From Creativity Online: Levi’s Pokes Fun at Smartphone Obsession in Its Latest Spot

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on 

Hooking Up In Real Life, Not Online

Editor’s Pick

In Levi’s latest TV ad, which broke during the Grammys, the denim brand puts a new slant on the brand’s sexy boy-meets-girl scenario, with a mischievous nod to its target audience’s smartphone obsession.

In “Sea of Blue,” boy and girl meet at a pool party at which everyone is clad in denim, and everyone is glued to their phone, not looking up to make contact with anyone “in real life.” The pair catch each others’ eyes, mime a phone call without phones, and then fall into each others arms (and the swimming pool.) The spot was co-directed by Mike Piscitelli and Michael Haussman, through production company Pulse.

Part of the brand’s ongoing “Live in Levi’s” campaign by FCB, the campaign spans digital and social platforms, TV, cinema and print globally. As well as the TV spot there are style videos, behind the scenes footage and additional stories captured during the shoot that were made into digital shorts to be featured across social media.

Read the Full Article on Creativity Online


Adweek Ad of the Day: United Turns Airport Security Into an Olympic-Level Obstacle Course

Do you ever feel like an Olympic track star while trying to navigate the maze that is the airport check-in experience? United Airlines feels your pain.

The 2016 Summer Olympics begin next month in Rio de Janeiro, and this week United debuted its first related ad as the official airline of Team USA.

The 60-second spot “One Journey. Two Teams.” will first air during the opening ceremony next Friday. It resembles past efforts from the brand in that it stars both United employees and American Olympians doing their best to get to the gate on time.

The athletes featured include volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings, two-time gold medal soccer player Carli Anne Lloyd and four-time gold medal swimmer Missy Franklin, among others.

The ad, created by United agency of record mcgarrybowen, also features a Rio-style remix of the client’s theme song “Rhapsody in Blue” courtesy of audio production company Yessian Music, which recruited authentic Brazilian street musicians to help create the very active re-imagining of Gershwin’s classic. The voiceover for this spot comes from Mr. Bourne himself, Matt Damon.

“Our 2016 Olympics advertising was a great way to engage and showcase our employees and our partnership with Team USA,” says United managing director of marketing and product development Mark Krolick. “The United team works incredibly hard year round to transport U.S. Olympians and Olympic hopefuls to training, competitions and the Olympics and this campaign demonstrates that in an upbeat, fun and optimistic way.”

The ad was filmed on a real 787 Dreamliner in Los Angeles, and the athletes performed all their own stunts.

Mcgarrybowen executive creative director and managing director Haydn Morris tells Adweek, “It’s an honour to have a client with such an intimate and longtime relationship with Team USA; they do the hard work of flying those guys wherever they need to go, year in, year out. Mcgarrybowen does the easy bit of bringing that story to life.”

Read the Full Article on Adweek


On My Radar: Michael Haussman from Shots Magazine

Interview with Michael Haussman on 26th January 2016

Pulse/Person Films director secretly lives in Rome where he looks to the stars, Instagram & drones for inspiration.

What’s the best ad campaign you’ve seen recently?

I honestly can’t remember seeing anything on the air that blew me away recently in the US or Europe. Most of the good work I see is on people’s reels… and there is some great, inspiring and refreshing stuff out there… I just have no idea where any of it ever plays.

What website(s) do you use most regularly and why?

I don’t spend a lot of time navigating websites. I do visit a lot because I work in many different mediums – art, film, commercials, music videos – but surfing for work normally has a purpose, like looking up a specific artist, musician, film clip, location, etc. But I don’t look at any sites as a matter of routine.

What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought and why?

I’m in the process of buying the new Sony Alpha 7 camera because it can shoot in amazingly low light and also has 4k capability. It’s also very compact and is the perfect travel camera.

Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?

Always Instagram: Michael_Haussman.

What’s your favourite app on your phone and why?

SkyView app. So I can finally learn the constellations.

What’s your favourite TV show and why?

At the moment Ray Donovan, but that can change depending on what my wife pulls up. She keeps me in tune with what is out there and there’s a lot of great stuff. I normally watch the first four episodes of anything and then, out of simple neglect, and interest in something else, I shift to the next. It would be nice one day to follow a series through to the end.

What film do you think everyone should have seen?

