- Friday, Jun. 5, 2015
Joseph Kahn's “Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout” through Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) has just been named “Ad of the Decade” after a public poll was held to celebrate YouTube’s 10th anniversary. With over 100 million views the commercial has seen over twice as many hits as its second place rival, “The Force” for VW though Deutsch/LA.
“Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout” sees NBA superstar Kobe Bryant challenge soccer superstar Lionel Messi to a global selfie shootout, each athlete jet setting around the world to luxurious locales in an epic face-off for portrait supremacy.
“Crispin Porter + Bogusky had a great concept and knew exactly what they wanted, they were fantastic to work with,” recalls Kahn on directing the globally admired work. “The main challenge became how to bring their incredibly ambitious idea to life in a very short span of time.”
Kahn explains production was crisp and quick, shooting Kobe in Los Angeles then Messi in Barcelona before heading into post. He recalls how Messi surprised production in Spain by arriving early on set with game face on, eager and ready to go: “We only had a small window of time but thankfully I’d gone through the stage the night before and mapped out every single camera move required,” he explains. “We got in shape and wrapped him in no time.”
Having worked with a glut of luminaries over the years, Kahn explains how comfort and confidence are important allies in creating successful commercial work: “I’ve been directing celebrities for so long that I no longer get nervous,” says Kahn.
“I enjoy collaborating with talent on both sides of the camera, working as a conduit between celebrity and agency. It’s always important to establish a comfort level with everyone involved to be sure of successful partnerships and to make the best work possible.”
“No one is watching this commercial to see how proficient my camera work is,” wraps Kahn on the complex and technical shoot, fully aware of why his work has received global recognition. "Everyone wants to watch these superstars interact with each other. It’s about personifying the brand and getting it noticed in the best way possible."
Kahn’s latest recognition comes after recent success releasing his dark bootleg film “Power/Rangers”, attracting 13 MILLION views in its first two days online. His “Bad Blood” promo for Taylor Swift also witnessed 20 MILLION hits in just 20 hours following its premiere at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards last month.
Meanwhile, Kahn's “Blank Space” clip released for Taylor Swift has now garnered an astonishing 900 MILLION visits since its release online last year.