Thanks to the wonderful movies.com, I recently found out that Rob Zombie directed a Woolite ad. You can find it here. The message, it would seem, is that you can now get your gimp masks snuggly fresh with Woolite. Other directors have dipped into directing commercials. Edgar Wright once directed an ad for Pizza Hut, featuring Nick Frost no less. What cracks me up about both ads is that each director’s respective fingerprints are all over the ads. You can tell within seconds that the ads belong to Rob Zombie and Edgar Wright. Lots and lots of other directors have filmed ads. Here are some other products that I think should have ads directed by famous directors.
Netflix, David Cronenberg
The scene: interior, James Woods’ living room. He is flipping through channels on TV and is obviously dejected, finding nothing interesting on TV. Finally he comes upon a grainy, scrambled channel, full of snow and interference. Through the snow, he can barely see a plain red screen with the Netflix logo on it. Then, as his stomach begins to rumble, he reaches into a gory, bloody cavity in his stomach, procuring a red envelope. Confused, he opens the envelope to discover a copy of Toy Story 3. He grins an eerie grin. Fade to logo and slogan.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, M. Night Shyamalan
The scene: interior, a bedroom, night. A silhouette of a curvacious, attractive woman is sound asleep in her bed. From the shadows, another silhouetted figure approaches obviously carrying a knife. Suspense builds. The shadow figure carrying the knife stabs downward forcefully… just in time for the woman to turn the lights on, revealing that her husband is stabbing butter, or margarine, or whatever the hell I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter really is, and spreading it onto a piece of toast, which he hands to her. Voiceover: “Not everything is as it seems.”
Neutrogena Facial Moisturizer, Ingmar Bergman
The scene: exterior, on a cold, windy, rocky island; shoot black and white. Two sisters who look eerily the same are arguing with one another about abandonment. Waves are crashing against the rocks, and the shadows are long. Eventually, one sister storms off, leaving the other sister in tears. Zoom in to an intense, protracted close-up on the crying sister’s face, which is flawless. Fade to logo and slogan.
Depends undergarments, George A. Romero
The scene: interior, a grocery store. Open with a shot of a toilet completely shattered, in ruins, and unusable. Audible outside the store are the moans of zombies, thudding their grey-green paws against the boarded up doors. A young man with a shotgun is standing, behaving oddly. A young woman with an ax threatens that if he’s infected, she’ll have to chop off his head. “No”, he argues. “I have to go to the bathroom!” Slowly, he turns his head to the left, the camera panning to match his vision to reveal a display featuring Depends on sale.
Gillette Razors, Luis Buñuel
The scene: interior, a Manhattan condo. Sheer chaos erupts for 20 seconds, featuring zoo animals running amok inside the condo. To the side, a dominatrix whips the wealthy condo owner. Tight zoom on the wealthy condo owner, who produces a Gillette razor from his pocket, walks over to his wife (while still being whipped by the dominatrix), and slices her eyeball. Fade to logo and slogan.
Chiquita bananas, Terrence Malick
The scene: exterior, a jungle. Ambient jungle noises fill the sound. To the far left of the screen, a monkey is eating a banana. There are no voiceovers. The Chiquita logo appears after 30 seconds. The end.
Preparation H, Tinto Brass
The scene: exterior, a blustery spring day. Zoom in on the backside of a lovely young woman is in a skirt, who is walking with obvious visible discomfort down a bright, flowery city street. A facial zoom captures her wincing. Fade to the product, with a voiceover proclaiming the product’s benefits. Fade back to the same street, with the woman smiling, skipping girlishly down the street as a gust of wind lifts her skirt. Freeze frame, with the logo on top of her posterior.
Ragú Pasta Sauce, Brian DePalma
The scene: sampled from The Godfather, interior, Mama Corleone’s kitchen. Clemenza is making tomato sauce. The original shot has been cropped tight on only Clemenza and his hands. The screen splits with a right screen wipe. In the right half of the screen, we can see Sonny Corleone approaching a toll booth in his car as the score from Psycho begins to play. As he is ambushed and shot full of holes, Clemenza continues making his sauce. The new Ragú slogan “Don’t miss out. It’s a Ragú night” appears on the screen.