The Splendid Quill
  • Reviews
  • March11th

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    2010 is here and with it a new series of tv adverts worth talking about. At least, I hope that’s the case. We’re off to a good start, since it’s now barely March and the first of the wheat has separated from the chaff. And that’s a good thing given that 2009 really sort of….fell flat….for me. The spot is one you’ve likely seen first airing on the Superbowl(a tradition I love to loathe) starring a shirtless stud pimping old spice. In case you’ve been living under a rock and not seen this, it’s better than it sounds. Trust me.

    Now, I personally find the staccato narration a pleasing break from the norm. It’s different, but still colloquial enough to engage the audience in a meaningful way. I prefer the witty nature of the dialogue and find the tongue and cheek magic tricks perfectly balance the expense of the spot with the contrasting cheapness of the product…both in a monetary and armpit standpoint. If you’re a super dork like me, you’ll want to watch this interview with the AD from Wieden+Kennedy who put the piece together. A touch lengthy at 20 minutes, but worth it if you have the time.

  • November26th

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    That’s what Howard said. It’s from a note sent to him several years ago. I shant go into the detail since it’s irrelevant to the discussion at hand, but it has a lot of meaning. In any case, it seems to well illustrate how this Thanksgiving has shaped up. And while we’re on the subject I have a few things to share with everyone.

    For the vast masses that represent my readership, I want to thank you here in the golden light of a Carolina evening on this Thanksgiving. I don’t think I could do it without you. All three of you. That includes my wife and my mom. And half the time I think Nancy just tells me she’s keeping up with it. How sad is that? It’s almost British it’s so sad.

    However, what has been distinctly unBritish is-this Thanksgiving. We’ve intrepidly traveled to North Carolina where I promptly learned I’d been volunteered to cook the turkey. In a broken oven. But, I cleverly hired a few tarheels to rub sticks together long enough to get the bird done. And she’s a beauty at that. There was also a charming beauty to the way the electric coil of the oven exploded half way through the cook cycle. It caught fire and slowly burned an electric fire from the front to the back of the burner. Ever calm, I opened a beer and assured all the guests that a) the house would not burn down and b) the turkey would still be bitchin’.

    It occurs to me that my streak of being right has remained unbroken, other than that sorry scene in 1989 regarding the Berlin wall. But we’re not here to talk about that. What I actually came here to talk about is this ad I stumbled across. It’s from New Zealand. Even better, it’s a PSA. That’s stop motion. And about the wild west. Of New Zealand. Did I mention that yet? Anyway, turn up the volume, enjoy the accent and the truly amazing animation. One day I’ll do something like this at work.

    Maybe Monday.

  • October1st

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    Despite the secret joy I hold for that whole ink-into-water effect, I totally enjoyed the music and the general surreal story depicted by the piece. Wait, did I just call it a piece? Like it’s art? What, wait…no…is that the Central China Television logo? This is an add for fake propaganda-ridden news from the last remaining bastion of communism left on earth? Shit. They are totally taking over the world. Oh well, at least it will apparently be a pretty new world order.

    CCTV Ink TV Commercial – Directed by Niko Tziopanos from Troublemakers.tv on Vimeo.

  • August21st

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    I was part of the first wave of viewers for the show. I really liked it. A lot. We’re talking download the music and consider-moving-to-the-deep-south loved it.

    The question then becomes one of why I liked it so much. Truth is, I was sort of let down by the plot elements in season one. Seemed loosely compiled from a novel that I’m sure was far better as a whole story than the televised version.

    Then it clicked with me. The visual style of the production was really wonderful. There’s a sense of gritty inhuman reality and as a viewer I’m continually put into the position of seeing life as I know it from an outsider’s position. Clearly there’s something great going on here. Also, clearly, is the beauty of the opening title sequence. Here’s a copy of it:

    TRUE BLOOD from Tiago Ribeiro on Vimeo.

    That great swamp pop/country sound from Jace’s Everett’s “Bad Things” certainly helps set the mood. It contributed to that otherworldly rawness conveyed by the visual imagery. I really enjoyed the lack of any digital effects. That was a key element in keeping it “in the muck” for me. Anyhow, I don’t want to ruin the following “making of” piece by tearing this apart piece by undead piece. But I will spoil it by saying they used DV, 8 mil, and 16 mil cameras to film the sequences. And I have a deep abiding love for 8 and 16 mil cameras. Right, on with the making of!

    CL Feature: DK’s True Blood – The Making Of from Creative League Team on Vimeo.

  • September7th

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    Boom De Yadda!

    Posted in: Reviews

    In my humble opinion, this is one of the most effective ad spots I’ve ever seen. It does some amazing stuff for Discovery:

    1) It utilizes some of the best footage of their best shows in a relevant manner that clearly communicates their line-up. And like, doesn’t that just read exactly what an exec would put in a project RFP?

    2) It’s got that wonderful song we all used to sing as kids. But turned a bit, and made more sticky because of it. I catch myself wandering around the office humming it to myself and thinking about Adam setting Jamie’s sleeve on fire. Or Stephen Hawking. Or Zulu Warriors. The list goes on….I hope the guys at 72 And Sunny win a Clio for this piece of rad work.