In 1969, fourteen years after the first commercial aired in Britain, colour arrived.
The bar was raised.
Ambitious ads could now go beyond the over-lit, creakily acted black & white output from adland.
Ads, well, the good ones, started to look like they could’ve been snipped from a movie.
But they were still pretty formal.
A couple of years later, a young producer decides he wants to stop producing ads and start shooting them
Rather than chase the formal perfection, Adrian Lyne sees it as an opportunity to play, experimenting with film and lighting.
Pushing and pulling it into places other directors tried hard to avoid.
It meant his ads don’t look like theirs.
Too much lens flair.
Too out of focus.
Too much camera movement.
Too close in.
Too far away.
They looked great, but he made those writing the best scripts nervous ‘Sure it’ll look great, but would he shoot the idea?’
It meant he shot more for JWT and McCann’s than BMP and Collett’s.
To say some of the scripts he shot were slight would be ridiculous, an outlandish over-claim.
Take a look.
SCRIPT A: Man walks home from work. Cut to him by a fire.
SCRIPT B: Cool people get dressed in a white room.
SCRIPT C: Erm…woman meets women intercut with shots of make-up being applied?
But the public doesn’t see the scripts, just the films.
And the films are great.
They’d leap out from the plodding competition either side of them and making you feel something.
The mood is always seductive, but real, like the best moment of a day.
By the end of the seventies, the elements that made Adrian’s ads look different had been adopted by the mainstream, a bit like high street fashion stores borrow from the experimental Parisian Couture houses.
Even CDP embraced capturing a vibe with visuals and music rather than a storytelling with ads like Fiat Strada ‘Robots’ and B&H ‘Iguana’.
But by that time, Adrian was shooting his first movie; Foxes.
He followed it with Flashdance, 91/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction, Jacobs Ladder, Indecent Proposal, Lolita, Unfaithful and last year’s Deep Water.
We had a lovely chat, hope you enjoy it.
WALLS MIDNIGHT MINT.
(His first ad, nearly his last.)
‘The Table’. 10 minute short. 1973.
LYONS COFFEE (DDB).
BLACK MAGIC (JWT).
HEINZ RICE PUDDING.
WOODPECKER CIDER (FGA).
LUCAS (Saatchi & Saatchi).
FORD CAPRI (CDP).
MILK (McCann Erickson).
COINTREAU 1 (DDB).
VO5 APPLE SHAMPOO (FGA).
LEVI’S (McCann Erickson).
BRUTUS (Saatchi & Saatchi).
CITROEN (Colman & Partners).
SMITHS ONION FRIES (Dorlands).
CARLING BLACK LABEL (Lintas).
COINTREAU 2 (DDB).
CALVIN KLEIN (Ally Gargano).
HONDA (Chiat Day).
DIET PEPSI (BBDO).
APPLE (Chiat Day).
YAMAHA (Chiat Day).
JOVAN (Della Femina).