- Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016
- HOLLYWOOD & Westport, CT
Of the 10 most viewed SHOOT videos in 2016, three were Top Spots of the Week and one came from The Best Work You May Never See gallery. The latter was a VR piece for Greenpeace.
Generating the most views, though, was neither a Top Spot or a Best Work entry. Instead it was a Volvo spot, “Song of the Open Road,” directed by Niclas Larsson via Anonymous Content/Iconoclast for Grey New York. Drawing inspiration from Walt Whitman’s “Song of The Open Road” poem, this short film introduces us to a writer who too is seeking inspiration as he grapples with his latest work, which he shares in draft version with an interested waitress. As the writer’s story unfolds--narrated by actor Josh Brolin--we see the opportunity for adventure on the open road, which dovetails with what one can experience in the new Volvo S90 luxury sedan.
The second most viewed SHOOT video of 2016 was a Petco tie-in spot to a high profile movie release. In this cinema ad titled “Home Alone,” we hear from pets whose owners have gone off to movie theaters to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. These talking pets clearly are Star Wars fans who have been denied the joy of seeing the latest film. At the very least, says one dog, he should have been left with a toy to play with--maybe a sock. This is when we learn of the Star Wars line of toys made specifically for pets--now available at Petco. For the spot, The ViTRO Agency called on visual effects house Ring of Fire to create talking pets, bringing stock still images to life via animation. Ring of Fire’s Jerry Spivack creative directed and directed the animation.
Next up in the SHOOT countdown was a Top Ten Tracks entry, “Love Your Nature--Mandy” for Burt’s Bees, with music and sound from JSM Music. Directed by Anna & Ewan of RDI for agency Baldwin& in Raleigh, NC, the spot takes us into the natural beauty of Mandy’s world.
Finishing fourth was the aforementioned Best Work You May Never See entry, a VR film for Greenpeace which takes audiences on a trip to the Arctic. Shot in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, the film--produced by MediaMonks Stockholm--takes viewers on an awe-inspiring journey. “You can’t see it, but the Arctic Ocean teems with life,” informs the voiceover as the viewer looks out from the deck of the Greenpeace ship, the Arctic Sunrise. The VR film allows the viewer to experience the beautiful pristine wilderness first-hand, from walking on the sea ice and encountering a curious polar bear mother with her cub, to exploring the heart of a glacier. It’s that perspective that, through the use of VR technology, builds a genuine connection to the environment.
To produce the film, MediaMonks’ VR team created camera and audio 360 rigs that would deliver a seamless version of reality. Camera rigs were 3D printed in the bespoke VR Lab and the team of VR creatives then traveled together with a production unit from Greenpeace to capture the footage. MediaMonks’ postproduction team took care of all stitching, grading and audio production. Director/DP was Bo Gustavsson.
“With a regular film, the director can control where the audience looks. There’s an element of control over where the eye trains and what the focus should be,” said Pasi Helin, partner and CCO of MediaMonks Stockholm. “With VR, as with real life, you attract attention through visual cues. It gives us a unique ability to immerse people in another world, wherever they happen to be. We can take people out of their lives and transport them to a place or time that connects them to a narrative in a way that no other technology can achieve. We can’t think of a more appropriate use for immersive experiential technology than building engagement with Greenpeace.”
The VR film is part of a wider Protect What You Love platform for Greenpeace. The immersive four-minute VR experience is designed to raise awareness of the rapidly changing climate and promote environmental conservation.
Taking fifth place was the year’s highest ranked Top Spot of the Week: Chipotle’s animated short film A Love Story produced by Passion Pictures for CAA. The short centers on a lass with a lemonade stand situated across the road from a lad with an orange juice stand who escalate their business competition--despite having feelings for each other--way beyond their original natural, fresh-squeezed offerings. Each business over time becomes a reservoir of processed fast food, with ever growing menus not even remotely related to their initial core fruit juice refreshments. The processed machine-made food operations take on an all consuming life of their own, until the guy and gal break free and return to their natural wholesome food roots, coming together to provide healthy, nourishing fare at their own independent restaurant/store.
Next up was another Top Spot, NBA’s “Hands” directed by Matt Aselton of Arts & Sciences for ad agency Translation. This piece--promoting the launch of NBA Saturday Primetime games on ABC-TV--introduces us to a nine-year-old lad who’s a fan of the NBA World Champion Golden State Warriors. Receiving a post-game high five from Warriors star Andre Iguodala, the boy is protective of that slapped hand as he tries to preserve the magic of his hero’s touch. The youngster does his chores, dribbles a basketball, even plays the tuba--all without using that same hand.
The seventh most viewed SHOOT video of the year was an UnderArmour short film starring Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps, part of the ongoing “Rule Yourself” campaign from Droga5 New York. Directed by Martin de Thurah of Epoch Films for Droga5 New York, the short focuses on the intense training regimen, sacrifice and determination of Phelps as he trains into the wee hours. His story is a perfect fit for the Under Armour mantra, “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.”
The eighth place slot went to a spot for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in which Ty Burrell portrays his Modern Family character, Phil Dunphy. In this ad, Dunphy taps into his “Phil’s-osophies” platform--except this time he touches upon the ways realtors provide a competitive advantage in the home buying process. Titled “Ball,” this piece reinforces the NAR mantra that we need a realtor rather than just a real estate agent to make the most out of the housing market. Dunphy is clearly a realtor and affirms so in Modern Family, weaving the NAR message into an episode of the primetime series. That message is then echoed comedically in this commercial in which Dunphy talks about the quick cat-like reflexes needed to capitalize on housing/real estate opportunities. To demonstrate his reflexes, he is supposed to grab a fast approaching ball thrown from off screen towards him--only to fail multiple times. Modern Family creators Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan directed “Ball” for Arnold Worldwide.
Finishing ninth in our video countdown was a Top Spot for Pedigree, Dark to Light. In this short film--which is part of the Pedigree global Feed The Good campaign and video series--we are introduced to Liz Oleska who one morning saw her son off to school, not knowing it would be the last time she would see his face. The single mom’s eyesight deteriorated later that day and she almost gave up hope--until a dog named Brice entered her life, turning everything from dark to light. In support of Blindness Awareness Month in October, the short was also created in a second format that uses descriptive video services (DVS) to voice over the visuals displayed on the screen, ensuring the visually impaired can experience the film as well. A creative team at BBDO NY conceived of the video which was directed by Nathan Caswell and Jeremiah Zagar via production house Public Record.
And rounding out SHOOT's Top Ten was Oreo Thins' "Not Too Sweet" from FCB Shanghai.
Here's a rundown of the 30 most viewed SHOOT Videos of 2016: