7 Deadly Ads Made By Super Famous Directors

Apple HomePod | Spike Jones (Her, Being John Malkovitch, Where The Wild Things Are)

It’s easy to be cynical about the age-old idea that a product has the power to elevate the humdrum of everyday life into something so fantastical it transforms your world into a far more vibrant and magical one. Yet Spike Jones pulls it off in this new chromatic Apple ad featuring FKA twigs dancing to a track by Anderson .Paak.


Cadbury’s Flake | Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast, Birth, Under The Skin)

One of Glazer’s most notable works is his iconic Guinness Surfer ad but he also made this bonkers one starring Denis Lavant (the guy from the “Rabbit In Your Headlights” video) as a dancing devil throwing Flakes at women who smear the chocolate all over their lips. The strapline, “succumb to the crumb” is a little more lascivious than “tastes like chocolate never tasted before” – not surprising then it was canned by Cadbury’s.


Citroën | Jean-Paul Goude

Fresh off the set off A View To A Kill and from the success of her compilation album Island Life, Grace Jones was hired by Citroën and director/designer Jean-Paul Goude. Jones and Goude had met in the 70s and they had been dating and dancing at Studio 54 since. The ad launched in 1985 but was taken off the air in several countries because of what they deemed “excessive speeding”.


Sony PlayStation | David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive)

David Lynch’s distinct style even has a term named after it: Lynchian. It’s impossible to pinpoint but it feels like being dropped somewhere between an otherworldly dimension and someone else’s dream. Sony approached Lynch to make a series of PlayStation ads prompting the director to create some of the most memorable ads ever made.


Levi’s | Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep)

According to Guinness World Records 2004, Gondry’s ad for Levi’s titled “Drugstore” holds the distinction for “Most Awards Won by a TV Commercial.” Although it didn’t air in the U.S. because it showed a guy buying johnnies it marked the beginning of a mighty career for one of the most creative directors in music, film and advertising.


PlayStation | Chris Cunningham

Lucky the suits at Sony were cool enough to trust British video artist Cunningham enough to give him full creative license because the result was outstanding. Best known for such music videos as Aphex Twin’s “Come To Daddy” and “Windowlicker” and Björk’s “All Is Full Of Love” Cunningham produced this warped piece of work entitled “Mental Wealth” featuring some eerie teenage/alien hybrid.


Apple Macintosh | Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner)

Ridley Scott says prior to his feature debut he probably made 2,000 commercials; he was 42 before he made Alien. “I stayed in it [advertising] for 20 years because I just loved it,” the director says. “I was working in film, working on celluloid, I was working in quick time. They were very competitive days. Today you’re considered busy if you’re doing 12 bits a year; in those days I would be doing, personally, 100 commercials a year, averaging two a week. And they were big.”


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Author: 7 Deadly Things

Voted “Best Arts & Culture Blog” by you the people (thank you!) and was a finalist in the “Blog Awards Ireland 2018.” Catch our podcast Fridays on Dublin Digital Radio 11 – 12 noon.

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