Ridley Scott and Film Advertisements

My favourite director of all time is Ridley Scott. From the romantic painting-like images of The Duellist to the sci-fi glory of Blade Runner (my very favourite film) and horror of Alien, his work always inspires me.

What I’ve enjoyed most recently however, is his role in film commercials – you know, those crappy fast paced flicks that leave no room for imagination and tell you the entire story if you’ve got half a brain? Well for his latest films from Prometheus to the The Martian, Scott had advertisements created that communicate wider messages of his film while leaving it to the viewers imaginations as to what scenes they might actually see when they enter the cinema. At the same time, some of them are functioning as much more subtle advertisements for real brands.

Granted, these are only digital shorts that I don’t believe are on mainstream TV (then again I haven’t been watching any TV since I went travelling), but it’s a step in the right direction. Take this quote from Ad Week:

“I think the earlier we can start to define our marketing goals and have those inextricably linked to the core idea of the film, the more powerful the advertising can be.”

Or to put it more succinctly:

“People don’t want to be bullshitted.”

Bang on.

Scott’s RSA Films is working with Wild Card to produce these digital shorts through marketing company 3AM. Watch this commercial for The Martian that is also an advertisement for Under Armour, an American sports clothing and accessories company. So smooth, so well executed.

An example of shorts designed solely to hint at the content of a film is this introduction to David, the android from Prometheus. His words hint at the trouble to come: “I can carry out directives that my human counterparts might find… distressing. Or unethical”.

For me, fusing this kind of creative freedom with brand objectives is an exciting development in the swirling digital mix. I’ll be uploading my own work on this soon…


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