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High Five: Powerful Storytelling with a Beautiful Edit


From enjoying beer bellies on the beach to empathising with a lamp, here are five ads that made a lasting impression on Absolute editor, Tom Boucher

High Five: Powerful Storytelling with a Beautiful Edit

As an editor, the projects I get most excited about are ones that prioritise storytelling above all else. It's the films with no frills and a simple yet powerful idea at the heart that I find often are the most memorable. Here are five of my favourite ads that have each made a lasting impression on me, due to their simplicity and masterful storytelling...

Audi - 'The Ring'

Agency: BBH London
Production: Academy
Director: Jonathan Glazer

This Audi ad is perhaps one people don't immediately think of when they think of Jonathan Glazer's work. But I think it does such a good job of subverting audience expectation and utilising a metaphor to get the message across through little else but powerful storytelling.

IKEA - 'Lamp'

Agency: Crispin Porter Bogusky
Production: MJZ
Director: Spike Jonze
Post: Spot Welders
Sound: MIT Our Sound

These days, IKEA is the poster child for planet positivity, and its marketing in recent years has reflected its re-use and re-purpose mentality. But it wasn’t always that way. In 2002, Spike Jonze directed 'Lamp', a 60-second spot which had viewers empathising with a non-sentient, discarded object - the humble lamp. That is, until Swedish actor, Jonas Fornander, delivers the humorous (and iconic) line: “Many of you feel sad for this lamp. That is because you’re crazy...”. The narrative is cemented through careful camera angles, lighting, music, and of course, the edit is integral. In a clever twist, 2018 saw the furniture retailers address their previous campaign with a morally updated version, 'Lamp 2'. Finishing what its predecessor started, this time the same lamp appears as a fairytale protagonist, with one child revelling in its beauty. Jonas Fornander once again stars, delivering a planet-positive end line: “Many of you feel happy for this lamp. That’s not crazy...”

Volvo - 'Epic Split'

Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors
Production: Folke Film
Director: Andreas Nilsson

I'm a big fan of Andreas Nilsson's wacky outlandish work, but this is arguably his best. I love the fantastic simplicity to it as it makes what you're seeing all the more ludicrous, yet powerful. It’s don’t-try-this-at-home meets beautiful location, cinematography and colour - what more could you want!?

Bose - 'Alive'

Agency: Grey London
Production: SMUGGLER
Director: Miles Jay
Post: Absolute

I thought this was fantastic when it came out. It's such a simple narrative that doesn't rely on dialogue but has beautiful cinematography and sound design to help perfectly tell the story, capturing a vivid feeling of nostalgia.

Southern Comfort - 'Beach'

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy New York
Production: Biscuit Filmworks LA
Director: Tim Godsall

Another classic ad that says all it needs to say with expert casting, amazing music and a straightforward edit. It’s an edit that has a real swagger to it, perfectly complementing the overall tone of the film. It's by no means flashy - but that's exactly the point.

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Absolute, Wed, 08 Feb 2023 12:30:03 GMT