Showing posts with label Adverts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adverts. Show all posts

Friday, 1 August 2014

ITV spent £1 million on X FACTOR trailer, but only uploaded it in 480P

Things are about to get loud.
THE X FACTOR is returning on 30 August, with Simon Cowell back as head judge, joined by returning pop star Cheryl Cole Fernandez Versini, new judge Mel B, and old hand Louis Walsh. ITV spent £1 million on this Game of Thrones-inspired trailer for the new series (where each judge is the general of their own bellicose army, unleashing hell), but for some reason they only uploaded it to YouTube as a 480P stream. What a bum note.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Advert: 'Virgin Media' (Dan Black's "Symphonies")

Virgin Media have a brand new advert, which you can watch above. It's pretty good, certainly more intriguing and stylish than Sky's commercials, if still very unfocused on telling people what the advantages of Virgin are over their satellite rival! And why are there no adverts for the excellent, cutting-edge TiVo box they have on the market? Crazy.

But anyway, what grabbed my attention about this advert was the beautiful music, which samples the theme from John Carpenter's 1984 sci-fi road movie Starman. It's called "Symphonies" and it's by an artist called Dan Black.

You can hear the full "Starman" theme below, together with other versions:

"Starman" by Jack Nitzsche:

Dan Black's "Symphonies":

Dan Black's "Symphonies" (featuring Kid Cudi) remix:

Dan Black's "Symphonies" (instrumental version):

Pretty great, no? But I wonder if Virgin are happy we're discussing the choice of music over their own cable offerings? Oh well, at least we're discussing the advert in some form. Time to rent Starman again, too.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Super Bowl 2010: Adverts

Do I like the Super Bowl? No. Do I like (American) "football"? No. It's rugby for sissies, as the flame-baiting comment goes. But, what I do like is the fact so many Americans watch the Super Bowl that companies spend a lot of cash to air attention-grabbing adverts for summer movies, or use recognisable characters to sell drinks, etc. And, thanks to the marvel that is YouTube, you don't have to sit through the sporting event (or even live in America) to get to the good stuff:

The Simpsons are advertising Coca-Cola with Mr. Burns. Prepare to be disappointed.

It looks fun, like a more sophisticated Mummy movie. I have no attachment or deep knowledge of the video game source material, sorry.

I really hope this is good, because there are moments and visuals in these trailers that look superb. But Tim Burton's no longer a guarantee of quality, and I'm bored of Johnny Depp in these "ker-azy" roles. Still, this will probably be the next film I'm keen to see in 3D.

It's funny; everything I've seen of The Wolfman looks fantastic, but the film's had such a terrible gestation period (including reshoots so that Benicio Del Toro's Wolf Man character could be on all fours like a dog, because they didn't like him upright!) that I'm worried we're seeing a skewed version of the film's quality in these trailers.

It looks magnificent, as most Ridley Scott films do. But I just don't sense much of a Robin Hood vibe to anything I've seen -- it's effectively Gladiator with England as a backdrop. And I hear from test screenings that the supporting cast aren't that great, particularly the Sheriff of Nottingham.

I haven't seen the anime this is based on, but I hear good things about it. This will be interesting to see if M. Night Shyamalan can finally get a hit post-Signs with a project he didn't create. There's nothing about this trailer that puts me off, beyond Shyamalan's insistence his name be in big letters all over the credits, because his name lost significance about six years ago.

In some ways the nicest surprise of the movie trailers here, because The Crazies isn't so overexposed already. This looks good, actually, despite being a remake of the 1973 classic about a town's water supply being poisoned.

Already brought to my attention in the Lost season 6 premiere thread, here's a spoof of Lost from Bud Light, who still think we're in season 1 it seems. Love the production values, but... sigh. Pretty lame joke -- was it worth the effort?

