I can't help but see commercials through the lens of "What if this was a series?". Imagine an endless supply of characters, worlds and stories that have been created, refined and crafted by professionals whose primary goal is to captivate a specific audience. Now imagine those ideas have been tested to measure the success of said goal, all before the end result sees the light of day. Not a bad creative pool to develop some series from. So, here’s five that I’d like to see made...
Facebook - 'Skate Nation Ghana'
Agency: Droga5 New York
Production: Love Song
Director: Bafic x Justyna Obasi x Elliot Power
Post: The Mill London x Framestore London
Editorial: Cut+Run US
Sound: Wave x Barking Owl
An easy one to imagine given the choice the character introductions and stylistic choices. I'm already craving for their backstories, the national tour and the interpersonal dynamics that come with their new-found fame.
Extra Gum - 'For When It’s Time'
Agency: EnergyBBDO Chicago
Director: Nick Ball
Post: The Mill
Sound: Machine New York
There seems to be an avoidance of mentioning the pandemic in a lot of series, but I love the idea of watching the ‘final days’ of lockdown and the preparation for impending freedom. I like the premise of ‘what will I now do differently?’, and Nick has set up some amazing characters that I’d love to follow as they are reintroduced into the wild.
Miller Lite - 'Farewell, Work Holiday Parties'
Agency: DDB Chicago
Production: Arts & Sciences
Director: Alex Prager
Sound: Lime Studios
Part commercial, part art installation, Alex Prager’s ‘Farewell, Holiday Parties’ fascinates me because it’s both heightened and relatable at the same time, but also as a piece of work itself. I believe at the installation she presented a booklet with all the characters backstories and breaking down the office dynamics. Office culture has of course been examined before in film and series, but just look at this bunch and tell me you don’t want to see them in the ultimate ensemble cast of all time. Alex would have to direct (watch her shorts and you’ll be equally as hooked) and would give it the perfect blend of ‘identifiable yet stylistically absurd’.
Harry Styles - 'Music for a Sushi Restaurant'
Production: Pulse Films
Director: Aube Perre
Post: Black Kite Studios
Granted, this a music video (still a sort of an ad, right?), but there is so much left unanswered from a narrative perspective that I want to explore in this film. I'd also stylistically like to see a series with this rougher, grittier feel than the more polished Netflix version. I think it would help break the idea that the story needs to follow a formula, and would make for greater laughs but also more tension.
LEGO - 'The Damp Knight's Tale'
Agency: The Lego Agency
Post: The Mill
Sound: Finger Music London
One for the kids and a brand-driven series. The world created by LEGO in the 'Rebuild the World' series would be the perfect setting to reimagine the 'Sesame Street' style of children's programs. Imagine a live action LEGO world where an array of characters (complete with giant props) provide educational entertainment for kids, then throw in a few guests like Snoop, Greta Thunberg and a musical guest, and I'm hooked.