Sony Bravia: "Play-Doh"

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Last week saw the arrival of "Play-Doh," in which dozens of stop-motion bunnies romp through lower Manhattan. If you're reading this, odds are you saw it a few times before lunch Friday. While it bested the competition for Pick of the Week, where do the bunnies stack up in Bravia's war chest?

In just about two years, Sony's had three mammoth productions, all of which have crossed over into pop culture and been parodied and dissected. In terms of the excitement on set, "Play-Doh" couldn't be further from "Paint." When we dropped by the shoot (while the wave is rolling towards the camera about midway through) the tediousness of stop-motion was reflected in the late-summer glare of downtown Manhattan's skyscrapers, and the clay bunnies nearby looked ready to weep from exhaustion. For a week and a half Fallon and Passion Pictures shot and waited and shot and waited and ran around to get more shots in the outlying alleyways while the light wasn't quite right, all under the pall of mid-90s New York heat and a relatively unamused populace. Compare that to organizing a massive simulated demolition in a housing project in Scotland where the crew is the talk of the town and it hasn't been 90 degrees since before the Ice Age. Reactions have been swift and far-ranging, most hilariously in English tabloid The Sun, which ran a photo of Juan Cabral with the headline "He's Juan Clever Ad Lad." Fueling the fire, "Play-Doh" raised the familiar "haven't I seen that before" issue, with several pointing to similarities between the lupine landscape and work by illustrators kozyndan.

Though "Paint" and "Play-Doh" are drastically different, neither finds the spontaneity that gave "Balls" its simple charm and feeling of adolescent joy. Bravia spots have become the benchmark for advertising a high definition television: the product's chief feature, fantastic color clarity, appears superior through any monitor, computer or plasma. The spots can't show you what a Bravia looks like, but they can help you imagine, a tack that has since been imitated dozens of times in the category.

Thus "Play-Doh," with its epic scope and brilliant execution becomes another jewel in the Bravia crown, but one which will not be complete, and will not reach the apex of perfection in the 21st century, until the power of cinematic expression is harnessed for the web—if Bravia gives us a website as stirring as any of the series, the ascension will be complete.

Like Kanye West besting 50 Cent in September's great rap sales showdown (without the attendant fake-thuggery and last-gasp publicity stink surrounding much in the music biz that's non-Radiohead related), "Play-Doh" swooped in during a week set to be Dove's. Though "Onslaught" is a stunning piece of work, the bunnies upstaged the sometimes conflicted message about rising above marketing messages and of striving toward real beauty with the more abstract brand message of real beauty itself.

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