If you like any combination of amazing colors, night skiing and striking imagery, Philips has an ad for you.
To promote its color-backlit Ambilight televisions, the electronics manufacturer teamed up with Stockholm agency Ahlstrand & Wållgren, film company Sweetgrass Productions, and a crew of pro skiers to create "Afterglow," a 12-minute clip shot on the slopes at Golden Alpine Holidays in Aleyska, Alaska, under giant color lights during the dead of night. The result is snow like you've never seen it before.
Under 4,000-watt spotlights of varying colors, spraying powder takes on an iridescent quality, calling to mind the pigments thrown during Holi. (As such, it's slightly reminiscent of the project that photographer Chase Jarvis did for Samsung monitors, also featuring colorful dust clouds. Screen manufacturers are generally fond of playing up brilliant, hypnotizing palettes, the most famous example perhaps being Sony Bravia's bouncing balls.)
The skiers also strapped on 7,000-LED suits for some of their downhill runs, making for even more dramatic footage.
If you're not ready to commit to a 12-minute short film, which we've put at the bottom of this post, here's a 3-minute-plus short that gives you a solid idea of what to expect:
A cut of the LED-suit footage posted to Vimeo a week ago has over 1 million views.
Commenters there point out some similarities to other works—one to the 2012 art piece "L.E.D. Surfer" by filmmaker Jacob Sutton, featuring snowboarder William Hughes plying his craft in the dark (but without the polychromatic vibe of the Phillips clip), another to a Sony Xperia smartphone commercial from a few weeks ago featuring night snowboarders in color LED suits (though that one clearly took a fraction of the effort shown in the Philips spot). This summer, Lexus also put out an LED-suit nighttime acrobatics ad. So it's probably safe to call this a trend.