A well executed TV commercial has the power to make us experience all kinds of emotion – laughter, sadness, fear even, all in a matter of minutes. An art form in their own right, they showcase the latest trends in design, culture and music.
So, if it's inspiration you're after, TV commercials are a good place to start. Take a look at these 30 top examples and let us know which is your favourite in the comments below.
01. Lexus: Amazing in Motion
People are talking about this Lexus advert – in which a multiple quadrocopters swarm through a city – because it's great. It showcases technology developed by KMel Robotics using 3D mapping software, complex algorithms and motion capture equipment.
02. Toshiba Kira
To promote the release of its new Kira laptop and its honeycomb chassis, Toshiba approached Logan (opens in new tab) to create an advert with a technical complexity that would reflect the technology in its new machine.
03. GE: Brilliant Machines
Framestore (opens in new tab) created three spots for the Brilliant Machines campaign for GE. Each one offers a creative take on a top Hollywood blockbuster science fiction movie franchise, namely The Matrix, Back to the Future and Star Trek. The first spot, Agent Smith, focused on GE's innovations in medical technology and features Hugo Weaving, the original Agent Smith from The Matrix series. See the other two spots here.
04. Honda: Inner Beauty
Smith & Foulkes (opens in new tab)' work with W+K London has resulted in some amazing Honda ads. Their latest offering pays tribute to the idea that beauty is about much more than what appears on the surface. It's a wonderful but crazy idea that combines stop-frame animation, live action and, once again, lots of 3D.
The Mill (opens in new tab) teamed up with Wieden+Kennedy to create this breathtaking ad for Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) new campaign, 'One Down: Make Cancer the Victim'. Directed by The Mill's Robert Sethi, it's a visually stunning look inside the body, showing the progression of cancer and, in this case, its disappearance.
06. Red Bull: Transforming Formula 1
Created in collaboration with fellow Munich company Peter Clausen Film & TV, Aixsponza's commercial for Red Bull introduces Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel's teammate Daniel Ricciardo and uses 3D animation to reveal the inner workings of the car. As the storyboard called for closeup shots of Vettel and Ricciardo, Aixsponza created 3D photoscans of both drivers' racing helmets, plus three cameras were used to capture animated textures of their faces.
07. Robinsons Squash'd
For this commercial for Britvic's Robinsons Squash'd, Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron and Framestore got a chance to shoot in zero gravity for real. Filming took place on a specially modified plane known as the 'vomit comet', which conducts parabolic flights that give its passengers 15 seconds of weightlessness. A crew of eight were tasked with filming a water balloon containing the drink being burst with a pin, resulting in the water droplets floating through the air, ready to be haphazardly sucked up by two passengers through a straw.
08. GE: Childlike Imagination
'Childlike Imagination', a new spot for General Electric by MJZ's Dante Ariola (opens in new tab), BBDO New York and Method Studios, depicts a little girl envisioning all the amazing things her mom makes as a GE employee. And she certainly has a creative mind. Among her ideas are aeroplanes as birds, a cool submarine and trees that come to life, meaning Method Studios really had its work cut out.
09. Three: The Big Fish
For this fishy ad for Three, Framestore was given a great concept and script by Irish agency Boys and Girls (opens in new tab), but only had three and a half weeks to turn everything round. Head of 3D commercials Diarmid Harrison-Murray says, "Framestore took on the project as a whole and we directed it in-house. We also produced the character design and concept art and all the CG, compositing and final grade."
10. Ultra Broadband - Waiting is Over
Saatchi & Saatchi (opens in new tab) is well known in the advertising world. Often producing some of the best commericals around, its New Zealand team came up with this inventive advert for Telecom Ultra Broadband.
Meaning super-fast speeds and better online experiences for everyone, the team focused on the dreaded loading bars and buffering wheels to showcase a number of striking images frustratingly paused. It's a brilliant take on something that everyone can relate to.