Archive | Commercials

An archive of blog entries about TV and film commercials.

October 4, 2016

The CW's superhero fight club is back

Posted on October 4, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Last year, The CW put together a nice little team-up trailer to show off its roster of superhero characters in a make-believe training 'fight club'. Of course, that was back when the network had a mere two superhero shows to its name: Arrow and The Flash. Can you believe it was ever so superhero-poor?

Now, though, it's not only launched DC's Legends of Tomorrow, it's picked up CBS's Supergirl and made it its own. Yep, we're up to four shows - one every weekday night, except for the desert wasteland that is Friday. That seems much more sensible, doesn't it?

To show off the new characters, as well as the old, here's the sequel to that trailer: Fight Club 2.0. It's not as much fun as the original and it goes on way too long, but it's clearly got a bigger budget and it's nice to see nerdy Supergirl and Flash sparking off each other again.

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September 29, 2016

Signing's come a long way on UK TV

Posted on September 29, 2016 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

For those who are nostalgic for TV times past (like me), it's sometimes easy to forget that the past wasn't necessarily better - particularly for minority groups. Consider the deaf (assuming you're not. Deaf that is). Time was that BSL signing on television was unheard of. It just didn't happen. 

The first exposure to it I remember getting was when one of my favourite early 80s bands, Red Box, appeared on Blue Peter to discuss the inclusion of a BSL signer in the video for their song 'Lean On Me'. 

Of course, when 'For America', their next song came out, no BSL signing was deemed necessary. Gimmick, maybe?

And apart from a new little show on Sunday afternoons called See Hear, that was about it for BSL for quite some time.

Nowadays, although we're still not exactly talking global signing, the BBC has both signed versions of regular programming in its Sign Zone slot and original programming, too, including the now venerable See Hear.

You don't have to stay up late set the video to watch signed programmes, since you can watch them on iPlayer, too. There's even live signing on BBC News.

Like the BBC, Channel 4 has its own late night signing, as do E4 and Film4, and of course the recent Rio Paralympics was signed.

Other channels? Not so much.

Commercials are an interesting one. This recent one for Maltesers is something of a first. 

Lovely, hey? But perhaps even lovelier is the signed version (yes, really), since it showed that enough people would recognise the BSL signer from the Rio Paralympics that he could be included in the ad. Not that he had a lot to do…

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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