Two Inane Commercials. One Purposefully So.
“Perfect place to build a town” defies believability
The folks at Casual Films tell the story behind making one of the dumbest commercials I’ve seen in a long time. In their work for Dassault Systemes, the filming is cinematic, the visual effects are stunning, the soundtrack and entire setup is urgent and important. But in the short form of the clip, when the supposed explorer speaks, the bottom drops out of the story. Her words—and her delivery from the top of the dune—flip the believability switch that says: this is utter fiction.
If we could supply fresh water this really would be the perfect location for the new town.
Her words send me to this set of questions: Really? You’ll build a town in the desert? And you think people will come because you have fresh water? Have you really studied what it takes to build a planned town—has it ever worked? Who wants to live in such a place? And then I start thinking about colonialism and all the unsustainable projects my country has initiated over the years.
Maybe Dassault Systemes really is going to do this and icebergs in the desert really will supply nomadic tribes for years to come. I hope they are changing the world. But the actor’s long sentence yelled across the desert—heard perfectly despite the distance and the howling wind—made everything suddenly seem like a middle school play. In fact there are a couple other points where the supposed conversation sounds like a PR flack talking to schoolchildren.
Wexley School for Girls: Take Me to Copper Mountain Now
Compare what Casual Films did with what Seattle’s Wexley School for Girls did for Copper Mountain. They hammered the silly button with no pretense at believability and completely own my attention. I don’t even ski, but I want to go a place with this sense of humor.
See a fuller set the Wexley commercials here.
By the way, I find the Dassault Systemes tagline pretty compelling:
If we ask the right questions, we can change the world.