Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Rube Goldbering around!

Here are two ads that contain Rube Goldberg gadgetry to tell their visual story.

The first one is from France to illustrate the Ford Active's Park Assist feature:

This is well done in how they used doggies to initiate the actions in the "most spectacular dog show ever."  Even the beginning sequence where the dog imitates the MGM lion is pretty brilliant.  I've said this before how I love the French creative stuff.  It's absolutely magical in its simplicity, proving once and again you do not have to waste much on CGI-stuff to weave a good (visual) tale.  This Rube Goldering starts off with a doggie who turn on the jams to begin the musical sequence amid backyard ramps in a jungle of toys.  I love how the backdrops have this child-craft aesthetic to it so it looks like a bunch of kids really took the time to create this magical display.  Aww... and the lifeguard dog "rescues" a drowning Barbie.  I love the "unconventional" domino pieces used like board games and books.  

This second spot is the "1st Impression" for the Sony Tablet:

This vid is certainly more "polished" than the Frenchy one, but that kind of jettisons away from what typical Rube Goldberg machines looks/feels like.  Rube Goldbering is fascinating because it's a bunch of stuff thrown together to create an overly-complicated machine to do a very simple thing.  But in this complex contraption, we see the tinkerings of an imaginative inventor who sees mundane processes is a new ways.  Probably the most classic example is from Pee Wee's Big Adventure:

Pee Wee is the quintessential child that never grew up. 

The French spot contains numerous wonder-elements that keep us enthralled as we wait for the next sequence of events.  Whereas, the Sony spot tries too hard to maintain this sleek-aesthetic and ends up being very static, sterile and ultimately very slow.  It never wins our heart.  So when the tablet displays the words "I love you," it comes off as tremendously creepy and disingenuous.

While I do slightly enjoy the 'sleekness' of the look, since tablets are sexy products that deserve clean lines, elements of the Sony spot seemed so forced.  The randomly placed figures seem misplaced, as if it was a last-ditch effort to include ties to a humanistic connection to the product.  Those figurines could have removed from the shot and it wouldn't have made a difference as the spot comes off cold.    

Had there been more high-speed ramps, like the first one (0:10), I think it would have made for a more interesting video.  But alas the majority of the film is eaten up by a slow-moving train that illuminates a background.  As beautiful as the shadows cast on the wall are, where ordinary objects were made to look like real scenery, the movement of the train is too slow, and it could have been sped up just a tad or this illumination concept could have been incorporated in a more dynamic way. 

Sliding the tablet near the end is kind of cool (1:31), which they should have had more of, to make it more visually compelling.  The shadow cast on the wall of the "To Be Continued..." was really a nice touch, but I had a hard time getting to the end of this almost two-minute vid.  It felt more like five minutes long.  Perhaps the next one will be more exciting.

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