Ad of the Day: Edward Norton Shines in Crazy 90-Second Thrill Ride for Verizon and Droid

Like 10 spots in one

Given the actor's reputation for demanding final cut (all right, the director was notoriously insane) and distancing himself from projects he doesn't like, it makes perfect sense that if Edward Norton is going to do a commercial, it's going to be a really good commercial.

This mcgarrybowen spot for Verizon Wireless and Motorola's Droid phone has the performer finding a guy's wallet, stealing someone's girlfriend, running afoul of serious thugs, landing a private jet and gambling for a ferret with a Russian mafioso. It's one of the better 90-second spots we've seen, with enough action packed in to justify the running time and agile enough cutting and writing to make everything clear.

MJZ director Matthijs van Heijningen has done a fine job of delineating each chapter of the story and showcasing Norton's gifts; it's also a very good spot for the brands—we get to see the phone do quite a bit here. There's been a lot of discussion about how thoroughly the invention and proliferation of the cell phone has changed movies; this spot is pretty convincing evidence that it need not ruin them.

Lots of great little bits in this one: I love that the hard-core mobsters are betting on game of Connect Four, and that we have no idea how the key around the hot karaoke bar babe's neck got into our hero's stomach. Also, is that the swankiest karaoke bar anyone has ever seen, or is it just me? I usually end up in the East Village in a room with five friends belting out "I'm Gonna Be" by the Proclaimers. Then someone thinks he can sing "It's the End of the World as We Know It," and everyone goes home.

All right, that's usually me, too.

CREDITS

Client: Verizon Wireless/Motorola Droid

Spot: "A Lot Can Happen in 48 Hours"

Agency: mcgarrybowen New York

Executive Creative Director: Cheryl Van Ooyen

Creative Director: Tiffany Smith

Associate Creative Director: Jamie Massam

Writers: Cheryl Van Ooyen, Tiffany Smith, Alex Flint

Art Director: Jamie Massam

Director of Broadcast Production: Dante Piacenza

Executive Producer: Leelee Groome

Executive Music Producer: Stephanie Diaz-Matos

Production Company: MJZ

Director: Matthijs van Heijningen

Executive Producer: Scott Howard

Producer: Mark Hall

DoP: Chris Soos, Alwin Kuchler

Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors

Editors: Adam Pertofsky, Neil Meiklejohn

Executive Producer: Carol Lynn Weaver

Producer: Juliet Batter

VFX: The Mill

Creative Director: Chris Knight

Executive Producer: Jo Arghiris

Senior Producer: Dan Roberts

Producer: Jillian Lynes

3D Artists: Feliz Urquiza, Blake Guest, Matt Bohnert, Ashraf Ghoniem

2D Artists: Chris Knight, Margolit Steiner, Daniel Thuresson, Chris Payne, Jake Maymudes, Tara DeMarco

Matte Painting: Andy Wheater

Motion Graphics: Byron Slaybaugh