As to be expected, MJZ wowed audiences with another year of brilliant work from its formidable lineup of directors. The company earned accolades such as the 2014 Cannes International Festival of Creativity Palme D'Or as well as the 2014 DGA award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials, but those were just a sidenote to the amazing stories the shop delivered.
Headliner Tom Kuntz had another landmark showing. His fantastically funny run for DirecTV continued with Rob Lowe and his scrawy armed, crazy hairy, painfully awkward and less attractive dopppelgangers in the "Don't Be Like That Me" campaign, as well as supermodel Hannah Davis and her talking horse. He also introduced a new kind of "hunk" to Old Spice, a robot, for "Smell Like a Man" and revealed the frightening gamer in Liam Neeson for Supercell and Clash of Clans' Super Bowl ad (whose animation was directed by Psyop's Fletcher Moules.)
The highly decorated former Fallon London creative, Juan Cabral, proved his impressive directing skills on Ikea's dreamy "Bed" spot, out of Mother London. The ad captured a woman sleepily freefalling through the sky, testing out various Ikea beds along the way.
Mike Mills helped convey what Facebook does best, in a series of ads that appeared on the site exploring the nature of friendships and how they affect the trajectory of our lives, while Rupert Sanders crafted another complicated tale for the Halo franchise. Promoting Halo 5: The Guardians, a pair of spots questioned the vaunted reputation of the game's iconic hero Master Chief by showing a crucial battle scene from the two different points of view, that of the Chief and fellow character Spartan Locke.
The unstoppable Fredrik Bond shot Bud Light's epic night out, "Up for Whatever," about a guy who gets thrown into a real-life Pac Man game but also raised eyebrows in another way directing the controversial Nationwide ad via Ogilvy, the "Boy Who Couldn't Grow Up."
Other Super Bowl moments came from Matthijs Van Heijningen, who directed Pierce Brosnan in Kia's "Perfect Getaway," Nicolai Fuglisig, who shot Toyota's "My Bold Dad" and the Perlorian Brothers, who helmed T-Mobile's ad featuring Rob Riggle and his bothersome data vulture.
Perhaps the oddest yet most refreshing highlight of the company's reel came from founding director Rocky Morton, the "M" in MJZ. He took his funny business to new heights directing what could very well be the weirdest software ad ever, via AMV/BBBDO for Thunderhead. The metaphorical spot set out to convey the power of the company's cloud-based software platform with the story of a struggling car salesman who gets a helpful serving of Thunderhead "wisdom" in the form of a brawny, bare-chested Viking, who nourishes the young businessman through his nipple.