Commercials of iconic directors

For many famous directors today, work in advertising has become a kind of “springboard” for starting a film career.

Others turned to this genre even after gaining worldwide recognition.

We selected the most iconic advertising masterpieces of cinema classics.
Guy Ricci
Roller for BMW

The filmmaker’s track record includes many videos, including advertisements for brands such as Nike, Nestle, Dior, and BMW. Ricci’s videos constantly feature stars. For example, in a BMW advertisement, his ex-wife Madonna was flying around the interior of the car.

He made George Clooney the face of a Nestle commercial. And Jude Law was involved in the filming of the Dior advertisement.


Ridley Scott
Roller for Macintosh

The director started with the production of television commercials and even founded his own company, Ridley Scott Associates. To this day, she is engaged in the production of videos. Scott shot about two thousand commercials, the most famous of which became the video for the Hovis bakery (the best advertisement in Great Britain) and the advertisement for the perfume Chanel No. 5.

However, the most impressive was the commercial for Macintosh “1984”, the idea of which Scott took from Orwell’s dystopia of the same name. This video received the Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions and the title of the best video advertisement of all time and peoples.


Michael Bay
Video “Got Milk?”

The director successfully shot commercials from the very beginning of his film career. His original videos dedicated to advertising Nike, Reebok, Budweiser, Coca-Cola won the love of viewers. And the pinnacle of Bey’s advertising work was the series of videos “Got Milk?”, designed to raise the level of milk sales after a long decline. It was this video that brought its creator the Silver Award at the Cannes Lions and the Cleo Awards for “Best Advertising of the Year.”


David Fincher
Video for Nike

David was engaged in creating special effects for George Lucas films when he received an offer to shoot commercials for TV. Fincher shot his first commercial in 1984 – it was a commercial for the American Cancer Society. The gloomy video, in which the baby smokes right in the womb, immediately attracted the attention of the young director and made him a name in the advertising industry.

Offers from well-known companies poured in for Fincher, and over the next few years he shot commercials for brands such as Nike, Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Levi’s.


Michel Gondry
A video for Smirnoff

Michel began his directing career by creating music videos – first for his own group, and then for singer Bjork, Radiohead and many others. At the same time, he also shoots numerous commercials: advertisements for Polaroid, Gap, Levi’s became a vivid reflection of Gondry’s directorial style.

The most famous video was a commercial for Smirnoff vodka, in which the director used a slow-motion technique that became popular only a few years later, after the release of the film “The Matrix” (1999). A video for Levi’s, in which mermaids rescued a sailor after a shipwreck, also gained wide popularity.


Wong Kar-wai
Video for Philips

Kar-Vai has a great visual style, the richness of which is perfect for advertising. His commercial debut came in 1996, when one of his shorts was cut into several parts and shown as an advertisement for fashion designer Takeo Kikuchi.

After it was shown on TV, the director was showered with numerous orders: Softbank, Motorola, Lancome, Lacoste, Dior and BMW wanted to see videos from Kar-Vai. The last work of the director, which is a great confirmation that advertising can be high art, was a commercial for Philips.

All the characters, except for the main character, speak Russian here, and the title of the video, There’s Only One Sun, is a quote from Marina Tsvetaeva’s poem: “The sun is one, but it walks through all the cities…”.


Spike Jonze
Video for Adidas

Jones came to big cinema from the television advertising and music video industry. He shot videos for such famous groups as Bjork, Sonic Youth, REM and many others. The director also became famous as a creator of commercials, filming extraordinary stories about the miraculous healing of a person with Levi’s jeans, about a light bulb thrown by the hostess for Ikea, about fabulous running shoes for Adidas.

But the peak of Jonze’s advertising is considered to be a video for Gap, in which the actors destroyed the store’s counters and windows. It was after him that the director received the prize “For outstanding achievements in the field of advertising” from the American Guild of Film Directors.


David Lynch
Video for Bizarre

Lynch returns to the art of advertising throughout his career. One of his first advertising works was a commercial for Armani, which Giorgio Armani personally asked the living classic of cinema to work on. Later, Lynch admitted that he was given complete freedom during the filming of this video, which is extremely rare for commercial orders.

In the future, Lynch had to shoot advertisements for many companies, including luxury brands: Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Dior. All of the director’s videos invariably captivate and captivate with a special surrealistic charm characteristic of Lynch.


Ingmar Bergman
Video for “Briz”

Bergman turned to production

in advertising during a difficult period of his life: in 1951, the Swedish film industry went on strike against the high tax and temporarily stopped the production of films. At that time, Bergman had to support three families (his third wife had just given birth to a son), and he desperately needed money.

So he released nine commercials for Briz soap, one of which starred Bibi Anderson. Bergman himself said that these videos not only saved the lives of his families, but also gave him an interesting experience: “I was even interested in challenging the stereotypes of advertising films and playing with this genre, creating film miniatures in the spirit of Georges Méliès.”
Roy Anderson

A video for the Social Democratic Party

Thanks to advertising, this filmmaker also got his first directorial experience. His debut video was a commercial for Mam 21 deodorant, which won the Cannes Lion at the advertising festival.

In the future, Andersson was engaged in shooting films, however, following the success of his first picture, “Swedish Love Story” (1969), there was a failure. Therefore, the director returned to commercials again, creating many beautiful videos for various Swedish companies, which won eight Cannes Lions and many other awards.

His most famous video was an advertisement for the Social Democratic Party, in which people were depicted in various ridiculous skits, and the caption at the end read: “Why should we help each other?”.


Tony Scott
Roller for BMW

Along with his older brother Ridley Scott, Tony Scott also worked in the advertising field. The commercials for Turbo, Marlboro, Barclays became a reflection of Scott’s directorial style, with his wonderful play of shades and torn editing, and the BMW commercial with Clive Owen and James Brown is considered a true masterpiece of advertising art.


Martin Scorsese
Video for Chanel

The Chanel brand especially respects famous masters who have their own handwriting. Advertising for Chanel was filmed by such outstanding directors as Baz Luhrmann, Martin Scorsese, Luc Besson, Jean-Pierre Genet, Joe Wright. Their videos from the banal “trade engine” turn into a real miracle that conveys the spirit of one or another brand.

When looking at them, the tongue does not come back to call it advertising – the highest skill, special style, unique atmosphere make these short films real works of art.

The number of directors shooting commercials is growing every day. Sofia and Roman Coppola, the Coen brothers and Cameron Crowe, Alan Parker and Frank Miller can also be named among them.