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The Immortal Awards

My Most Immortal Ad: Mike McGee

The Immortal Awards juror and co-founder of Framestore enthuses over Sony’s use of the humble bouncy ball…

My Most Immortal Ad: Mike McGee

In the run-up to this year’s Immortal Awards, our jurors will each select an ad that they believe deserves the title of Immortal. 

Mike McGee, co-founder and CCO of Framestore, is next up in the series with a modern classic starring 250,000 bouncy balls…




 
Balls | Sony Bravia (Fallon, 2005)


The humble bouncy ball. Rarely the hero of a story, even more unlikely in the VFX world. You could say that my choosing of Sony Bravia's ‘Balls’ commercial flies in the face of what we do in VFX: an ad made in camera, relying on heavy practical production skills and a healthy dose of come-what-may on shoot day. But it is the very process of its ‘in camera’ production that makes the Bravia story.

In our experience-led society (and therefore industry), it’s not just the look, but the emotional connection with a story that gets people talking, and coming back for more, whether from a brand, a studio, or an individual. When Sony shot this commercial, releasing 250,000 bouncing balls down the hills of San Francisco, they used a team of 50 roller skating students to sweep them back together after each take. These same balls were later donated to local causes. The intricate weaving of a story across multiple levels, both analogue and digital, makes this one to come back to again and again. And - bar that end frame - not a television screen in sight.


Mike McGee will be judging this year's The Immortal Awards. Entries are now open to all Little Black Book members, so head over to the submissions page to submit your best work. If you aren't a member of Little Black Book yet, then you can subscribe here.
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