President’s Playlist: Film Craft

Kerstin Emhoff, Co-founder & President, Prettybird

Lo & Behold: Reveries of the Interconnected World | New York, USA

I reference this film at least 10 times per year. The bar is set high with this work. The collaboration between the brand, agency and director allowed something that could have been a traditional ad to explode into a film that stayed true to the message, but pushed the boundaries of storytelling in a way that’s rare to find. It’s so important for us to expand the ways in which we can communicate a brand’s message. The director ran a marathon rather than a sprint with this, and won.

Gravity Cat | Tokyo, Japan

The first time I saw this I had to watch it at least five times. Then I had to look at the making of the video to understand how it was done. It gave me goosebumps! This is the spot you think was done in post but it wasn’t and it never gets boring to watch. Literally, every detail was worked out to reinforce the voyeuristic journey in a way so visceral you feel like you’re right there.

Under Armour: Phelps | New York, USA

I don’t think I have met anyone who didn’t love this spot. The idea was not that unique, but the execution brought a level of intimacy that is almost never seen in advertising. It wasn’t just one thing that stuck out; every component from cinematography, to editing, direction, score, created a visceral and memorable tribute.

Dream Crazy | Portland, USA

It’s hard when you have a great idea to make sure that every extension of that idea is the greatest. They did that with this campaign. The execution of everything showed craft at the top of its game. For this spot, it was the script. It’s a masterclass in writing and could probably sum up years of great Nike work with an honest, human, and inspiring anthem.

John Lewis: Monty | London, UK

It must be hard to be on the John Lewis team because you know you have to top the prior year’s work. There is such a build up to the premiere, you want to hate it until you watch it, then your heart melts because it’s perfect. I think this one is a brilliant example of character development which gives depth to great execution.

Hope | Madrid, Spain

If you have watched this spot it left a permanent mark on your brain. If you’re a parent, it’s a little deeper. The performances and script in this piece are so brutally memorable, it’s hard to remember that this isn’t a scene ripped from the middle of some amazing film.

Capture | Bangkok, Thailand

What I love most about Cannes Lions is being exposed to work you would have never seen before. I love this spot so much and it makes me really happy to know that quirky storytelling that challenges an audience can be universally applauded. The writing, performances, direction (is that bacon in the trunk?) are absolutely brilliant. I want to meet everyone involved in this one day.

Scarecrow | Los Angeles, USA

I feel like we see a lot of bad animation in this industry, unfortunately. It takes too long for most of our shrinking schedules. Every so often you see a spot that just did it right and it’s magical. You are instantly transported to a new world and immersed in a story that seeps right into you because it’s beautifully told and crafted through animation.

Welcome Home | Los Angeles, USA

This piece reminds us that craft is king (and queen) and, if we start to think that it’s not really noticed any more, we’ll just shove this right back out into the world for all to see. I applaud all involved in what must have been hours and hours of design, building, rehearsing and filming to make a piece that felt so real and so surreal at the same time.

We’re The Superhumans | London, UK

Yes, I feel like a big loser when I watch this. There have been powerful ads for the Paralympics in the past but this one just sped past them with pure entertainment and inspiration. The casting and performances are so strong here that they grab you and make you cheer not because you feel bad for them but because you feel what badasses they are.