Peugeot's "Sculptor" was notable for the official and the unofficial plaudits it earned this year - the spot gained awards aplenty, from industry judges and journos alike, and boisterous crowd approval at the shows. This was all in addition to a steady stream of tongue-wagging about the smooth storytelling, casting and general production finesse on display in the now famous ad. The director responsible for the glorious outcome of Euro RSCG Mezzano Costantini Mignani Milan's idea is Matthijs Van Heijningen, from Outsider, London, and a quick glance at his past and latest work suggests the "Sculptor" effect was no fluke. The Dutch director (above) recently delivered the goods on a funny new Toyota spot out of Saatchi/London. The spot continues in the tradition of Toyota's "Shut Up and Drive" and the automaker's other fine Euro work, and features a sweet father-daughter moment interrupted by a passing vehicle, which soaks the young girl's fanciful new frock. In an ensuing scene, the driver, a Toyota owner, is caught between the rock of his vehicular pride and the hard place of the angry Dad's fists. Pride wins, of course, and the results are amusingly violent.
Other gems on his reel include "Robbery," for Central Beheer, in which a bumbling French policeman chats up a flower girl, then goes on a car chase, inadvertently in the thieves' car, and award winning spots for NetAid's "If the World Were 100 People" and "Parade," for Delta Insurance. A recent Visa campaign, from Saatchi/London, tracks the future consequences of seemingly small purchases. "Everything he does looks like part of a film," Outsider honcho Robert Campbell sums up. "You want to know what happened before and what will happen after." "Sculptor" is an example, of a spot that, though beset with difficulties, including a sick DP, "just came together" in the end, says Van Heijningen, who's currently finding the usual amount of ease getting a feature project made and is set for a new Euro Heineken project.