Not yet two years old, Hey Wonderful broke out in 2017 with all its, well, wonderful work. The company helped Sam Spiegel, founder of top music company Squeak E. Clean, make his commercials directing debut on National Geographic's short film campaign from Pereira & O'Dell promoting its "Genius" drama about Albert Einstein. He shot two of the shorts, including a whimsical tale about an old man who by day runs a music repair shop but at night crafts fantastic, out-of-this-world instruments. Spiegel not only directed the film, but also created the music--and the spectacular contraption featured in the piece. Later in the year, he went on to help MassMutual and Johannes Leonardo conduct a "live" commercial on New Year's Eve, while directing duo Peking were behind another highlight: Facebook's uplifting films asking people about what they are "#HopefulFor."
Don't take the company's name at face value, as Knucklehead has emerged as a shop to watch for its smart and compelling craftsmanship. It's home to Siri Bunford, one of the finalists of our 2017 Creativity Awards Director of the Year, who shot Wieden & Kennedy London's debut work for Sainsbury's, featuring vivacious scenes of real people dancing joyously in their kitchens--an idea that, you can imagine, has potential to go horribly wrong but ultimately proved quite delightful. She was also on board for Mother London's first work for KFC, an ad featuring a badass chicken who bops its head a rap classic from DMX, and in the U.S. she shot a spare, touching ad from McCann for the New York lottery, which shows how one winner chooses to spend her winnings--by spending more time with her dad. Elsewhere, Rob Leggat made it to the 2017 Super Bowl, directing the humorous "Halftime Bathroom Break" for Febreze, via Grey New York while sibling directing duo Ben and Joe Dempsey were behind the BBC's fantastic Wimbledon promo that saw a single tennis ball wreaking havoc across the U.K.
The audaciously-named company delivered equally audacious moves in 2017, thanks to roster newcomer and YouTube star Mike Diva, known for his offbeat animated videos, including a wonderfully weird fake Japanese Donald Trump commercial and its strange follow-up featuring Hillary Clinton as a meme queen. His bizarre sensibilities moved into advertising in the out-there and divisive spot for Halo Top, in which an aggressive robot force-feeds a woman the brand's ice cream. His flair for Japanese entertainment parody came to play in a quirky campaign for the L.A. Metro starring comedian and YouTube star Anna Akana as an awkward superhero who tries to show people how to be polite commuters.