The creative director at Performance Art New York shares a selection of captivating projects from the last few months that deserve their spot in his High Five, including work for Apple, Oreo and more...
It’s an honour to have been asked to share some of my favourite work from around the world that’s caught my eye in the past few months. The work I chose has quite a range, but it all spoke to me for different reasons. The common denominator is that they are all smart and undeniably compelling. I did (shamelessly) include a piece of work from my own new agency, Performance Art, but I did it sans ego: I’ve only recently joined PA last month, and the 'Black Elevation Map' is the kind of purpose-driven, platform-grade work that drew me here...
Apple - 'Escape from the Office'
Director: Mark Malloy
Apple has done it again. We all remember when Apple first launched 'The Underdogs', a three-minute film that followed four slightly eccentric but totally relatable co-workers showcasing Apple products at work. In 2020, when lockdown hit, they miraculously came out with a brilliant WFH follow-up. And they’ve done it again. Last month, Apple released a new nine-minute short that plays into the reality of a post-pandemic, 'Great Resignation' workplace featuring the same cast. And the seamless integration of product moments throughout - genius!
Balenciaga - 'SS22 Fashion Show'
Agency: In-house at Balenciaga
Production, Post & Music: Gracie Films
I love this idea for taking the tropes of fashion and having the humour to poke fun at itself, turning this into something exceptionally fun to watch. You’re left with that indelible uplifted question of 'Did that really just happen!?' Something, sometimes, only fashion can do. According to legend, the short film was produced in secret after Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia, who is a long-time fan of The Simpsons, pitched the idea to Matt Groening. Bravo!
Oreo - 'The Note'
Agency: MediaMonks x 360i
Director: Alice Wu Post: Wave Studios NY
This brand new piece just came out and hits close to home. What I love about it is seeing LGBTQIA2+ representation outside of Pride Month. And beyond that, it’s great to see intersectional representation of the greater LGBTQ+ community beyond what’s been traditionally highlighted in media. Oreo has been doing high-profile Pride work since 2012. Sadly, 10 years later, LGBTQIA2+ rights are still at the centre of culture wars. I’m so grateful that brands like Oreo continue to be a voice in advancing the conversation and encouraging allyship.
Barclaycard Business - 'Hammers'
Agency: Droga5 London
Production: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Jeff Low
Can B2B marketing and comedy coexist? With this approach, you get the product message out in the first five seconds and then let the rest of film and dialogue compel you to watch it. Who knew one could philosophise over hammers for a minute and a half? This is the kind of writing that should inspire every copywriter to elevate their craft and make them jealous.
Black & Abroad - 'Black Elevation Map'
Agency: Performance Art Canada
Production: Alfredo Films
Music: TA2 Sound + Music
A little agency self-promotion here - but this is exactly the kind of work that drew me to join the team at Performance Art. Not only is the 'Black Elevation Map' purpose-led (a big passion of mine), but it’s also work that creates utility for its user. It draws you in with a compelling visual. It uses data in a smart, strategic way, and it gives the creative output meaningful value beyond just a 30-second spot.