial to promote DNB’s Vipps mobile payment application for smartphones, was scenically directed by Martin Werner.

The analogy to hatching turtle eggs is amusingly apt, and great fun to view as the season’s ‘newly hatched tourists’, like baby turtles, scramble from the beach to the freedom of the beckoning ocean.

8. Bouygues Telecom, Groovy Dad

Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France

Directed by Martin Werner with emotive warmth, the festive season ‘Give More than Technology’ commercial for Bouygues Telecom, a Paris based mobile network operator, and internet service provider, is a joy to behold.

The story is about a Chritmas gift of a new smartphone to a caring Dad, who loves to ’groove’ to Redbone’s ‘Come and get your love’, from the Marvel Studio’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie soundtrack.

The commercial is a fresh and amusing generational chronical that is highly watchable.

9. CANAL Plus, Dads

Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France

CANAL+ is the most important premium pay TV channel in France. It specialises in football event coverage and movies catering to over 13 million subscribers.

Directed by Martin Werner, this ‘Dads’ commercial is amusing exposé of a perfect Dad not being quite as dotingly perfect as he appears to be.

10. IKEA, Every Other Week

Agency: Åkestam Holst, Stockholm, Sweden

A part of IKEA’s ‘Where Life Happens’ campaign, ‘Every Other Week’ is a keenly observed story by director Marin Werner. It’s a quiet, understated commercial that speaks volumes about the sobering realities many divorced parents in Sweden encounter.

One daily life reality is that their children often end up living in two homes, and providing a welcoming and loving home environment in both locations, is a difficult challenge for separated parents to manage.

IKEA bravely confronts a real life scenario that very few brands would have the courage to attempt and offers some helpful suggestions.