Sunday, June 26, 2016

Commercial Analysis 2: "Under Armour Phelps" Under Armour, Droga5

This commercial was probably the most impressive of the night in my opinion. It won a very well deserved Film Craft Grand Prix because "its surpassed every individual craft category and the craft became invisible and the story came out." I'm very glad that film craft is a category for awards because the look and feel of a commercial is a huge part of its effectiveness in my opinion. The cinematography of the pieces is truly breathtaking, especially the underwater shots. A film with this caliber of photography immediately captures your attention before content or a message will. Yet that is not to say that the commercial is lacking in story at all. The alternating shots of him swimming and him struggling paired with the lyrics of the song make you feel incredibly sentimental about him as an athlete and, as any sports brand knows well, that emotional connection to an athlete wearing a brand creates emotional attachment to the company. I found myself worrying during this commercial. It was uplifting on the one hand because he is well known by all for being an incredible athlete, but on the other hand I was a little stressed about him leaving the sport and growing older and struggling to still be great. It made the work he was putting in seem that much more impressive, which in turn makes Under Armour seem more impressive. As I learned from designer Stefan Sagmeister earlier this week, all people fundamentally agree on what is beautiful, so having a beautiful ad is a good strategy to lure the viewer in. You won't want to skip a beautiful commercial, especially an inspiring one like this. The only part I didn't like was the tag line at then end, "its what you do in the dark that puts you in the life." I know that all of the commercials involved in this campaign include this, I just think it would have been stronger if they used a slight variation of it for each different commercial pertaining more closely to each particular sport or athlete. I understand the metaphor of course about how hard work behind the scenes makes you great, I just felt it was a tiny bit off in this particular commercial. But all in all I was completely blown away by it and feel it is very effective and that the campaign as a whole is very solid. It is hard to reinvent the architypal inspirational sports commercial, so striving for amazing imagery and a wise use of editing and music in post production is paramount.

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