In 2018 Bob Industries headliners Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (“Battle of the Sexes” and “Little Miss Sunshine”) directed E-Trade's return to the Super Bowl after a five-year hiatus. Kim Nguyen helmed star-filled campaigns: John Cena for Make-A-Wish Foundation, Tracee Ellis Ross for Chase and Reese Witherspoon for Crate & Barrel. In feature film work, Nicole Holofcener co-wrote the Oscar-nominated film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” while Kelly Fremon Craig is bringing Judy Blume’s book “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret” to the big screen. —A.J.
Chelsea has forged ahead in the promotion of women in film. President Lisa Mehling was elected vice chairman of the AICP National Board; director Lauren Greenfield has branched out to help other female talents with “Girl Culture Films” and the Chelsea-produced “First Ever” campaign for Ford and GTB featured a key crew comprising women. Other highlights were “Answering the Call,” Amir Bar-Lev’s heartfelt Super Bowl ad for Verizon and McCann about first responders, and Nadav Kander’s hidden-camera work that gave viewers a glimpse into the power of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” for Christie’s and Droga5. —A.J.
The Directors Bureau
Haircare ads rarely break the mold, but Roman Coppola’s did just that for L’Oreal Elvive in McCann's witty ad starring Winona Ryder that made a splash on the Golden Globes broadcast. Other unusual work included “The Red Stain,” Rodrigo Saavedra’s delightful branded film for the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, which premiered at Sundance. Canada helmed the poetic Coca-Cola campaign “Share a Coke With Love” for W&K Portland as well as campaigns for Apple and TJ Maxx. Beyond commercials, Wes Anderson released his animated film “Isle of Dogs."—A.J.
Martin de Thurah produced more artful storytelling, including Chase's spot featuring Serena Williams reciting LL Cool J, from Droga5 and Audi’s ad about the last thoughts of a dying man, via Venables Bell & Partners. Beyond advertising, Alma Har’el’s feature film,“Honey Boy,” starring Shia LaBeouf, aired at Sundance to critical acclaim. The company also signed Scandinavian duo Matias & Mathias; their quirky work included a toilet-humor spot for Norwegian lottery Flax featuring an astronaut whose doings are mistaken for a shooting star. —A.J.
Directing team Megaforce captured the sweet symmetry of Delta’s mesmerizing “Runways” spot from Wieden & Kennedy New York. They were also behind “Nothing Beats a Londoner,” Nike’s frenetic story of one-upmanship that won the Cannes Lions’ first ever Social Influencer Grand Prix (the campaign was produced via Riff Raff in the U.K.). We Are From LA dazzled on a rap video for Nike Korea and a sports-style spot for Mercedes. And Manu Cossu deftly showcased 56 different creators in 90 seconds for Adidas’ World Cup soccer spot. —A.J.