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The Color of Inspiration

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Let's start with the name:


Big deal. It could be a new Japanese subcompact. It could be a Dell laptop. It could be a country, somewhere in the Baltics. And the way new brand names are coined these days, it would have been one of those things, eventually. It's just that Sony happened to glom onto it first.

Which is not the same thing as making it mean anything. Yet, in a year's time, it has come to mean something. In fact, in the television category, it has come to mean the ultimate thing: bright, true colors. And it has done this almost entirely on the strength of one television commercial. It looked like this:

Easy to see why "Balls" came this close to taking the Grand Prix at Cannes. It was an insanely ambitious production -- 250,000 superballs bouncing down the hills of San Francisco -- painstakingly designed and set up under real-world (i.e., not computer-generated) conditions, beautifully shot, brilliantly edited and made even more seductive by the haunting music track, "Heartbeats" by Jose Gonzalez. It was just mesmerizing. And those colored balls were just so lovely.

That's the part that sold the TV sets. The real genius of "Balls" was to defeat the structural problem that had forever crippled TV advertising for TVs: the picture is only as good as the set you're viewing at the time. Even if the advertised product is superior, the superiority can't be conveyed. Unless.

Unless you use visual shorthand, and photograph bold primary and secondary colors under the most dramatic and unusual circumstances you can think of -- and as translucently as possible. Those colors break through on even the crappiest set, with all credit (maybe unfairly) going to the advertiser. Wow. How often is an idea literally brilliant?

But when you've broken through once, suddenly there's pressure to repeat the magic. Fallon, London, needed to stage another spectacle, equally breathtaking, to achieve the same bold-palette effect -- minus superballs, of course, because they are soooo six months ago. No problem, all they did was head for Glasgow with:

70,000 litres of paint

358 single bottle bombs

33 sextuple air cluster bombs

22 triple-hung cluster bombs

268 mortars

33 triple Mortars

22 double mortars

358 meters of weld

330 meters of steel pipe

57 km of copper wire

You know, to paint an apartment complex with.

No Jose Gonzalez track this time. This time it's Rossini, who isn't quite as haunting but a lot easier to cut explosions to. We also suspect this production isn't quite as analog as the first one, but who cares? The point is they've done it again. This is a way cool video spectacle perfectly conveying the idea of "brighter colors." And we are certain of two things:

1) We're curious to see what they come up with next.

2) Meanwhile, Sony is going to sell a lot of TVs.
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