I don’t for a moment think my tastes should be everyone else’s taste. But… I thought one of the most complete movies in the last couple years was MOMMY. A French Canadian character-driven film that was exciting, emotional, funny, heart wrenching, and superbly-acted and shot. Basically, all the reasons I go to the cinema.

Where were you when inspiration last struck?

Lying in bed at 4:00 am this morning.

What’s the most significant change you’ve witnessed in the industry since you started working in it? 

Since I started, directing and film editing was just being phased out of commercials for 3/4 U-matic machines, which we used for music videos. A lot has happened in technology, so it’s hard to label the most significant change.

Recently, the emphasis has been on digital technology, so the end result is most felt in post production, where so much is being created. There’s no limit to realising any ideas and dreams. But I’m not sure if this has had an inverse effect on storytelling, as ideas now tend to focus on the latest effects instead. In a very short time, the new digital world has taken us from a one-dimensional, projected film experience to multi-dimensional, interactive spaces.

But I think the most significant advance in actual filmmaking has been the use of drones. In two years, they have gone from risky experiments, that may or may not get off the ground, to becoming a safe, accurate, and completely steady means of getting the camera into impossible places and moving it in ways we have not seen.

If there was one thing you could change about the advertising industry, what would it be?

Lead the visual trend again, not follow the trend. There have been certain glory moments in advertising when films, music videos and artists were using ads for inspiration. Advertising can be a powerful pop art source. Clients know this, but don’t utilize the potential. Safe is the norm today – to the point that repetition and copying operates on a grand scale.

Example: Low-fi visuals which were once street five years ago, now form part of the status quo and have evolved to become the corporate visual style for everyone, whether they’re selling hamburgers or insurance. Or take the trend of copying a special effect just because it worked for someone else. This has only made a lot of recent work more repetitive.

It is rare to hear a creative pitch today that says, “We want to do something that has not been done.” That used to be said. Now if someone can’t see a previous example of the idea, it can’t be done or it musn’t be that good because it wasn’t done previously.

What or who has most influenced your career and why?

Probably when I worked at Replay, in my early twenties. Then, Replay was a progressive, but small, fashion house out of Milan. The owner and I became friends after he saw one of my Levi’s ads. For six years. he trusted me to write all the spots, shoot them, shoot the stills and even buy the airtime. Everything. I had complete creative control, but I also had a tremendous amount of fiscal responsibility. I learned all the parts that go into advertising – from conception to airtime – and the expense of running a 90-sec spot. When you are given X amount to spend on airtime, you make bolder decisions on the campaign you write.

One of the first ads I did with Replay (below) was about 90-seconds long, so I knew it had to be a 90-second idea. I created an attention-grabbing short film, which was due to air on a channel like MTV at a time when no one was doing this. The ad won many awards and helped to elevate Replay but I learned that an ad idea has to fit the length of the airtime slot. The audience will watch a 60 if the story is a 60. Equally, they will know if it’s not a true 30. Rarely has a 60 and 30 combination made sense. If the story is a true 60 then the 30 will be a horrible sacrifice. If it is not a true 60, it should just be a 30. A great combo is 60 and 15, because the 15 can be a very powerful ad for the 60.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know…

I live in Rome.

Read the full interview in Shots Magazine 


From MTV News: 7 Facts You Didn’t Know About Selena Gomez’s ‘Same Old Love’

By Emilee Lindner

Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love” video follows the singer rolling through the city in a raindrop-speckled car, observing life from safely inside.

But after watching life go on around her, she’s ready to immerse herself in the human experience, so she ditches the car, which continues on to her concert empty. Don’t worry though, after drifting around city streets and a nightclub — something that she wouldn’t get to do in real life without fans and paparazzi smothering her — she runs back to the venue on foot to make it to her concert on time.

For the fans who got the first look of the video at Gomez’s Revival album event in L.A. last week, that’s where they thought it ended. But little did they know that Selena would come out for a surprise performance, and their reactions would be filmed for the end of the video, released on Tuesday.

We got on the phone with Michael Haussman, who directed “Same Old Love” — along with Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack,” Madonna’s “Take A Bow,” Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks” and more — to get the behind-the-scenes stories that went into the carefully crafted visual.

Read the full article on MTV.com


Entertainment Tonight: Selena Gomez Debuts ‘Same Old Love’ Music Video, Featuring Real Fans!

By

Selena Gomez debuted her music video for “Same Old Love” on Tuesday, and it’s a sophisticated and sultry look at the singer’s new musical direction.

