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Robot and Humanoid Enthralment

The phenomenally successful science fiction films such as ‘Independence Day’ and the ‘Star Wars’ franchise have inspired advertising commercials featuring cinematic robots of all shapes and sizes, and like R2-D2 and his droid companion C-3PO have inspired some imaginatively conceived story-line scenarios of human-robot interaction.

The rapid development of robotic engineering and research of humanoid advancement, will no doubt spark many impactful ideas for commercials in the foreseeable future.

1. Engineered Arts, The Future of Robotics Ameca

The first generation of Ameca, the world’s most advanced humanoid, with life-like characterises such as facial expressions, was developed at Engineered Arts in Falmouth, Cornwall, UK.

Ameca was specifically designed for development into the future, as a platform for human-robot interaction, that promises a very exciting future ahead for enterprising humanoid-aided ventures.

2. KIA EV6, Robo Dog

Advertising Agency: David&Goliath, El Segundo, California, USA

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks, Los Angeles, California, USA

VFX Company: Parliament, Santa Monica, California, USA

KIA’s all electric, SUV crossover, EV6 commercial, was produced in partnership with the Petfinder Foundation, to highlight the plight of shelter animals seeking adoption.

Directed by filmmaker Noam Murro, with superb computer-generated imagery, the ‘Robo Dog’ scenario for airing during the 56th Super Bowl football Championships, features a soundtrack of Welsh singer, Bonnie Tyler’s resonant “Holding Out for a Hero”.

The Super Bowl live TV broadcasts, attract an audience of over 100 million viewers of all ages each year, half of which, according to American business magazine Forbes, watch primarily to view entertaining commercials. KIA’s delightfully emotive ‘Robo Dog’ commercial certainly didn’t disappoint that ‘half’ Forbes identified.

3. Sprint, Time To Go

Advertising Agency: Droga5, New York, USA

Production Company: MJZ, New York, USA

Post Production and VFX Studios: MPC, New York, USA

Sprint Telecommunications Company’s ‘Time To Go’ commercial, directed by renowned filmmaker Nick Ball, portrays a scientist recording notes on the progress of ‘Evelyn’, an advanced AI robot.

Having analysed his telecommunication data, Evelyn interrupts the scientist to ask why he hasn’t switched to Sprint as it’s obviously the logical thing to do. The upshot of their exchange is a decision by Evelyn and her fellow robots, that it’s time go.      

The commercial is entertainingly cinematic, and superbly produced with it’s impressive robotic stars taking centre stage.

4. Amara Montenegro, Human Spirit

Advertising Agency: Armando Testa, Turin, Italy

Production Company: Filmmaster Productions, Milan, Italy

(Amaro Montenegro is a spicy herbal liquor distilled in Bologna, Italy, since 1885 from a secret blend of 40 botanical ingredients that include vanilla, orange peel, and eucalyptus)

‘Human Spirit’, Amara Montenegro’s advertising campaign tribute to genuine friendship and camaraderie in the age of artificial intelligence, is an impactful analogy directed by filmmaker Xavier Mairesse.

The commercial soundtrack features the song “Human” by British singer-songwriter  ‘Rag’n’Bone Man’ that very effectively underscores the inability of artificial intelligence, in whatever form, to experience heartfelt emotions.

And that is something to celebrate by raising a glass of Amara Montenegro to endearing friendship, and the endurance of the ‘human spirit’.

5. Johnnie Walker, Human

Advertising Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), London, UK

Production Company: The Mill, London, UK

This multi-award winning commercial, directed by esteemed filmmaker Dante Ariola, with a string arrangement soundtrack, composed by A-Bomb Music Studios, London, UK, features an android speaking about being human.

Summed up by the line “I have perfect sight, you have vision”, academics and communication specialists, in numerous discussion papers, debated and analysed the commercial’s prognostic take on androids and artificial intelligence.

And on the Johnnie Walker ‘Keep Walking’ theme, the general consensus was, that the strength of the message lies in the fact that it reflects viewing audience’s feelings, values, opinions, and perceptions of success.

“The campaign is selling us something else besides consumer goods. It is selling us ourselves”.

Sir John Hegarty, in a presentation with David Droga, at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2014, proclaimed the Johnnie Walker ‘android storyteller’, to be one of the creative realisations he was most proud of.

6. TOTAL Excellium, Space Travellers

Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France

Production Company: Partizan, Paris, France

VFX, Animation and Motion Design Studio, Mathematics, Paris, France

The crew of spaceship, consisting of a ‘Frog Man’, a hairy ‘Wookie’, an intelligent Robot, and two pilots, touch down at an intergalactic TOTAL station, when they run out of fuel.

Directed by filmmaker Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, the cinematic scenario, of the crew’s humorous experiences of the TOTAL station’s hospitable offerings, are highly entertaining with its impressively produced VFX characters, spaceship, and scenes of outer space.

7. Edeka Supermarkets, Christmas Humanity

Advertising Agency: Jung von Matt, Hamburg, Germany

Production Company: Sterntag Film, Hamburg, Germany

The most mould-breaking Christmas-themed commercial, of all time for me, is Jung von Matt’s 2017 imaginative short-film scenario for Edeka, Germany’s largest supermarket chain, portraying an A.I. ruled dystopian world, a hundred years later, in 2117.

The superbly produced cinematic epic, directed by storytelling filmmaker extraordinaire Matthijs van Heijningen, is painstakingly art-directed in exquisite detail, and compellingly atmospheric.

The charming sci-fi depiction of a robot in search of experiencing human companionship, in a real Christmas family gathering, that ends with the insightful line “Without love, it’s just a feast”, features a soundtrack by composers Simon Heeger, and Christian Vorländer,  founders of Music Production Company, 2WEI, Hamburg, Germany.