The G***** F**** Commercial

Remember that infamous Jonathan Glazer Flake ad that gained notoriety a couple of years ago? Well it has resurfaced on Vimeo (thanks to Ben for pointing it out).

It caused a huge stir at the time, as much as anything because it was quite heavy-handedly removed from around the  internet.

Bloggers were threatened with legal action if they showed it, and it became quite a talking point.

Looking at it now, it's funny to think how the company got their nickers in such a knot about it.

This is a really good piece of work, a very good commercial.

The kind that defies rational arguments about messages and take-outs, you just know it would the one thing that people remembered from the ad break.

And it's not that controversial is it, really?

All it's really guilty of is not playing within the safe confines of bog-standard chocolate ads.

It got me to thinking about just how safe and confined commercials are.

They play within an area of tone and style that is just one tight area of film and video style.

Think about the vast range of tone and style of movies, art film, video art, documentaries, TV programmes and music promos.

The range is a broad as any art form or medium.

Yet advertising all seems to play within the same safe five percent area.

It's a crying shame, and I can't get my head around the conservatism.

It makes commercial sense.

Any time you break out of that safe area, you immediately give yourself a huge chance of standing out and being noticed.

We did it with the commercial we made for Drambuie last year.

It doesn't fit within the normal parameters of what people expect from a commercial.

As a result, the reactions are amazing.

It hasn't run in England yet, so you may not have seen it in an ad break.

But where it does run, every time it airs, you see loads people react to it, and talk about it.

I'm not going to lie, some people are saying it's weird, or odd, or they don't like it.

But a huge amount seem to be blown away by it. Someone even described it as art.

Now we're not so stupid or vain as to take the praise any more seriously than the criticism.

But it is heartening (and a vindication of our belief about this approach) that it gets noticed and talked about, and remarked upon so much.

And look, we know, it's not even that different, or that weird.

It's just not the same.

This Flake is one of those rarities that sits outside that normal safe area of sameness.

It's great.

We should encourage it.

Clients should embrace it.

The ad business would be a lot better for it.

Our clients would be a lot better off for it.

And audiences would be a lot better off for it.


  1. Agreed. Most of what we make is the most wallpapery wallpaper.

  2. Did you get dave Trott to write this?

    It seems like his style

    but thats not a bad thing.

    or is it?

  3. Ha well spotted anon, I was surprised no one mentioned it sooner. No it wasn't mr Trott, but I was trying out his double return between sentences thing. I quite like it.

  4. We are in violent agreement.

  5. Cadbury were so obsessed with suppressing it, yet blithely contaminate their brand values by introducing Toblerone into Heroes and Daim (née Dime) into Cadbury's Dairy Milk. Expect Chocolate Orange segments to creep into Heroes next year and fucking up both brands.


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