Archive | Commercials

An archive of blog entries about TV and film commercials.


September 22, 2016

Clive Owen is back driving BMWs again

Posted on September 22, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The people of Britain first became aware of Clive Owen a long time ago - back in the 80s, in fact, when he was Chancer on ITV. That show made him very popular with the ladies in particular thanks to his starring role as the wide-boy conman 'Stephen Crane' - if you've seen the show, you'll know why I put that name in quotes - and he became indelibly stamped on the popular psyche as a result.

But it took a while for the rest of the world to wake up to Clive Owen and although the indie movie Croupier helped to establish him, it wasn't through movies or even a TV show that he became a star. Instead, it was through a series of auteured adverts for BMW called 'The Hire'. Each mini-movie advert was streamed online - one of the first ad series to take advantage of the Internet - and featured Owen driving a BMW.

Okay, that's not very informative, I know, but that was more or less the only thing the ads had in common - how could it be otherwise when you had the likes of Tony Scott, John Woo, Ang Lee, John Frankenheimer, Joe Carnahan, Wong Kar-wai, Alejandro G Iñárritu and Guy Ritchie directing them in their own unique styles, and Gary Oldman, Forest Whitaker, Don Cheadle, Marilyn Manson, Ray Liotta, Stellan Skargård et al guest starring?

Here are the John Woo and the Guy Ritchie ads so you can compare and contrast.

After the series began in 2001, BMW saw its sales go up 12% from the previous year, the ads being viewed more than 11 million times in four months. Indeed, the films were so popular that BMW produced a free DVD for customers who visited certain BMW dealerships - except BMW ran out of DVDs.

The result was that - at least in the US - Doug Liman could cast Owen in a bit part in The Bourne Identity, have him do little more than drive a BMW arround and the audience would know that a sly wink to the series was being cast in their direction. 

Owen, of course, went on to much bigger and better things, including movies and Cinemax's The Knick. But now, 15 years after the ads, he's back for old time's sake. The director chosen for 'The Escape'? None other than Neill Blomkamp, with Dakota Fanning, Jon Bernthal and Vera Farmiga along for the ride.

You'll have to wait until October 23rd before you can see the full thing on BMW Films. Until then, you can enjoy this shiny trailer with Jon Bernthal shouting and shooting a lot.

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Joss Whedon would rather you didn't vote for Donald Trump. And neither would his mates

Posted on September 22, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Joss Whedon - you either love him or only like him a bit. I think it's probably impossible to hate Joss Whedon unless you're about 12 years old and have no sense of TV history.

Politically, Whedon is, of course, a great big feminist and Democrat, and you shouldn't be surprised that with a few exceptions - cough, cough, Sarah Michelle Gellar - so are his mates. With President Trump an actual realistic possibility in the next four months, Jossy-baby has got a huge number of his more famous pals to put together a video pleading with you not to vote for the racist, misogynist, homophobic, lying sociopathic conman who could well usher in the Apocalypse. He's even got half of the cast of The West Wing along for the ride.

The video's probably preaching to the converted and won't sway many dissenters, but it's worth a gander anyway because it's pretty funny, too.

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September 14, 2016

This is basically how I imagine all Japanese TV to be like

Posted on September 14, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

However, it might just be an ad for Nissin instant rice noodles.

Nissin do actually have form for this kind of oddness. Here's one with popular Japanese film director Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano, for example.

Bonkers, hey?

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