Directed by Michael Haussman, who’s behind behind such music videos as Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack,” Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks” and Madonna’s “Take a Bow,” the video shows a more serious side to Selena, as she travels to her concert on a rainy night, sneaking through a busy club to avoid the paparazzi, and observing the city scape and passersby as she travels.

The final on-stage number was actually filmed last week at a top-secret fan event in Los Angeles, where the 23-year-old singer surprised her fans with a preview of her new album — and the chance to appear in her video.

“The screen will rise towards the end and I’ll surprise them and finish the song,” Gomez explained in a video about the event. “That will be inserted into the actual video.”

The catchy song is Selena’s second single off her upcoming album Revival. The former Disney star opened up about naming the album — her sophomore follow-up album to 2013’s Stars Dance — on BBC Radio 1 back in August.

“I was in Mexico and I came up with the title of the album because all of these things, all of the songs that have come into my life are so fresh and so different and funky and cool and sensual,” she told host Scott Mills. “It just kind of happened that way and I can’t wait for people to hear that.”

Read the full article from Entertainment Tonight 


News from Huffington Post: Selena Gomez Teams With Fans for New Music Video

Wednesday night, Selena Gomez invited fans to sit in the audience of the Palace Theater in Downtown Los Angeles with the promise of having them be part of the video shoot for her latest single, “Same Old Love”. The song would be the second song of her upcoming album, Revival.

Once the house lights went out, a giant screen descended on stage and began showing the “Same Old Song” video, directed by Michael Haussman. We were all curious – if we were there to be part of the shoot, why were we watching the finished product?

But the surprise was still to come.

In the video, Selena is being driven in a town car, where she sits in the back seat, singing the song as rain pours down the nighttime city. Her ultimate destination is still unknown at this point.

After observing enough brokenhearted people during her ride, which she subsequently abandons, it becomes clear that in the video Selena is expected to be at a concert venue for her own performance. There is panic by her handlers when the town car arrives with no Selena in sight.

Never fear, all is not lost. Though we’re not sure why she decided to take a pedestrian detour, Selena arrives at the back door of the venue just in the nick of time. We see her glam squad put the finishing touches on her already flawless face as her stressed out handlers guide Selena through the dark and narrow path of the theater halls and on to the curtained stage.

Then, in a seamless transition, as the curtain in the video begins to lifts and expose the audience, the actual video screen on the Palace Theater stage rises and there in front of us — as if she popped out of her own video — is Miss Gomez herself, singing the chorus of the song right on cue. It’s like she was there all along — same dress, same hairdo, same everything. The crowd went wild, and the camera crew was there to capture the genuinely excited and surprised fans sitting — actually now standing at their feet — in the theater, going nuts. (And yes, it was done in one take. No stops and starts or repeats.)

Afterward, a chair was brought to the stage and Selena sat down and began a heartfelt speech. She thanked her fans for always being there for her, told them how much she adores them, and how this is a new stage in her life which includes a switch to new record label with Revival.

Read more on Huffington Post


Pulse Films Signs Michael Haussman

Via SourceCreative.com

Pulse Films is excited to announce the worldwide signing of award winning filmmaker Michael Haussman to its roster of commercial directors. Pulse Films will serve as Haussman’s representation for commercials, music videos and branded content projects.

Haussman is a director, writer and artist who has received international acclaim for his compelling work. He has directed music videos for Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Kanye West, Usher and Shakira, among others, and his commercial campaigns include work for Levi’s, Diesel, Absolut, Bvlgari, BMW, Coca-Cola, and more.

In 2013, Haussman wrote and directed the short film THE AUDITION, which was selected to compete in the Venice International Film Festival, and his documentary THE UNSINKABLE HENRY MORGAN premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Other films of Haussman’s include RHINOCEROS HUNTING IN BUDAPEST, BLIND HORIZON, and THE LAST SERIOUS THING. In addition to his work as a writer and director, Haussman recently created GRAVITY, a study of gravity’s effect on human emotion told through five high definition video sequences filmed at 2,000 frames per second.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Michael join the Pulse team,” stated Pulse CEO Thomas Benski. “Michael is incredibly talented, and his ability to create content across many platforms and mediums is exactly what we are excited about in our artists.”

“At Pulse, we are interested in creators, not just directors,” said Pulse President of Commercials and Music Videos Kira Carstensen. “As a writer, director and artist working across many different creative platforms, Michael is the perfect fit for Pulse and our modern day studio.”

