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Volkswagen of America: "Milky Way"

Arnold Communications, Boston

Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Bob Industries

Cinematography and photography: Lance Acord

This lovely ad, shot in Bodega Bay, Calif., catches your attention and your heart in the first three seconds. The helicopter shot follows a moonlit bend in the river to quietly reveal Volkswagen's convertible, Cabrio. The spot owes its beauty in large part to wonderfully wistful indigo lighting. The young occupants admire the stars, the car's options and each other in a courageously subtle story with no copy. As the car pulls up to any old party, the lighting shifts slightly, to a more realistic, less pretty view of youth. We're glad when they back away, hoping we, too, can hitch a ride back into to their very own carefree world.


Volkswagen of America: "Synchronicity"

Arnold Communications, Boston

Director: Gerard De Thame, HSI Productions; music by Master Cylinder

The rhythm of this deceptively sparse yet quite sophisticated music steals the show of what should have been a copyless ad. Underscored by masterful directing and careful editing, this spot with a nice beat you can dance to doesn't have the sort of sound found on pop radio or any other medium, for that matter. It does, however, motor the featured couple and viewer along the syncopated rainy streets as much as VW wants to drive consumers into the showroom.


Volkswagen of America: "Milky Way"

Arnold Communications, Boston

Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Bob Industries; music by Nick Drake, Pink Moon

The simple acoustic guitar and scratchy voice of Nick Drake evokes the dreamy feelings of youthful summertime freedom, epitomized by high-school graduation parties and breezy night-time drives with friends. The fact that the lyrics are nearly indiscernible actually helps, since they don't get in the way of the spot's message. Still, the sounds and tones are so strong, they not only punctuate the emotional highs, they color our entire image of the spot. Apparently, the ad has the happy unintended effect of firing up dormant sales of Mr. Drake's CDs.


Adidas: "Black"

Saatchi & Saatchi, Wellington, N.Z.

Director: Gregor Nicholas,

Editor: David Coulson, Original Cut/Digital Post; music by JSM Music

This isn't just another sports spot displaying powerful bodies. The cutting of these black and white images tells this testosterone-laden story by almost subliminally showing parallels between New Zealand's beloved rugby and the indigenous Maori tribe. Coupled with thoughtful audio editing through the use of chants and ambient stadium sounds, the picture editing of this story without words catches the eye and ear to draw viewers in and consumers, hopefully, to the Adidas rack.

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