I appreciate the awkwardness of the idea behind this, given recent events in US late-night talk show circles, but... disappointing. More interesting is the backstory to how it came about. And yes, Dave Letterman wanted Conan involved.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Johnny Walker - The Man Who Walked Around The World

I thought I'd draw your attention to this excellent advert for Johnny Walker whisky ("The Man Who Walked Around The World"), starring Robert Caryle. It's a six-minute long piece, filmed in one continuous take using a steadicam*, as Carlye regales the audience with the true story of Scottish distiller Johnny Walker. Anyway, it's a superb piece of work from director Jamie Rafn, with superlative timing from Carlye, so I recommend you give it a look. Then check out this informative interview with the director about its making.

* It apparently took 40 takes to get it perfect.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

The New Hovis Advert

Gives you that warm glow, like in t'olden days. Would Ridley Scott approve?

Friday, 30 May 2008

Did you see the Live Honda Advert?

Well, did you? 2.2 million people did, during an ad break for Channel 4's Come Dine With Me last night. Honda's latest commercial – totally live. Oooh. 168,000 people tuned in just to see it. The 3-minute ad involved a skydiving team over Spain, who spelt out the word "HONDA" during free-fall. The stunt cost Honda, famed for their imaginative and creative commercials, a cool £500,000.

I love the idea of live adverts, but Honda's stunt wasn't that brilliant -- was it? I mean, a mass skydive with people forming the word "HONDA" is impressive, but did the fact it was live add anything? It was more an exercise in broadcasting synchronization than anything else, to me. And it lasted the whole ad break, too. I'd have been more impressed if they were under a tight 30-second deadline to perform the stunt. Still, it made 168,000 people actually seek out an advert on TV, and got people talking about it. Including me, right here and now. So it did its job. I applaud it.

Will this start a trend, though? It proves people still find live TV alluring, even if we regularly time-shift live TV shows with Sky+ these days. Remember those live episodes of The Bill and Coronation Street? Live television still has that danger and immediate connection to viewers. I'd hate to see live ads become passé, but wouldn't it be cool to see a live Guinness advert -- like that domino-effect one? Any other suggestions?

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Brains dances!

I bet you've never seen Brains from Thunderbirds do that before? Very funny advert. There's something incredibly charming and amusing about string puppets, isn't there. It's almost a shame there's been CGI tinkering (quite clearly the longer it goes on), but it's nothing that ruins the simple magic of a marionette dancing to "Rhythm Is A Dancer".

See how it was made here:

After the recent BT Gremlins advert, it seems there's a growing trend to revive old TV and film characters in a surprising way. Whatever next? Mr. Benn promoting Thomas Cook?

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Gremlins in the system...

Wow! Gremlins was one of the defining films of my childhood, so it's great to see them back! Sadly, it's not in a third (looong overdue) movie, but in a wonderful advert for BT, co-starring Dragons' Den's Peter Jones as a stressed IT worker who finds he has gremlins in the system...

You can see a short featurette on the making of this advert below:

Love it! Hopefully interest generated by this advert will help get Gremlins 3 made. Like how those Citroen adverts seemed to fast-track Transformers.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Cinema adverts and trailers

I'm one of those people who insist on turning up at my local ODEON for the adverts and trailers. I just can't intentionally arrive late like some people do, for fear of being lumbered with a bad seat or missing a trailer – which are sometimes the most exciting moments during a trip to the multiplex!

The adverts/trailers shown before Cloverfield a few nights ago were particularly memorable – for both good and bad reasons. They dragged on for 30 minutes, so that didn't go down well with anyone... but there were was some interesting stuff in the mix:

The Chris Moyles Show
A surprisingly funny advert for Moyles' radio show. It was just a black screen, with the disembodied voices of Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles and "Comedy Dave" trying to plug their weekday morning show – with the help of the Voice Over Man with the bombastic deep voice. Lots of fun, particularly when Voice-Over Man couldn't pronounced "one" properly. "Radio Wunnnn."

Doctor Who: Season 4 Trailer
A cinema exclusive, it seems. I really like the fact the BBC are proud enough of Doctor Who to give it a big trailer like this, although there wasn't anything that made me particularly excited about season 4. I suppose that giant wasp was pretty cool... but that was about it. There doesn't seem to be a Dalek/Cyberman equivalent in any of the trailers this time out – but maybe they're going to keep stuff secret this year? For once!

