Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fallon Genius

I've dedicated two posts in the past to the Sony Bravia adverts done by the international advertising firm Fallon - one on the bouncing balls ad and another on the next paint explosions ad. Well, the third "Colour...like no other" ad is out and this time its play-doh. But instead of simply writing this post about the new ad, I thought I would take this opportunity to celebrate Fallon's work in general, since they have been producing some of my favourite ads of all time lately. So, to begin...

...let's all take a moment to enjoy this brilliant new Cadbury's Dairy Milk ad. I think this is simply genius. I'm not going to get into a long discussion on what or why. I get it (that there really isn't anything to "get"), and I adore it, and most of the people I know who have seen it have had the same reaction to it. What a fantastic job. The idea is hilarious, and the passion in the gorilla's face and body language is just...inspiring! Cadbury's took a huge risk, and hit it spot on. And yes, this was done by Fallon - specifically by Juan Cabral.

Fallon's work in general is always amazing, so let me show you some of my particular favourites from recent months. There is this magical ad for the Skoda Fabia that makes me feel as gleeful as a child running down a rolling green hill. They also do the ads for Orange in the UK, and I really loved their latest campaign, specifically the Pay Monthly, Reserve Tank, and the Gigs and Tours ads. They are simple and lovely, and have a sense of innocence about them. In short, they make me want to switch from Vodafone to Orange.

And now we come to the latest in the Sony Bravia series.

I'm sure all of you are familiar with the bouncing balls and paint explosion ads by now (if not you can view them through the links provided in my old posts which are linked at the start of this post). This one is just as perfect, creative, and effective. First, it was thousands of little coloured balls bouncing down the streets of San Francisco. Then, it was a couple of apartment complexes exploding into bright bursts of paint in Glasgow. This time around, it's hundreds of coloured play-doh bunny rabbits (and one giant one) hopping through the streets of Manhattan. It's really well done. You want to stick your hand through the screen and grab one of the little bunnies and feel the squishy texture. And at one point they all roll together into a giant wave and the break is such a great moment.

One of Fallon's greatest strengths is their fabulous music selection, and this ad does it again. This time, they used the perfectly fitting "She's a Rainbow" by the Rolling Stones. You simply can't go wrong with 1960s Rolling Stones. When the ad started, the music immediately took my mind and heart back to my childhood (not in the sixties of course, but I became indoctrinated into the sounds of the 1960s British Invasion from a very early age, in my single digits) - and I thought that was very fitting considering the play-doh theme. I love the ad. It speaks for itself, just as the other two did. And again, you don't know it's for Bravia until the very end (well, Bravia ad fans will immediately identify some trademarks of creative genius, but, again, you never feel as though someone is trying to sell you something).

My favourite of the Sony Bravia ads is still the bouncing balls one though. It was the most magical and literally left me speechless when I first saw it. And, of course, the music selection in that one was perfect too.

FYI - most people don't know that the song on that ad, "Heartbeats", was not originally done by José González (the version used in the ad). It was originally released in 2003 by Swedish electro-indie-pop band The Knife. Their original version is fantastic and if you haven't heard it already you should certainly check it out (watch/download).


  • So, this is attempt number two at leaving a comment. Of course, this comment will never be as good as the original one, but I'll give it a go. This ad agency is incredibly creative. I agree with you that the Bravia balls ad is the best of the three, but the other two are wonderful also. I was thinking about it last night, and I think I know WHY their ads are so effective and emotionally appealing. It's because (somewhat paradoxically) they don't use computer/digital EFFECTS! The balls are real and they're really bouncing down that San Fran street. And the paint will have to be cleaned up off the grass. And the rabbits have to be moved one frame at a time (I think the 60 second ad is composed of 100,000 stills). They all have a handmade, real, constructed feel to it. I LOVED the Orange ads (especially the fist one), and those bring out that constructed, put together effect magnificently; as does the Skoda car cake (quite literally we see them putting it together). Also, that old modernist juxtaposition trick works great in their ads—a gorilla and chocolate? cars and cake? TVs and play-doh bunnies? YES! Why not? Finally! Cars and Cake! TVs and Play-Doh! A Gorilla and Chocolate...no, not just ANY chocolate, Cadbury's chocolate (see, it really works)! I have two questions though: Do you think it's Phil Collins in the gorilla suit? And, who is it exactly that indoctrinated you into the British Invasion music in your early digits? Who's ya daddy?

