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My Favourite Matthijs van Heijningen Jr Commercials

I often consider the real stars of lauded commercials to be those film directors that give life to great ideas with their visionary, value added executional craftsmanship that motivate viewer engagements.

More often than not, their painstaking filmic framing of ideas and character portrayals, elevate creative concepts and storylines from the good to great, and the great to award-winning best.

Matthijs van Heijningen Jr

The multi award-winning Dutch filmmaker, writer and producer has directed many remarkable commercials. On my list of all-time favourite commercials Mattthijs’s name as the Film Director features prominently.

1. Peugeot 206, The Sculptor

Advertising Agency: Euro RSCG Worldwide, Milan

A young man in Jaipur India, after seeing a picture of a Peugeot 206, decides with typical entrepreneurial zeal that the country is so well known for, to convert his boxy car to look like the ultra cool 206.

Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen, the commercial won dozens of top International awards, and on its twentieth anniversary, it continues being hailed as one of the best car commercials ever made.

The music title is ‘Bhangra Knights’ which was specially composed for the commercial by Husan White.

2. KIA, Hero’s Journey

Advertising Agency: David&Goliath, Los Angeles, USA

Matthijs van Heijningen directed the Kia commercial series ‘Hero’s Journey’ for airing during the 2017 live TV broadcast of the American Super Bowl football championship.

The commercial stars popular American actress, comedian and fashion designer Melissa McCarthy. Super Bowl TV audiences that regularly average over 104 million viewers of all ages, are always highly expectant of entertaining commercials, and Kia’s ‘Hero’s Journey’ campaign certainly did not disappoint them.

3. Heineken, The Trailblazers

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Italy

The Heineken brand message of expanding ones horizons as symbolised by an imaginative time travel ‘romp’ was brought to life by Matthijs van Heijningen with a tongue-in-cheek, cinematic epic of great visual drama and amusing viewing appeal.

4. Edeka Supermarkets, Christmas Humanity

Advertising Agency: Jung von Matt, Hamburg, Germany

This dystopian short film for Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket chain, was superbly directed by Matthijs van Heijningen.

The charming sci-fi story about a robot in search of experiencing human companionship in a real Christmas family gathering ends with the line ‘Without love, it’s just a feast’.

5. Heineken, The SKYFALL Express

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

To coincide with the launch of the 007 ‘Skyfall’ feature film, the commercial features appearances by James Bond actor Daniel Craig and Skyfall actress Berenice Marlohe.

The story centers on some villlians pursuing a young man who they mistake for Bond. When they finally spot their correct target, 007 quickly escapes with a ‘Skyfall’.

The fast paced action was skillfully directed by Matthijs van Heijningen in typical Bond fashion with the addition of some some amusing interludes that are highly rewarding to view.

The soundtrack song titled ‘A Man Like That’, is by New Zealand songstress Gin Wigmore.

6. Samsung Gear VR, Ostrich

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago.

Directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen and featuring Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ as the soundtrack, the commercial is regarded by many industry professionals as one of the best ever to be made for Samsung.

The entertaining ‘Do What You Can’t’ story won 2 Bronze, 2 Silver and 3 Gold Cannes lions in the film craft category for best direction, visual effects and animation.

At the 2018 Art Directors Club of New York (ADC) awards show, Leo Burnett, Chicago, and video production service company AJZ in Los Angeles, California, took home three top prizes for ‘Samsung Gear VR, Ostrich’.

The awards are namely; a Gold Cube in the Online/Mobile Video category, a Gold Cube for Craft in Video/Cinematography, and a Gold Cube for Experiential Design.

7. CANAL Plus, The Bear

 Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France

Brilliantly directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen, ‘The Bear’ is a highly watchable parody of a typical Hollywood Film Director; part creative genius and part control-freak. The reason for the odd, thin shape of the bear, named Paul Bearman, is rewardingly revealed at the end of the commercial.

‘The Bear’ motivated 1.5 million views on YouTube immediately after its first airing. It received worldwide acclaim, won a Cannes Film Craft Grand Prix and became part of French popular culture.

8. CANAL Plus, Unicorns

Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France

Meticulously crafted and directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen, this cinematic commercial is an imaginative visual adventure of epic proportions that makes for highly rewarding viewing.

9. KIA Sorento, The Perfect Getaway

Advertising Agency: David&Goliath, Los Angeles USA

Matthijs Van Heijningen directed this commercial for Kia about a film producer unpacking his proposal to James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan to star in a story about the perfect getaway vehicle.

What makes for rewarding viewing is that the dramatic, action-packed firepower the actor envisioned, amusingly turns out to be fireworks of a romantic nature.

10. KIA Soul, Turbo Hamster Has Arrived

Advertising Agency: David & Goliath, Los Angeles

Matthijs Van Heijningen directed this introduction of a very a very cute new Soul Hamster arrival to the Kia Soul’s highly successful, long-running and hugely popular campaign of life-size hamster characters.

Baby Turbo’s fast paced escape from a hospital’s maternity ward plays out against the fitting soundtrack of Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’.