My Favourite Tom Kuntz Commercials
This is another in the 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.
American filmmaker Tom Kuntz began his career at MTV promoting the channel and directing their commercials before joining Propaganda Films.
A highly successful, multi-award winning career followed that includes multiple nominations for the honor of ‘Best Commercial Director of the Year’ by the Directors Guild of America (DGA), in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2016.
1. Volkswagen Engineering, Wings
Advertising Agency: Argonaut, San Francisco, California, USA
Volkswagen’s ‘Wings’ commercial, is a superbly directed commercial by Tom Kuntz that visually dramatises a salient feature of VW as the brand with the most vehicles on the road that have done over 100,000 miles.
The imaginative story told by a Dad to his daughter about VW’s engineers sprouting wings every time one of their vehicles surpasses the 100,000 mileage-meter mark makes for fun viewing.
2. Old Spice, Hello Ladies
Advertising Agency: Weiden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA
In this parody of ‘manliness’, the hugely popular ‘Old Spice Man’ who speaks so directly to female viewers, is American actor and former National Football League player, Isaiah Amir Mustfa.
Directed by Tom Kuntz, the commercial at last count in January 2017 received over 53,600,000 views on YouTube, making it the most popular viral campaign in recent history.
‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’, won a Cannes Grand Prix for film and an Outstanding Commercial Primetime Emmy Award as ‘The Commercial of the Year’.
3. Apple iPhone and iPad Apps, Apocalypse
Advertising Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Los Angeles, USA
Tom Kuntz’s directional expertise in filming comedy comes to the fore in this commercial that was launched at the ‘Worldwide Developers Conference’ in 2017.
The story is a tongue-in-cheek exaggeration of the chaos that would follow if people suddenly lost all their Apps. The concluding message by Apple is a plea to developers to keep inventing Apps as the world depends on them.
Reactions to the commercial have however, been controversial. Many industry commentators believe it is a brilliant and amusing reminder of the beneficial role Apps play in the advancement of our daily lives.
Others are of the opinion that Apple has merely highlighted how absurd and vulnerable our digital world has become with our reliance on Smartphones and Apps. My view is that there is strong element of truth to both arguments.
4. Heineken, The Odyssey
Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Heinken believes everyone excels at something and no matter how obscure their particular talent may be, it deserves a celebratory tribute.
Directed by Tom Kuntz, the commercial features a cast of non-professional actors who each, like bird caller Scott Sparrow from South Africa, has a unique skill.
Johnny Cash’s ‘Sixteen Tons’, sung in Portuguese by Noriel Vilela of Brazil, provides an effective supporting soundtrack.
5. Heineken, The Chase
Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam
Superbly directed by Tom Kuntz, this highly watchable Heineken commercial is an action-packed parody to mark the launch of the Bond movie “Spectre” in which Daniel Craig stars as 007 once again.
For the millions of Bond fans globally, there is an anecdotal reference to villain ‘Odd Job’s’ deadly bowler hat from the movie ‘Goldfinger’ that is very amusing.
6. Nike European Football Championship, My Time Is Now
Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, London, UK
Nike’s integrated ‘My Time Is Now’ advertising campaign to promote a new generation of champion league football players was spearheaded by an epic commercial directed by Adam Berg and filmed in London, Barcelona and Madrid.
The commercial featured cameo appearances by Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta, Neymar, Franck Ribery, Wesley Sneijder, Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck, Mario Götze, Yann M’Vila, Javier Hernandez and LeBron James.
A YouTube version of the commercial that contained nine, interactive, hidden tunnels for fans to discover and explore, motivated 12 million viewer interactions within a week after being launched.
7. Axe Anarchy, Unleash The Chaos
Advertising Agency: BBH (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), London, UK
Directed by Tom Kuntz the commercial features ‘Cant Help Falling in Love’ by Elvis Presley as the soundtrack.
The visual dramatisation of the increasing city mayhem that burning passion unleashes, makes for cinematic and highly entertaining viewing.
8. Oreo Cookies, Life Raft
Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, USA
This amusingly surreal story directed with deft humour by Tom Kuntz, is a sublime, fresh take on the famously contentious issue between Oreo lovers about which part of Oreo is the best. The Cookie or the Crème?