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The Blurry Line Between the Film and Creative Director
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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At times, especially in the agency world, we run into creative directors who are just one step away from leaving AdLand to go to Hollywood. On the flipside, there are movie directors who often take a break from the Hollywood dazzle and entertain themselves with quickies in AdLand. Both directors require extraordinary talent, management, and vision. But will there ever be a time when one could replace the other? Or are they in fact one and the same, just a variation?

Commercials demand immediacy, so developing a plot and a backstory are pretty difficult without committing to a full-fledged campaign. Commercials typically need the presentation of the product, service, or idea, why it's beneficial to the consumer, and a way the consumer can either find more information about it or where they can get it.


In the fashion world, there are identity spots, where only the brand is emphasized, and it's solely up to the consumer to decide to look for it. These spots demand that the consumer chase the brand, because the brand knows that the consumer wants it, or that it deserves to be chased. Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning director, directed a three-minute short film for Prada that highlights this kind of spot. The short film has a wardrobe exclusively Prada, and it has a nifty way of flashing the name during the spot. In it, Ben Kingsley doesn't say a word, but his actions are fantastic.

Here's the spot:

Polanski pokes fun at the fashion world and those the world adores while also showing that Prada is good for anyone. The actress is unbearable, as Kingsley agrees, but the clothing is not. It's cheeky, and a brand that needs no introduction can get away with a fun spot like that.

There are other examples of Hollywood dipping into AdLand's pool to try it out. Earlier this year James Franco made waves by directing spots for a brand. Truth is, as the advertising industry continues to adapt, other industries are taking notice. Brands are looking for other ways to express themselves, and with web video and a low barrier of entry with owned media, we should expect to see more of this.

h/t PSFK.com

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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