It was mostly interesting to realize Bernard Cribbins' character from the Voyage Of The Damned is actually Donna's "gramps"! Catherine Tate herself did little to quell my irritation that Donna is the Doctor's new companion. Her definitely character seems less brash and hostile, but a grinning middle-aged shrill cockney just isn't what I look for in a Who companion... and her wistfulness, staring up at the stars, pining for The Doctor, really bugged me. I'll give her a chance when the show starts in a few months, but I've yet to be persuaded this isn't a Bonnie Langford-style misstep for Russell T. Davies...

But anyway; there was great music throughout, Freema Agyeman looked sexy covered in slime, and there was a quick glimpse of Billie Piper. Yeah, she's definitely back -- but the crowd I was with groaned when Billie appeared, and someone muttered "it's shit, though" when the Doctor Who logo faded up. Pah! Not target audience...

Orange Film Advert: Snoop Dogg
I adore these Orange adverts. They've been running for years now and rarely fail to make me giggle. Amusing, clever and well-performed. This latest one focused on Snoop Dogg (referred to as "Huggie Bear"), and features lots of "fashnizzle/bizzle"-type gags at his expense. It wasn't one of the best Orange ads, but these are still treats.

Star Trek: Teaser
I've already reviewed this trailer here, but it was great to see it on the big-screen. It gave me a good vibe, primarily because it's the first Star Trek movie that actually looks epic. The scale/detail of the Enterprise eclipses anything that's gone before.

A brilliant tease for Trekkers... and there was no sniggering when it became "clear" it was a Star Trek film... although one person didn't realize and seemed to thing it was called BAD ROBOT (which is just J.J Abrams' production company, whose logo appeared at the very start!) Duhhhh.

Lynx advert
I really like the new Lynx aerosol ad, too -- where a grinning lothario made of chocolate goes about his business and has bits of his anatomy bitten off by women. It's a fun idea, but it really works because of the sheer lunacy of the chocolate man's smiling expression. Inspired.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Ad nauseam

UK television regulator Ofcom are thinking about raising the broadcasting limit on advertisements, as a means to boost flagging revenue. British TV advertising is worth £3.47 billion a year, with a 30-second advert on primetime terrestrial TV costing approximately £50,000.

At the moment, terrestrial channels are allowed to broadcast 9 minutes of adverts every hour; although ITV, Channel 4 and Five choose to broadcast only 7 minutes, as they understand the British mentality about "rude interruptions."

Ofcom want to set a new 12-minute limit -- a 70% increase that will take us very close to America's 13-minute limit. However, terrestrial commercial channels are likely to only increase to 9 minutes, putting them on equal footing with digital channels like Sky One.

Obviously, any increase in advertising is a disappointment for UK viewers, although some ads can be more entertaining than the programs! Adverts are a necessary component of commercial TV, but I don't want the UK to become a clone of the US system -- where TV shows seemingly cut to commercial breaks every 6 minutes!

9 minutes isn't too bad, particularly as the extra 2 minutes generates more cash to pump back into making decent television. I think most people can cope with a 2 minute increase, as the difference between 7-minute terrestrial TV and 9-minute digital TV isn't noticed by most viewers!

But are we headed down a slippery slope to 13-minute madness? I hope not, as that would push more people to download TV shows over broadband internet, or find solace with the BBC -- and both are bad news for TV advertisers.

Monday, 11 June 2007


Ever heard of the Hollywood Film Choral Sound Effects Choir? No. They're also known as the Honda Choir in some circles. Beginning to ring a bell? Yeah, you know them -- the guys that worked on that famous Honda advert. The one where they duplicate various sounds of a car, vocally. Yes, them!

Well, you may like to visit their website here. It's pretty interesting. They're responsible for most of the choral musical cues in films (they must get a lot of work from Danny Elfman!), as well as appearing in films as choirs for church scenes, etc. Oh, oh -- they also do the "Theee Siiimpsoooons...." bit at the beginning of every Simpsons episode!

You may have missed their sound effects set to movie clips at this year's Oscars. If so, take a look below. It's pretty cool work...