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My Favourite Nicolai Fuglsig 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.

Nicolai Fuglsig

After graduating from the Danish School of Media and Journalism, Nicolai became a highly successful photojournalist, filmmaker and director.

He received a World Press First Prize for Best Photographer of Nature, a Kodak Best Photographer Award, and an International Centre of Photography (ICP) Infinity Award, for his book on an untold nuclear disaster.

He went on to become a two-time award recipient from the Directors Guild of America for ‘Outstanding Direction of Commercials’.

1. Heineken, Back To The Bars

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Milan, Italy

The integrated media ‘Back To The Bars’ brand communication, is part of Heineken’s social responsibility campaign of many years across the world.

Insightfully directed by filmmaker Nicolai Fulgsig with an acute observation of adaptive human behaviour, the serious of the message is refreshingly delivered with a smile that effectively underlines the gravitas of the call for socially responsible action.

Supported by the inspirational choice of Frank Sinatra’s famous song ‘Thats Life’ as the soundtrack, the commercial offers rewarding viewing.

2. Macy’s, The Chase

Advertising Agency: BBDO, New York, USA

‘The Chase’ scenario for the famous department store Macy’s, features six different women who are mesmerised by encountering another version of themselves.

Compellingly directed by filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig, the narrative is driven by an orchestral soundtrack of Blondie’s hit song “One Way or Another”, the lyrics of which, are sung by the respective women as they chase their other selves.

The highly watchable commercial’s message of ‘Find The Remarkable You’, is an insightful target audience enticement to shop at Macy’s.

3. Churchill Car Insurance, Chill

Advertising Agency: Engine, London, UK

Churchill’s famous nodding-bulldog car mascot ‘Churchie’, is charmingly brought to life as he takes to the road in a single-minded, ‘feel-good’ commercial, directed by filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig, that is a refreshing break from formula-driven car insurance advertising. It’s ‘short and sweet’ and great fun to view.

The soundtrack song titled “O.D.”, is by Detroit’s Alternative R&B singer/songwriter and guitarist, Britney Stoney, about ‘catching feelings’.

4. Sony Bravia, Colour Like No Other

Advertising Agency: Fallon, London, UK

This multi award-winning and Cannes Grand Prix commercial features a cascade of over one million colourful rubber balls bouncing down streets in San Francisco.

Directed by Nikolai Fuglsig, using six strategically placed high-speed cameras, the resulting colourful spectacle was named by Advertising Age as one of the ‘Best Commercials of The Decade’.

The resonating accompanying soundtrack is the Swedish pop tune “Heartbeat” by Jose Gonzalez.

5. Guinness, Tipping Point

Advertising Agency: AMV BBDO, London UK

Much has been written about this famous Guinness celebration of community, involving 3,000 local inhabitants of a village in Argentina, that Nicolai Fuglsig engaged and directed for filming the ‘domino effect’ constructions.

What I find particularly noteworthy is the online engagement that was motivated before the final commercial was released.

Short ‘teaser’ segments of the chain reaction constructions in the commercial were revealed creating a visual puzzle for viewers to solve. The first participant to work out the correct order of play of the combined ‘domino effect’ sequences, won a solid gold domino set.

Tens of thousands rose to the challenge and soon were spending long hours exchanging hints and tips on social media.

6. Guinness, The ‘Sapeurs’ of The Congo

Advertising Agency: AMV BBDO, London, UK

Sape, the ‘Society of People of Elegance’, was established by ‘The King of Rumba Rock’, Papa Wemba who famously said; “White people invented the clothes, but we make an art of it”.

Sape cult followers, known as ‘Sapeurs’ are not just elegantly dressed working-class men parading their freedom of expression.
The society also promotes high standards of personal cleanliness, hygiene and a strict code of behaving like a gentleman.

Sapeurs have earned a prominent status in Congolese popular culture, and for Guinness, they embody an important life lesson of not allowing your circumstances to define who you are.

Copywriter Nicholas Hulley and Art Director Nadja Lossgott, a South African duo based in London, conceptualised the documentary style commercial as part of the Guinness ‘Made Of More’ campaign of celebratory tributes.

Engagingly directed by filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig, the soundtrack features “What Makes a Good Man” by the English rock band from Bath, Somerset, England, ‘The Heavy’.

7. Coca-Cola, It’s Mine

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA

The creative inspiration for this visually rewarding commercial are the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades of giant balloons over New York City.

Directed by filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig, the cinematic, multi award-winning air-borne tussle, has an amusing ending with Charlie Brown being the surprising victor.

8. Royal Marines Commandos, Pirates

Advertising Agency: Engine (WCRS), London, UK

Directed by filmmaker Nicolai Fuglsig for the Royal Marines Recruitment “IT’S A STATE OF MIND” campaign, this scenario is about the topical issue of private yacht piracy, and the piracy of international trade bulk ship carriers along some major sea-routes.

9. Royal Marines Commandos, The Mist

Advertising Agency: Engine (WCRS), London, UK

To keep each film as authentic to Royal Marines operations as possible, Nicolai Fuglsig directed and filmed ‘The Mist’ and the following ‘Spider’ commercial, with the Royal Marines on deployment, featuring real, combat-ready Royal Marines Commandos.

10. Royal Marines Commandos, Spider

Advertising Agency: Engine (WCRS), London, UK

The ‘Spider’ commercial is a very effective and ‘creepy’ demonstration, to say the least, of the natural instincts Marines have to overcome to maintain their focused stealth and calm in the presence of danger.