Samsung Backed This 'Really Bad Car Commercial' Idea (and the Results Are Pretty Cool)

Director Max Joseph's Gets Brand's Support for Ambitious Animation

Published On
Dec 05, 2017

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Director Max Joseph, who in advertising has shot for the likes Toms, Innocent and Rainforest Aliiance, and in pop culture is best known as one half of the "Catfish" duo, had a "crazy" idea for a car ad. He wanted to create an auto-fueled animation by filming still images placed on the dividers lining a massive road. Thing is, no car brands would bite. But his pal and frequent collaborator, director Casey Neistat--who said his idea "sounded like a really bad car commercial"--pointed him in another direction: to Samsung.

At the start of this year, during the Oscars, the brand gave a nod to a different creative set that wouldn't be appearing on the red carpet, the "Rest of Us," the other makers who don't get to work with big Hollywood budgets to realize their ambitious creative ideas. The spot featured Neistat giving an acceptance speech, of sorts, on their behalf. That kicked off Samsung's alliance with the young creative community--among them, Joseph, whose idea the brand agreed to fund, as long as he used Samsung phones. "I had creative control and the video is only on my channels," explains Joseph. No agency was involved, Neistat served as executive producer and Hungry Man produced.

The film documents the evolution of Joseph's idea and his creative process. While he first imagined a tale about the stories that could be found on a single road--to be filmed during one shoot while driving down one highway, the idea eventually made its way to multiple locations. Joseph and crew turned the whole world into a zoetropic backdrop, shooting in a variety of ways--on skateboards, on mopeds and in cars.

The animation ultimately turns outpretty cool. Created with illustrations from Joseph's friend Carlos Ramirez, it documents the creative process as well and depicts how an artist must fight with and then dance with one's own demons in order to be creatively fruitful.