Bold Content 4 Astonishing Advertisements From Director Neill Blomkamp

Neill Blomkamp is best known for his visually stunning films which seamlessly combine computer special effects with live action. Near future thrillers like District 9 and Elysium entertain while making insightful commentary about contemporary society. Given the popularity of Blomkamp’s films, it is not surprising that he is also in high demand by advertisers.  His advertising work range from thirty seconds spots for Gatorade to full blown seven minute mini-movies for the release of Halo 3. 

Neill Blomkamp – Citroen – Alive With Technology – 2004

Set to the soundtrack of “Jacques Your Body – Make Me Sweat” by Les Rythmes Digitales this ad for Citroen is both playful and energetic. The ad features a Citroen transforming into a dancing car once the music starts to play, conceptualizing Citroen’s brand message “Alive with Technology” in a very literal sense. 

Gatorade – Basketball Rain – 2006

“Basketball Rain” made for Gatorade references one of the sci-fi’s most terrifying films, the hatching of the pods in Aliens, but in a much less horrific manner. This ad starts off with a lone ball on a basketball court. Using time-lapse day turns to night and it starts to rain. As the rain continues the basketball seemingly takes root and starts to grow. Eventually it pops open revealing an athlete. While our protoganist sips on his Gatorade the commanding voice of the narrator delivers the message of what Gatorade Rain can do for you – start crisp, finish clean, stay cool in the heat, Gatorade Rain. 

Nike – Crab – 2003

Nike “Crab” most closely prefigures the style of film-making that Blomkampp would later become famous for in his films. The advertisement is set in a dusty, deserted area, not unlike the townships in District 9. Also like District 9 the advertisement features slightly creepy, robotic creatures in this case “crabs”. Blomkamp seamlessly integrates digital special effects into a live action environment. The advertisement begins with he robotic crab emerging from a manhole wearing Nike shoes on each of its six feet. It is quickly joined by another crab which is playing with a soccer ball. The robot crabs pass the ball between them taking shots at the others goal until finally with a powerful goal one of the robots destroys goal posts constructed from furniture. The visual effects were created by 2D3 Limited using Boujou software.

Halo – Landfall – 2007

This seven minute long mini film a live action commercial for the Halo 3 – Landfall Game.  Blompkamp was originally chosen by Microsoft to direct a movie adaptation of Halo. The film was delayed but this mini film gives us a good idea of what we could have expected to seen. Like Blompkamp’s other work the advertisement features a stunning mixture of live action and special effects. The advertisement is shot in a hand-held style using cinema verite technique. Blompkamp also makes clever use of night time vision which lends a sense of veracity to the action. After watching this advertisement fans of Blompkamp and Halo will no doubt be disappointed that they missed out on a full length feature film from the director. However, they might be pleased to know that many of the elements that were to be used in the Halo film, found their way into District 9, including the Warthog and the Flood Infection form designs. 

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