World’s best ads ever #30: Philips offers freezeframe vision of heist gone wrong
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.
To bring home quality of its LCD television sets to audiences, electronics manufacturer Philips needed an ad that would match the sharpness and vision of the media it was made to screen. To solve that problem, DDB London built an entire narrative in freezeframe, then steered their cameras through it to show off the detail and precision that would be available to those watching movies and TV on their new Philips Cinema TVs.
The scene itself – an armed heist in the veins of Point Break or Heat gone belly up – is a bottled story frozen in time. With its 139-second tracking shot, the direction of Adam Berg anticipated the vogue among movie directors, such as Andres Iñárritu or Sam Mendes, a few years down the line for single tracking shots. Released solely online – itself an unusual move back in 2009 when prestige advertising still meant television – the ad garnered a rave reaction from consumers.
The ad was the result of a team effort; though conceived by DDB’s London team, it was produced by Amsterdam’s Tribal DDB, while production was carried out by Stinkdigital. Including a 60-strong cast of extras and stunt actors tasked not with bursting through windows or crashing a vehicle, but staying perfectly still for the camera, the production crew was 100-strong. The film itself was shot in an abandoned Communist-era university, dressed up as a crowded hospital caught between the guns of cops and robbers.
More than the production itself, it was the way the ad encouraged repeat viewing and careful examination by viewers that impressed the industry.