sony: “foam city”.

There aren’t too many advertisements that can build this kind of buzz and anticipation over their production. The ads aren’t even out yet, and now everyone is waiting for them. Sure, there’s something to be said for an element of surprise. There’s also something to be said for building up a hype so big that people are salivating to finally see it.


First, some history in case you don’t know. Created by Fallon London, Sony Bravia’s “Colour Like No Other” campaign has probably produced the best advertisements ever. That’s not even an over-statement, it’s just a matter of fact. They’ve broken beyond the regular internet design-ad geek circles (that I gleefully run around in, I’ll admit…) into being a cultural phenomena with millions of YouTube views. We’re talking ads on a scale and quality and daring and creativity that nobody had ever seen before…

If you haven’t seen them, do yourself a favour and click on the next three links:

1. In my personal favourite ad of all time (and that’s saying something, I’ve seen a lot of ads) they rolled 250,000 superballs down a San Francisco street in 2005’s “Balls“.


2. Next, the campaign (literally) exploded in 2006 as they blew up 17,000 litres of paint over an abandoned Glasgow building in “Paint“.


3. Then in 2007, 2.5 tons of Play-Doh bunnies leaped in time-lapse meets real life into downtown Manhattan in “Bunnies“.


Something interesting happened with “Bunnies” that lead up to the avalanche of attention over Sony’s latest endeavour, “Foam City”. They released a trailer for “Bunnies” – a dramatic, edited, well-produced, movie-quality trailer. By the time the spot actually came out people had already been talking about it for months.

This week in Miami Fallon and Sony shot “Foam City”, (which probably won’t be the actual title of the spot, but that’s what the Twitter feeds called it). A 150-person crew (with 18 people on foam patrol alone) spent several days filling a few city blocks with the stuff. The commercial will include clips from 200 locals sent into the massive clouds of foam freshly equipped with Sony video cameras to document their own experience. To make it all happen, Fallon built the world’s largest foam machine, capable of creating 2,000,000 litres of foam each minute and filling an Olympic sized swimming pool in just 24 seconds. Foamy…

Besides having a documentary filmmaker on-site, they invited bloggers and others to the shoot itself. It not only builds on the whole buzz but gives us a totally rare look into how these things actually get made – stuff we normally don’t get to see until after they come out. Sony is definitely not afraid of giving anything away, which makes me think they’ve got something bigger up their sleeve than any of us even realize yet.



It’s an interesting shift away from the incredible colours of the Bravia spots to the pure white of the foam. The new spots are for Sony’s digital imaging products – cameras and camcorders and the like. The idea being that capturing the ethereal, temporal beauty of a bubble is so difficult that you need something extraordinary to capture it.

Now the frustration begins and we get to tell ourselves that “good things come to those who wait” and clichéd bullshit like that. Different versions of the spot (from the more than 80,000 feet of film shot in Miami) won’t be released until early summer.


Awesome foamy photos via AdLand.


  1. doodletherapy says:

    Great minds think alike… and blog alike! I not only adore reading your blog because it is visually so similar to my own, but our blog subject matter seems to line up as well. Soul mates? I THINK SO! I have also been a fan of Bravia since their first commercial, and can remember waiting in anticipation for the exploding paint commercial to finally air. I’m equally as stoked for foam!

    Keep up the excellent blogging, and drop me a line anytime.



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