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High Five: Ads That Portray Unique and Ownable Visual Worlds


Founder and ECD at Unsaid Studio, Tom Alex Buch, celebrates an eclectic bunch of projects that swing between light and dark

High Five: Ads That Portray Unique and Ownable Visual Worlds

Whether striking simplicity, or rich atmospheres, stacked back to back advertising can act as little 15 to 30-second portals to new spaces. I have chosen some multimedia moments that inspired me through the years, fusing craft, design and imagination to build worlds to escape into. All said, after I set my theme, in practice my selections are moments that inspired me, and nudged me on my own career path. As an artist, visually I tend to swing between light and dark, atmospheric and brooding vs bright and pure. My work is polarised in that way, it looks like my picks here display that, too...

Guinness - 'Guinness Surfer'

Agency: AMV BBDO
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Post: The Computer Film Company
Sound: Soundtree x Wave Studios

A classic, visually rich and cinematic. If you too are partial to a Guinness now and then, tell me it's not hard to remember the visuals in this ad by Jonathan Glazer. Of course the music, surfers and horses are a poignant mix, but as a kid it always made me wonder if the physics at play in the clouds that form in a Guinness might really be swirling in the way 50ft thunderous waves do. Whether that 10-year-old should have been thinking so deeply about beer already is another question...

MTV - 'MTV Sweetheart'

Production: ZEITGUISED

At Unsaid Studio, a motion studio doing 3D in 2023, we love clean and playful branding work. If it's combined with 3D physics and is tactile and beautiful, it's hard to look away from. 'Oddly satisfying' is a phrase we hear often, it's been fuelled by the Instagram algorithm for years now. This piece by Zeitguised was done 14 years ago...when I caught it on MTV at the time, I knew it was special, and am now amazed to see how well it held up.

HBO - 'Game of Thrones' Opening

It’s probably a predictable one, but everybody knows the intro to 'Game of Thrones' for a reason. The clockwork map that looks like it's pulled from a museum. I personally love it because it represents how 3D software - when used best - is the ultimate toolbox for creativity and problem solving. This intro could have been predictable and a lot of CG design work is, but this was original, super spatial and complements the show in a completely tangential and unexpected way. Hats off to the folks at Elastic for creating an entire movement with their HBO show intros.

Nike - 'Air Max 2017'

Agency: Man vs Machine

We also love to play in the CG sandbox at Unsaid Studio, to experiment and ideate, cast a wide net and explore ‘what if’s’. Nowadays, more and more, it feels as though ads are embracing 3D motion graphics as a tool for visual art. Anything is possible. The focus that Man vs Machine had with this spot from 2017 ended up on a million client moodboards, fast-paced and experimental. Its simplicity is modern and intriguing, enter a space of visual indulgence, pop, squish and flow. 

MTV Games - 'The Beatles: Rock Band'

The blend of hand-painted stylised animation and 3D and in this video game intro 11 years ago really stuck with me. I was finding my feet with motion graphics at the time. The ad starts quite rooted in reality but eventually spirals into a surreal multimedia masterpiece. When the elephant stomps to the beat near the end, still wow.

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Unsaid Studio, Wed, 07 Jun 2023 11:30:04 GMT