Sony is selling a new large LCD TV called BRAVIA. I don't particularly care about the TV itself (I'm not likely to ever spend thousands of dollars on a TV), but the ad for it is totally cool.
In the BRAVIA ad, Danish director Nicolai Fuglsig and his crew dropped 250,000 superballs at the tops of a couple of hills in San Francisco, and filmed the results. (And then cleaned up after themselves. Also, they worked with the locals to make sure there was no property damage. They probably could've achieved similar effects with computer graphics, but somehow knowing they did it in real life adds something to the video for me.) It's a lovely piece of video; I recommend the three-minute extended version, but if you're short on time, the one-minute standard version is also quite nice. There are also some making-of clips; most of the short making-of clips are just slightly extended excerpts from the longer 3-minute making-of segment.
The pretty (and slightly melancholy, to my ear) song that provides the music is José González's "Heartbeats," from his debut album, Veneer. Turns out it's a cover of a song by a Swedish group called The Knife. There are lots of copies of the lyrics online, but most of them are so badly spelled that I suspect they were transcribed by a non-English speaker. Here's one set of lyrics that seems vaguely reasonable, but then here's another set of lyrics--is it "We had divine scent" or "We had demons in"? "Four hats and then away" or "Four hands and then away"? Dunno. His enunciation is not great, nor are my PowerBook's speakers. Oh, well.
I think it might be kinda cool if this turns out to be the direction that the advertising industry takes in response to TiVo and such: make the ads so compelling that people want to watch them.
. . . I was thinking of combining that last entry and this one, with entry title "Superman, Superballs," but I decided against it.