“For a filmmaker like me who is involved in commercials, films, documentaries, music video and art, I have never had a home in which I could facilitate all these projects. PULSE is this place,” said Haussman. “They have a unique philosophy on how to support a director and artist to find outlets for all his creative output. When I met with PULSE I was already mid-stride on a film I wrote and will direct called GOOD GUYS. Thomas Benski came on board and gave the project a new jolt of life. I see the difference between the ‘old model’ of promising a director a film, and the PULSE method, which is to immediately get involved, financially and physically. I’m very excited about our future collaborations in all art forms.”

As part of the Pulse Films roster, Haussman will be able to apply his skill for creating content across platforms and formats including through the Pulse strategic partnership with VICE.

Read on SourceCreative.com


Heartache By Popular Demand – By Out Magazine

Reclaiming Madonna’s most mature music video message

Beginning with a reverse striptease, Madonna’s Take a Bow enhances her usual sexual-romantic provocation. This video is all about the aftermath of a great passion. I dive into it now in response to readers’ demand after my earlier Madonna video overview. Take a Bow is the most mature of all Madonna’s videos, a major affair.

Real life torero Emilio Munoz performs as one of Madonna’s most memorable music video co-stars. (Dark-eyed, hawk-nosed Muñoz must have made quite an impression considering the bullfighting imagery repeated in Madonna’s recent Living for Love video.) Madonna pines for Muñoz’s uncommitted stud image — in person, in bed, in the corrida, and on TV. Director Michael Haussman’s cool imagery, spiked with red lipstick and blood, contrast physical remembrance (sex) with psychological delicacy (a filigreed bodice) and emotional violence (break-up, loneliness).

Take a Bow premiered in 1994, back in the days when music videos insisted that viewers notice details (such as Muñoz twirling his pink cape like a bedsheet or shifting his hip to the right, a sexual feint to tease/confuse his bovine opponent). Today, pop editing is crude, fast, incoherent. Media-makers tailor their work to ADHD dysfunction but Madonna still believed in coherence and (unlike Lady Gaga) symbolic meanings that can be interpreted.

Superior to Alan Parker’s film of Evita (1996) which was largely scuttled by Madonna’s total miscasting, Take a Bow shows Madonna in an ideal creative partnership. She’s aided by Babyface’s lovely melody, written within her vocal range so that her pleading has never been as affecting; it suits the high-tech, soft-core visual montage. Haussman uses Madonna’s typical porno teasing but adds a melancholic undercurrent. A viewer can easily believe that Haussman and Babyface, imagist and songwriter, collaborated from the start.

The video’s Spanish details fulfill Madonna’s fascination with Latin culture (the Evita movie was truly fake). She graduates from street pick-ups (Borderline) and ersatz cultural imitation (La Isla Bonita) to indulging Continental tradition. The video’s concept was timely; derived from Pedro Almodóvar’s bullfighting melodrama, Matador (1988) which had recently burst upon global pop culture. It also referenced the great Anna Magnani’s characterization as Camilla, the love object in Jean Renoir’s The Golden Coach (1952), who winces when an arrogant lover slays a bull in tribute to her. Madonna doesn’t impersonate Magnani’s commedia dell arte characterization so much as assume a modern version of the timeless, symbolic wounded: the love-wounded (depicted in shots of a fashion pin pricking her finger and blood droplets falling into a Catholic holy water fount). Take a Bow not only illustrates Madonna’s art consciousness (her appreciation of pop history from Renoir to Almodóvar), it advances those totems of classical pop art to postmodern complexity.

Thrashing languidly in her lonely bed, Madonna sinks under, and out-of, bedcovers. She eventually masturbates to TV images of her proud aloof lover slaying a beast as dispassionately as he used-then-discarded her carnal submission. (“How was I to know you’d break my heart?”) All the images of penetration, climax, sorrow, and abandon come together in Haussman’s imagistic flow, evoking menses and a woman’s heartache.

Take a Bow’s visual and musical effects are so delicate yet so piercing, they linger like a fragrance—way before Madonna initiated a perfume brand in 2012 (a scent desperately titled Truth or Dare). But the sentimental pull and memorable beauty of Take a Bow combine intimate confession with an artist’s challenge to her audience. Telling her fans to honestly bear their romantic pain is a lesson in gay solidarity.

Read the full article at Out Magazine