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My Most Popular LinkedIn Posts So Far This Year

I’m sincerely grateful to LinkedIn, for affording me the opportunity to honour, former and current, torch-bearing advertising professionals, filmmakers, and producers, for their inspirational inventiveness, creative passion, and crafting skills, that perpetually light the way forward to the communication industry’s ever broadening horizons.

This is a summary of my LinkedIn posts, over the past several months, that have often taken me pleasantly be surprise, by the amount of favourable viewer interest they aroused, and the treasured responses I received.

Twenty Years of Enduring Viewing Enjoyment

1. Peugeot 206, The Sculptor

Advertising Agency: Euro RSCG Worldwide, Milan, Italy

Directed by filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen, Peugeot’s ‘The Sculptor’ commercial won dozens of top International awards, and two decades later, it continues being hailed as one of the best car commercials ever made. 

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’ Hindustan Ambassador to look like the ultra cool 206.

The music soundtrack of ‘Bhangra Knights’ was specially composed for the commercial by the British ‘Bhangra Knights’ duo of Jules Spinner and Jack Berry, and the Dutch ‘Husan’ duo of Niels Zuiderhoek and Jeroen Den Hengst.

An Australian Commercial in MoMA New York

2. Carlton Draught, Big Ad 

Advertising Agency: Y&R ANZ, Sydney, Australia, formerly known as George Patterson Y&R

In 2018, Carlton’s multi-award winning ‘Big Ad’ parody of advertising epics, was selected by the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art New York, in the greatest of filmic-art accolades, for inclusion in their Permanent Collection.

Masterly directed by filmmaker Paul Middleditch, and filmed in a valley near Queenstown, New Zealand, the impressively conceived commercial is driven by the resonating soundtrack of composer Carl Orffs “O Fortuna” from his ‘Carmina Burana’ cantata, and humorously adapted cantata chorus lyrics.

It’s a big ad. Very big ad.
It’s a big ad we’re in. It’s a big ad.
My God it’s big! Can’t believe how big it is!
It’s a big Ad! For Carlton Draught!
It’s just so freaking HUGE!
It’s a big ad! Expensive ad!
This ad better sell some bloo-oo-oo-oody beer!

A Mouse in Clio’s Advertising Hall of Fame

3. BMW 318i, Mouse and Strauss 

Advertising Agency: TBWA\HUNT\LASCARIS, Johannesburg, South Africa

Production Company: Velocity Films, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa 

Directed by the late filmmaker and revered cinematographer, Keith Rose, the iconic commercial of Clio fame, features a mouse, running along the steering wheel of a BMW 318i, to a soundtrack of Johann Strauss II’s Blue Danube. 

The single-minded, timelessly appealing, 318i power-steering demonstration, was the first commercial ever by a South African filmmaker, to be selected by the Clio Awards for inclusion in their International Advertising Hall of Fame.

A Commercial’s Reverberating Capture of Joy

4. Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate, Gorilla

Advertising Agency: Fallon, London, UK

Production Company, Stink Films, London, UK

Post Production: The Moving Picture Company, London, UK

Cadbury’s famous ‘Gorilla’ commercial was conceived, written, and directed by Fallon London’s Creative Director, Juan Cabral, who was quoted as saying; “A brand needs to go to the heart and not to the brain.”

After years of Cadbury merely talking about joy, the drum-solo playing Gorilla of the Phil Collins hit “In The Air Tonight”, centred on showing joy.

The commercial took the world by storm in 2007, and went ‘viral’ motivating six million online views in two weeks. Even by today’s standards, when online viewing of commercials, films and videos, are a common, everyday practise, that remains notably impressive, as a commercial only becomes ‘viral’ when it generates enough interest for extended online viewing.

Besides accruing numerous Advertising Award accolades, and a hugely successful return on advertising investment for Cadbury, the commercial also sparked many academic papers and discussions about motivational Advertising Communication triggers for favourable consumer responses.

Boys Will Be Boys

5. 1st For Women Insurance, Top Gun

Advertising Agency: Black River FC, Johannesburg, South Africa

Production Company: Velocity Films, Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa

VFX Studio: BlackGinger, Cape Town, South Africa

It has been statistically-proven beyond any doubt, that women are safer drivers than men. They take fewer risks, make more careful decisions, and because of their lower risk profile, the 1st for Women Insurance Company was founded for offering lower premium policies to women drivers.

Many humorous advertising campaign commercials followed about the antics of men drivers, as a tongue-in-cheek justification for their ‘Women 1st’ initiative.

The recent launch of the long-awaited ‘Top Gun’ sequel staring Tom Cruise, brings to mind to mind this classic ‘1st For Women’ commercial parody of the famed cinema block-buster original.

Directed by filmmaker Anton Visser, the four weeks of meticulous pre-planning, seven days of filming, and eight weeks of post production, resulted a rewarding cinematic viewing outcome.

A Groundbreaking Campaign That Rocked Cannes

6. Melbourne Metro Rail, Dumb Ways To Die

Advertising Agency: McCann, Melbourne, Australia

McCann’s animated, public safety commercial for Melbourne’s Metro Rail, is still so fresh in my mind, that I find it hard to believe that it was 9 years ago, the integrated campaign rocked the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, with a staggering, record breaking, 5 Grand Prix awards, 18 Gold Lions, 3 Silvers, and 2 Bronzes.

Art Directed by Patrick Baron, animated by Julian Frost, and produced by Cinnamon Darval, the commercial features a resonating soundtrack song, with lyrics penned by McCann’s Executive Creative Director, and copywriter, John Mescall, and composed and performed by Australia’s Cat Empire, and Tinpan Orange Band. 

The reverberating ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ tune and song, made it to the top 10 of Apple’s Australian iTunes charts within 24 hours.

The novel communication approach, of underlying the seriousness of the message, by entertainingly highlighting just how dumb it would be to ignore train commuting safety precautions, very effectively hit home.

The campaign’s multimedia impact dramatically increased safety awareness around trains in Melbourne as well as the rest of the world.