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“A Year of Sun with Mr. Persol”

I do believe there is such a thing as over-art directing a piece of animation to the point where the message becomes buried within the polish of the artwork. Whether that’s the case with “A Year of Sun with Mr. Persol,” a glossy piece of advertising for Persol Eyewear directed by Kevin Dart and Stéphane Coëdel, is open to debate. What’s inarguable is that it’s an extremely competent piece brimming with sophisticated design and visual concepts throughout.

Credits after the jump

PRODUCTION: Passion Pictures
DIRECTED BY: Kevin Dart and Stéphane Coëdel
PRODUCER: Ryan Goodwin-Smith
DESIGNERS: Kevin Dart, Chris Turnham
ANIMATORS: Jeremy Pires, Nelson Boles, Nick Appleton
COMPOSITING: Stéphane Coëdel, Celine Desrumaux
EDITING: Stéphane Coëdel
STORY: Kevin Dart, Stéphane Coëdel, Elizabeth Ito, Chris Mitchell

AGENCY: Winkreative, London, UK
ART DIRECTOR: Silke Klinnert
COPYWRITER: Matthew Temple
PRODUCER: Julie Thyman

  • I always take note when something new comes from Stephane Coedel. I can see where the ad isn’t exactly hitting us over the head at the beginning. But, the sell becomes pretty clear with the close up near the end.

  • Jay Sabicer

    Feels like a continuation of the Yuki 7 universe Messers Coedel and Dart have meticulously crafted. It appears their hard work has borne some fruit to keep their business shipshape. It did intrigue me to check out the Persol website, so mission accomplished.

  • The Gee

    Yeah. I kind of think it needed the polish. Updated Retro. ha ha.

    For the sun angle alone…. somehow this just seems to work. I can’t un-see it as live action or 3Dified feature quality CG with AWESOME lighting!.

    That lack of imagination might be a fault on my part but the commercial seems to work. The details…excessive, maybe…but should sell it. And, the details don’t seem to muck up the message….in my humble elipsis-filled opinion.

    Aw, hell. I Iike it.
    Elizabeth Ito. Kevin Dart. Nelson Boles. Passion Pictures. It came together well.

  • So another artist got to hijack an advertising job. That’s good for us. I wish it would happen more often.

  • lola

    I think it was meant to catch the viewer’s attention and differentiate itself from other advertisements which it certainly does. The art direction is beautiful and if the clients didn’t think that it diverted attention from their product then, good. I’d rather watch this than some stylish chick posing in front of a camera and winking over and over again.

  • Rufus

    That was awesome! Go guys GO! You’re doing rad things!

  • What are advertising jobs for if not for us to co-opt as platforms for our art?
    I’m glad to say I probably wouldn’t have noticed that even was an advert if you hadn’t said.

  • evan

    The lighting is amazing. I would love to see a James Bond/ North by Northwest inspired film in this style!

  • Billy Batz

    What kills me besides the fact that its just random cool shots strung together, is the scene where the guy puts his clip on shades over his glasses at the same time his girlfriend gets splashed in the face( the actions happen at the same time, are we supposed to think that if you are already wearing glasses and put another set of lenses(the clip on sun glasses) that it deflects water? Chuck Jones would never have this unclear of a gag or idea. Anyway the ‘cool’ imagery ‘is ‘cool, but the rest of the ad doesn’t gel.I can tell the artists wanted to do a James Bond rip off instead of help sell glasses.

  • TheSpaceBeaver

    I thought the direction was very good. The timing was good and the music as well. But I just can’t seem to connect with this design style. I find it too awkward to look at, it lacks weight and they seem like they’re floating. Too many straights, not enough curves, there’s no balance. I did really like the underwater scene at 00:38 with the hook up to the plane flying in, very nice.

  • Good to see artwork like this and it carried the minute well.If you look at it as a series of situations where glasses are beneficial it is a very nicely designed necklace of events. It made me wonder if I needed another pair.

  • daniel

    Art direction that hides the message is not good art direction. These may be “cool” shots, but fail to actually be art “directed” in a way to sell the product.

    … I’m hopeful people still understand what art direction means.

    • The Gee

      do you remember that volkswagon ad where the car is being driven at night so you don’t see much–though I think there are interior shots? it had a simple song, mellow, laid back.

      Sunglasses, like cars are sold to sell lifestyle choices, right?

      If you think it obscures it to people who aren’t familiar with the brand, yeah, I guess that could be said. And, it could have failed on that level, but, selling style takes style. Or, it can still work when it comes across as vapid to people who expect more.

      For the length of the piece, I will say I expected more of a straight narrative. But, it wasn’t all that jumbled. What I just wrote might come across to casual viewers as jumbled but…

      tell ya what. someone should do an informal survey. ask what is being sold, to some people. To others, ask if it sells sunglasses well. To others still, ask if it is a good vacation ad.

      • daniel

        any good designer worth their salt knows that design is suppose to solve problems, not obscure it..

        especially when it comes to making a commercial

  • I actually thought this was a commercial for some town in Europe, not for eyeglasses.
    Still. This looked AWESOME. Someone get these people to make a movie already!

  • This is what animated commercials used to be, an avenue to explore new styles and grab the audiences attention. This is the kind of spot that folks will want to see again and again, it will get people talking, and then they discover that it was a sunglasses ad.
    So when they want a pair they will search out the quality and style of that product. There used to be quite an industry for animated commercials in the 70’s and 80’s, maybe this will help revive that industry. Good work! Where’s the movie now?

    • daniel

      This seems more a self indulgent commercial for kevin dart’s artwork (which looks like a weaker imitation of tadahiro) than a sunglass ad.

  • B+

    yea, i begrudgingly agree w/ amid. it fails as a commercial for the sunglasses. trying to sneak in a slap in the face double-take at the end to ingrain the brand into our heads (with a text logo no less) is sloppy and kind weaksauce.

    Art wise? fucking amazing. Talent? speechless.

    we don’t know the notes and the direction from the client but yea, the message got muddled completely but the talent and artistic vision/eye is inspiring.

    Great work. Love their style.

  • Old Man Father Time

    Oh. “Passion Pictures”. THAT’S why.

    I wonder why those glasses he’s wearing look the most realistic compared to the rest of the commercial? ….. Oh. ‘Persol Eyewear’. THAT’S why.

  • CCS

    I didn’t get that it was for eyeware until I read the comments here. I thought it might be for a vacation company or for a brand of shirt.

  • E. L. Kelly

    Aside from the rather obvious muddling of the message and gorgeous art direction aforementioned, I do believe that the ad is being treated as a hypothetical media property, the same way as the artist’s “Looks That Kill” and “Kiss from Tokyo.” It took a few views for me to figure that out, myself (though I did in fact enjoy ogling the ad a few times.)

    I’m susceptible to visual suggestion, but this advertisement, which wowed me into thinking “Super Bowl Day ad!” within the first few seconds of watching it, had me rescinding that after a few seconds when I realized I had no idea what the product was or if it even existed!

    Still, I could watch more of those pretty pictures go by….

  • Marvellous looking, appears that it may have actually been great fun to execute. So far as the message? Personally I doubt I’ll ever buy my usual washing powder again, it’s persil whites from now on

  • The Gee

    “Personally I doubt I’ll ever buy my usual washing powder again, it’s persil whites from now on”

    okay. that’s funny.