Balenciaga X The Simpsons

Curious about the future of fashion? This Balenciaga x Simpsons branded video might hold the key. Instead of a runway show at Paris Fashion Week, Balenciaga debuted this collaborative short branded piece of branded content, featuring animated versions of iconic looks from their S/S 2020 collection. It’s a bold move away from the traditional show format, and marks a general trend away from elitism in the fashion industry. The episode pokes gentle fun at the history and image of Balenciaga, and brings their clothes into suburbia – or rather, brings suburbia into Paris.

Channel 4 | Super Human

The Paralympics are back! This new advert from Channel 4, filmed under lockdown restrictions in May, features some familiar scenes of birthday Skype calls and the PM’s coronavirus briefings – along with some less familiar, behind-the-scenes peeks of Paralympian training regimens. And a scene featuring wheelchair rugby athlete Kylie Grimes outside an inaccessible cafe reflects on the everyday lack of accommodations for those of us with physical disabilities. This fantastic montage, bringing together the mundane and the extraordinary, also addresses the othering that heroisation can bring. The final shot shows Boccia player David Smith smashing the ‘Super’ in the title – bringing the focus back to the human.

Posten Norway | When Harry Met Santa

The lover is the one who waits. And when your paramour is Santa Claus, that wait can be a pretty excruciating one. That’s why Santa’s drafted in the Norwegian postal service in this year’s Christmas ad, leaving him free to spend some well-earned time with his new boyfriend. This heartfelt ad documents his relationship with Harry, with their fleeting encounters always interrupted by Christmas duty. That is, until a friendly postie lends a hand and lets the couple finally spend their first holiday together. It’s a very touching campaign, with some tender moments and memories shared around the Christmas tree. The ad also marks 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Norway, and its celebration of LGBTQ love has led to an overwhelmingly positive response worldwide.

Inspired By Iceland | The Icelandverse

There’s a new, breathtakingly immersive VR experience in town… Iceland! In this tongue-in-cheek video from the Icelandic tourist board, we’re introduced to a brave new world of skies that you can look at, and even water that you can touch.

Poking gentle fun at a certain social media giant’s new VR-scape, the ‘Chief Visionary Officer’ of the Icelandverse takes us on a tour of the country’s most up to date and innovative features – such as puffins and wild horses. It’s super funny and also draws attention to Iceland’s beautiful vistas and culture – win win!

WWF | Can’t Negotiate The Melting Point Of Ice

Some environmental tragedies are so vast that they’re difficult to imagine. Issues such as rising sea levels and melting Arctic ice can be so monumental that we can hardly visualise them. This campaign video for the WWF gets straight to the heart of global warming, and presents a polar bear journeying through a melting landscape.

The bear and the landscapes are all made from ice sculptures, and the stop motion animation took over a year to complete. It’s a very moving and effective visualisation of the realities of climate change, and its message is clear – we must act now to keep global warming under 1.5°C.

Nikon | Everything Starts With A Detail

Life is all about the details, as laid out in this wonderful new advert from Nikon. Controversially, this video from Nikon is not a video about photography, or cameras, but it is about lenses, in a thematic way.

The story begins as a man spots a woman in a cafe and falls for her instantly. Their relationship unfolds in front of us over the next 60 seconds, ending with a thought-provoking and poignant final note. It’s a really wonderful little film, and an incredible emotional journey in such a short time. Credit to Nikon and the production team for being bold and telling a story unlike other brand films.

Apple | Saving Simon

Father and son duo Jason and Ivan Reitman have teamed up to produce this beautiful Christmas ad from Apple. Shot entirely with the iPhone 13 Pro, it tells a tale as old as time – that special love between a girl and her snowman. We follow Simon the snowman as he’s saved from certain death by his creator, who then watches carefully over him for the entire year. Simon lives primarily in the freezer, but is still a true member of the family – even coming on a camping holiday in the ice-box.

Adam Amir x The New Yorker | Walking Before Walking

A child explores their environment through their hands, and first ‘sees’ through texture. The world becomes light through touch, and begins to open like a prism. Filmmaker Adam Amir introduces his baby, Rumi, to the rivers and the mountains in this new documentary for the New Yorker, and re-examines his relationship with the natural world.  Realising that he’s looking for stillness rather than adventure, for peace and for safety, Amir recognises the way his child changes the outdoors. The world comes closer as he contemplates community and history, and the new link of care a baby creates. 

Boston Dynamics  | Do You Love Me?

What’s the best way to kick off the new year? Surrounded by family and friends, sharing a good time? Jetting off to an exotic city for moonlit drinks? No, it’s watching this brilliant video from Boston Dynamics that features their robots dancing. Boston Dynamics videos crop up now and then and make the rounds on the internet. They tend to be little snippets of life in their R&D labs where engineers mess about with robots, shoving them over with sticks and forcing them to dance. It’s a brilliantly simple way to showcase the company’s technical capabilities and share what they’ve been working on. And people love it.

NHS  | The Rhythm of Life

The stage, the lights, the music! The… bright blue exercise balls! Theatre is back, and it’s all about the vaccines in this video from the NHS. Featuring Jim Broadbent as a lone audience member in an empty stalls, we see The West End come back to life with a dance number including Asa Butterfield, David Walliams and more. 

As London nightlife and entertainment re-opened earlier this year, the NHS reminded us that protecting ourselves and others with the vaccine is the safest way to have fun. And how better to spread that message than with a passionate song-and-dance?