Advertising

The making of Philips Carousel – the Cannes 2009 Grand Prix winner

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When some of my colleagues happened to see the Philips Carousel ad they wondered what the big deal was. Some of them thought that this wasn’t Grand Prix stuff. I guess they did not know the background or the environment in which it is to be seen. So herewith the official background note:

Philips set out to own the idea of a cinematic viewing experience at home. From the start the strategy was to create a film that movie lovers would want to see. The film is hosted within a site that, through interaction, educates the audience about the three main features of Philips televisions – Ambilight, Cinema 21:9 and Picture Quality – and ties these features to the act of film making. So, what would movie lovers want to see? We decided on a seamless tracking shot, one long take that a film loving audience could marvel at and be fascinated by. Within the ‘housing’ of a tracking shot we inserted behind the scenes glimpses where the experts could talk about their craft and the decisions they made whilst filming the shot. The DOP on lighting, the Director on the 21:9 format and VFX supervisor shows why picture quality is so important. To allow for more interaction, we decided that a frozen time film, shot using a state of the art motion control rig, would give the audience control upon interaction allowing them to literally move the camera back and forth frame by frame. This is done intuitively through a ‘grabbing hand’ cursor when the screen is moused over. What makes this interaction really special is the interactive cinematic score. The score, composed by Michael Fakesch, was composed as a linear piece, but was then handed over to a flash music developer to carve up and distort as the user moved back and forth through time, frame by frame – all designed to pull the audience in and hold them there longer whilst they try to unravel the mystery of how the film was made. The second main element of interaction is the way the audience is able to trigger the three behind-the-scenes educational scenes from the film’s timeline. When the user clicks on the timeline, they reveal films within the film. The timeline unfolds and expands, the post production disappears, each expert walks in and the rigging reappears revealing that all along the actors were simply holding their position whilst a state of the art motion rig captured them in frozen time. All this was designed to be as seamless as possible with maximum visual reward ensuring the audience clicked all three of the hotspots. In addition to the interaction within the film, the ratio of the film itself could be changed at anytime through first person interaction. This simple, but effective comparison tool really did get across the spectacle of the new Philips 21:9 TV. The other elegantly simple piece of interaction is Ambilight on and off, in the words of the DOP – “you really miss it when it’s not there.” A final point worth noting is the dynamic title sequence. Instead of a traditional loader, we crafted a title sequence correspond to the speed of the users internet connection. The slower the connection, the longer the sequence.

You can view the actual film with the behind-the-scenes educational scenes at the Philips Cinema site. I guess for those in advertising who are used to great stories in ads, especially the Grand Prix winning ones this one is a bit intriguing. But given the way advertising is moving nowadays into interactive stuff, such work is truly pathbreaking and shows the way.

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A marketing communications professional with a keen interest in all things advertising. I share creative ads and views on the ad industry here. Views are personal. See Disclaimer for more.

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