    By Anonymous red riding, at 10/10/2007 9:53 pm  

  • Hey you! I loved the gorilla too :)
    Check this out:

    And I loved the Sony balls one most but I'm sure this one'll snag a few rewards here and there :P

    Hope you're good :))

    By Blogger Erzulie, at 10/10/2007 10:22 pm  

  • Red Riding: YOU are the one who indoctrinated me into the British Invasion! It is because I shared a wall - and a nine year age gap - with you that I learned the lyrics to every single Beatles song while the rest of my classmates were still listening to nursery rhymes! But I like to think I'm repaying the favour now, to an extent? No?

    As for Phil Collins, I think it's been confirmed that it wasn't him inside the gorilla suit. There was some speculation that it might have been him, but I don't think it was. That would have been wicked, though!

    And yes, you're right. The appeal of all of these ads is that constructed-by-hand effect. In the Skoda and Orange ads you see it being put together. In the Sony Bravia ones you imagine it.

    I love the idea of a bunch of pastry chefs spending hours of what I'm sure was real fun in the kitchen to build a car out of cake. It seems like the ad - the actual act of filming the event to be put on TV - is incidental to their task. And that's just lovely. Again, you don't feel like someone is trying to shove a product down your throat. If you'd like to watch us make a car out of cake, pull up a seat, because we're going to do it either way.

    Despite their mutual handmade approach, the Orange and Bravia ads are polar opposites from one another in one main way. The Bravia ads are all about that "one shot to get it right" approach. You can only release 100,000 bouncing balls over San Francisco once. You can only explode a building into paint once. If you get it wrong, you've lost your chance. But the Orange ads, on the other hand, feel totally unrehearsed, and the randomness and un-timed nature of the actors' actions are what give them their appeal. Both are handmade and effects-free - but in the Bravia ads they specifically don't show you how it's done, whereas in the Orange ads they explicitly do.

    Erzulie: Hi there! Yes, Juan Cabral deserves every award he can get. And I'm sure the rabbits ad will get as much recognition as the balls one - at least I hope!

    I've been doing well - readjusting to life in Kuwait. How have you been?

    By Blogger Kleio, at 10/10/2007 11:52 pm  

  • its been ages since i've last read your blog and i was really happy to take a break from reading about religious fundamentalism to see Cadbury's ad!! HILARIOUS!!!! the expressions on the face are priceless and the whole stretching and neck thing was the cherry on the brilliant sundae that the ad is... i really loved it!

    You know, even though bravia's paint ad was on a relatively larger scale and bolder than the other ads, it was really forgettable...

    i'm thinking if i play heartbeats over the bunnies, it would be fitting... i wonder why they didn't choose a beatles song... the whales and everything made me thing of the yellow submarine... random...

    (ps, i actually had the original heartbeats song but didn't know it was the *original* LOL thanks!)

    and i was skimming through your previous posts and i agree with you... i was devastated when i read about Tony Wilson!! it's really sad when someone who has a lived a great lived and enriched ours leaves so unexpectedly.. for me at least :S i first read abt him when i was 12 i think... and just being offended and not realizing how on earth he would not sign Oasis to factory recds and through that incident i got found my way to Joy Division and New Order and all that... i guess each person has a story abt Tony Wilson and a myth abt him thats better than the real story...

    and you're in Kuwait now? Hope it's part of your research and not the end of it... and best of luck with everything... traffic, workign hours, ppl, religious mania, newspapers, majlis il ommah... BEST OF LUCK!

    on a completely unrelated note, hope ur back in London in time to see Darjeeling Limited...

    long comment,,, coz i've been away for a while hehe

    By Anonymous badlydrawnwoman, at 10/14/2007 2:15 pm  

  • The same director for the bravia adverts just finished making an ad for guiness, it was filmed in a remote location in argetina, check out the link for more information :)


    By Blogger Spicy Pepper, at 11/10/2007 7:39 pm  

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