Apple – 1984

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Apple - 1984 (Big Brother)

It’s been 30 years since 1984, and I’m not just referring to the year 1984, but the famous television commercial for Apple’s introduction of the Macintosh titled “1984″ that was shown during the Super Bowl, to an audience that wasn’t quite sure what they were seeing.

Here’s a few notes on the ad courtesy of Wikipedia:

Originally a subject of contention within Apple, it has nevertheless consistently been lauded as a classic, winning critical acclaim over time. It is now considered a watershed event and a masterpiece in advertising, and is widely regarded as one of the most memorable and successful American television commercials of all time.

I was an Apple user at the time, and seeing the commercial was an amazing experience. Computer users were eagerly awaiting a machine that could do what the Macintosh could do, and 30 years later, when I look at all of the work I’ve created in part due to Apple, I’m thankful for what Steve Jobs and the Macintosh team did.

Take the computer out of it, and it’s still an insanely great television commercial, and to this day, remains unrivaled in the category of “clients taking a huge risk”.

Need more Macintosh? Here’s Steve Jobs introducing it.

January 22, 2014 · Posted by in advertising, video  

Farmers

If you watched the Super Bowl (I didn’t) or like to see the ads online (I did) you probably saw the “So God Made a Farmer” commercial from Chrysler. It was a powerful ad, consisting of still images and voice over from speech Paul Harvey gave back in 1978.

If you were born after 1978 you may not know who Paul Harvey is, or that the United States used to have a lot of farms, but I think you can still appreciate the simplicity of the commercial. I think it goes to show that a good concept doesn’t need to be overly complex or filled with larger-than-life special effects.

The photos are mostly still, but a few have some subtle motion, such as clouds moving, or a lens flare. None of the effects were overdone to the point of being annoying, they were just enough to almost avoid being noticed.

One thing I didn’t realize is that the commercial was based on an earlier video created by Farms.com. Check out the PetaPixel post for more, and to see both videos.

February 5, 2013 · Posted by in photo, video  

Paralympics Commercial

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Our video & motion graphics guy JJ came across this video titled Unstoppable which was very well done and much appreciated by the filmmakers on our staff.

But some of us are never content with just seeing the final product, so if you’re like us, you’ll also want to see the Making of video. Enjoy!

May 31, 2012 · Posted by in video  

Last week I gave a sneak peek photo of something we built for a TV commercial we were filming. Here’s a full photo of it during set-up.

Conveyor Table

The table is about 20 feet wide, and consists of 18 threaded rods, 36 skate wheels (with 72 bearings), 144 nuts, and a lot of two by fours and plywood.

We started concepting the table at the end of December, and I spent a little time doing some research and a bit of design work. I also whipped up a quick 3D model to explain how it would work to others.

Conveyor Table

The 3D modeling was new to me, as I usually just explain things with bad sketches, but I figured this was a good time to work on my 3D skills, so I took advantage of it.

I also built a small version hacked together with scrap wood to test things out. It worked well enough that I used it to brainstorm improvements with a few of our helpers for the final build.

When crunch-time came, we had less than a week to do the construction on it, and I ended up not doing any of the actual building on it, but our “helpers” (who are much better with tools than I am) ended up completing it a full day before our dry run.

Conveyor Table

Here’s the table on the set. One of the requirements was that the movement be quiet enough that it wouldn’t be picked up while recording audio. The skate bearings were nearly silent. We got a few squeaks during shooting, but nothing a little WD-40 couldn’t take care of.

We originally thought about motorizing it and having a speed controller, since it needed to move at various speeds during the filming. We decided that being human-powered was the easier path, and that worked fine once we got used to the moves, which had to match up with what the actors were doing and saying.

Conveyor Table

This is what you’ll see in the final commercial. Even though the table is 20 feet wide, you’ll only see about 7 feet of it at a time. The two actors stay in place as things slide past them.

This project was a great challenge, and it’s always fun to go from R&D to a final working piece in just a few weeks, especially something as large as this was. I’d also like to give a big thanks to the team who worked on this, especially Rob and Steve who did the table construction…. Great job guys!

January 24, 2012 · Posted by in misc, video  

Photo from LA Times

Now, here’s an interesting sales/marketing tactic. McDonald’s announced this week that it will be launching a TV channel for its dine-in customers that will feature exclusive original content. The programming will be customized to specific communities around the individual restaurants, and will include local news and entertainment features, such as spotlights on upcoming films, albums and TV shows, reports the LA Times. The channel will be rolled out slowly during the next few months and will soon be up and running in 800 McDonald’s restaurants in Southern and Central California.

In terms of sales and marketing, the McDonald’s Channel is a great idea. I would think the programming would help draw in diners and increase their length of stay, thus increasing their purchasing. In terms of America’s well being, however, the McDonald’s Channel is a terrible idea. Not to beat a dead horse, but we’re all aware of the obesity rates in our country. Bringing TV to fast food is a recipe for disaster.

October 21, 2011 · Posted by in marketing  

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