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Sony Bravia ad didn’t use CGI!!!

By on Mar 16, 2007 in Reviews | 2 comments

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A slight introduction first. Mad Ads is the first in a category of posts I plan to do, on various advertisements in popular media – partly because they’re plenty and I can finish it off in 100 words and still call it a review (something I can’t do for movies); but mainly because I like advertisements. Strange, eh?

In the very beginning, I declare that this post is NOT sponsored by Sony – I just love their ad anyway. It’s the bouncing balls ad of Sony Bravia. At first when I’d seen it, I marveled at the fact how far computer-generated animation had progressed – I was fascinated by how they could have accomplished such a realistic effect using computer-generated imagery (CGI).

Then I came across the ad again, and again; each time, more doubt creeped in on how they’d achieved it. I finally ran a Yahoo! Search on it today, and I was stunned to know that they actually let loose 250000 superballs in a San Francisco block for the ad. Hell, the advert is so f**king good it even has a website (an official one, I think) dedicated to it at Danish director Nicolai Fuglsig made the ad. Here’s an excerpt on how they did it:

In an age when CGI is commonplace, this makes the commercial all the more extraordinary. Every single frame was shot over two days – with the main sequence involving a 23-man camera crew and only one chance to get it right.

An entire block was closed off and special compressed-air cannons shot the balls into the air, while earth moving equipment poured thousands down the street. Not that you’d know it from the finished product, but these balls can do some damage, so all the cars were props and crew members went so far as to having protective shields and crash helmets.

But when you get it right, you get it right. The goal at the beginning was to deliver a “really simple, visual celebration of colour”. We think you’ll agree the results speak for themselves.

Even the soundtrack, Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez, is amazing. That’s what I liked about this ad – it didn’t hardsell any features, it just tried to capture the human emotion, of our love for enriching visual experiences.


  1. supersonic_aviatrix

    March 16, 2007

    Post a Reply

    it was REAL??! wow. i thought it was computer edited!!! its sooo amazin the effect!!!

  2. GQ

    March 17, 2007

    Post a Reply

    Seriously, the idea was amazing. I mean, many people have written in saying they were shocked after getting to know this.

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