A jogging reminder on the importance of simplicity
Podiums, drum kits, and removing barriers to communication

Balls, cheekiness, cogs, independence, travel, & high boots

Here are a few videos readers have kindly pointed out to me over the past few weeks. These videos are making a pitch or telling a story, much of it done sans the spoken word. You may have seen these before, but they are worth another look. They are not videos of speeches or presenters, but the "presentation" in these bits are strong.

Sony (tv/web ad)
BallsColor like no other. Sony's pitch is not an appeal to the rational. They are not trying to persuade you via lists of features, facts, or argument. Instead, their appeal is more emotional. Because at the end of the day, for most of us, what is the bloody difference between a 42" flat screen from Panasonic, or Sony, or the rest of them? But what if Sony could own a word? And what if that word was "color"? Color after all is an emotional thing and can be supported best visually and by example. This ad is a very simple and effective idea. Difficult to pull off, but they do it. It's beautiful, fun, and even inspiring. It's just a commercial, but to the team who produced it, it's art. (Watch in high-rez).

Honda "Cog" (on-line ad)
Like the Sony ad, you'd swear they did this tv commercial with the help of computer graphics.  And while it took about a zillion takes, the final result is all a single shot. Also on Google.

Virgin_cm_1 Virgin Atlantic (tv ad)
This TV commercial has surely offended some viewers, but I suspect the offended ones would never fly Virgin anyway. This method of pitching business class seats on an airplane is utterly unforgettable and completely fits the Richard Branson and the Virgin brand. Of course, Sir Richard loved it so much at the screening that he gave the chief creative officer a big fat kiss ("Choose your sleeping partners on Virgin").

My Declaration of Independence (by Pamela Slim)
Here's a little flash video that Pamela Slim of Ganas Consulting put together for her target audience. I like it. (The music may die out halfway through; they're working on it). You could imagine her doing a standup presentation in front of these slides. Pam introduces the video here.

Where the hell is Matt?
Matt_1One of the simplest and oddly compelling amateur videos I've ever seen. And one of the best. No message really — it just is. And yet, it is inspirational (and I'm not really sure why). No doubt teachers would do well to show this video and then explore in class all the places Matt went. Secretly, I think we all wish we could travel the globe. But it's a lot easier to watch Matt do it... The music undoubtedly helps (a lot). In fact, it may be the music that really makes the audio and low-rez video together so strangely compelling. More on Matt's homepage.

High Boots
High_boots_1What does this have to do with presentations or simplicity? Alright, it's a stretch. But for some reason I am strangely attracted to this '60s-era video which I found via a Boing Boing link weeks ago (Download options). I like it. It's camp.The visual (stage design) is extremely simple, mostly warm colors against a black background. Simple early '60s genre rock with few chords, silly lyrics, but a very strong backbeat and a booming bass drum. Primitive and primal, and oh so '60s. I was just a small kid back then, but it personifies that musical era for me. A lot of pop music today is completely over produced. Back then groups like The Dave Clark Five, The Ventures, The Beatles, The Supremes et al., had no choice but to keep it rather simple. If you hate the high boots video, then you're really going to hate this one by Nancy Sinatra. Groovy (baby).



What a great line up! I find it amusing that the music in the Sony clip is allegedly recorded quite low-fi, in the artist bedroom or so alike. Still it's used to sell a "hi-fi" tv product.


Thanks for a very informative blog and interesting videos in this post. I would like to know more about why you included these particular videos, beyond saying "...the 'presentation' in these bits are strong...."

Also, you credit all the author/creators except for the high boots clip (or maybe I missed it). Can you tell us who went to the effort to make this great video? Who is the singer?

Thanks again.


Richard, thanks for the note. To answer your question on why I did not name the artist in the "high boots" video, it appears no one has any idea who he is, which makes it all the more interesting ;-) -G


Actually, according to an interview with the director, the Honda "Cog" commercial are two shots that are crossfaded. I'm not completely sure where it is at as it was a long time ago I read about it. But I believe it was at the rolling tank.

But it did take a lot of time for them to prepare and tweak the takes.


Hi Garr:

That's just great! Thanks for making my evening. Nice boost to the soul in every imaginable way.


steve crandall

The Honda ad was a remarkable effort -- there are *no* computer graphics effects involved. It took three months and $6M to create - and 606 takes

from snopes


Matt Lyon

The Snopes article mentions the Fischli & Weiss film that this ad was obviously inspired by. I've seen the Fischli & Weiss film multiple times, and there is a remarkable similarity.

Whether it's close enough of a similarity for them to threaten legal action over, that's a very tricky subject.

Anyway, "Der Lauf Der Dinge" (The Way Things Go) is certainly worth hunting down and watching: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094300/

The comments to this entry are closed.