Funny, Brand Jordan's new spots from agency Frosty and Smuggler directors Rubberband (aka, Jason Filmore Sondock and Simon Davis) don't feel like typical sneaker ads.
While amusing, they won't make you laugh out loud, and branding takes a backseat to quiet, cinematic storytelling that feels more akin to art-house shorts than mainstream commercials. That's a good thing. The work breaks the mold, treads new ground and steps into its own space. MJ would approve.
Four :60s, beautifully shot on 35mm film by cinematographer Patrick Golan, feature French amateur basketball players Elias Konaté Dazi and Laura Kechichian—though they don't actually hit the court.
In fact, "DNP" finds Dazi on the couch, nursing an injury, when hoopsters suddenly invade his space for an impromptu game:
If it was all a dream, who broke that vase? Rod Serling would approve.
Subtle surrealism similarly suffuses "Socks" and "It's the Shoes," as apparel springs to life (but maybe not?) and weird wooden footgear steals the show:
Dude was just lumbering around, right?
That last line's the kind of tired, groan-y humor these ads avoid at all costs. Instead, we get unexpected images and nuanced notions that feel fresh and compelling. The series subverts typical jokey/punchline setups and rewards repeat viewings.
Finally, my personal fave, "Range," with Kechichian attempting an improbable 16-story free-throw up the side of an apartment tower:
Like the campaign as a whole, it's nothing but net.
The work represents the purest distillation yet of Rubberband's stylized aesthetic. The pair's past forays display similar style, ranging from the glistening bodies in spots for Whoop's fitness tracker to Kevin Durant's ever-sweatier Degree workout and Instagram's theatrical take on self-image and connection.
Production Company: SMUGGLER
Executive Producer: Patrick Milling-Smith, Brian Carmody, Jaclyn Larson
Producer: Luigi Rossi
Director of Photography: Pat Golan
1st AD: Jacques Eberhard
Set Designer: Lucie Libotte
Stylist: Marika-Ella Ames
Makeup: Fanny Maurer
Hair: Melissa Rouillé
Agency Executive Producer: Nicola Doring
Creative Director: Reginald “Reggie” Dankwa
Phantasm Exec: Anthony Bargis
Line Producer: Julien Floutard
Editor: Armen Harootun
Colorist: Alex Gregory