Ad of the Day: Monster

BBDO tells the soul-sucking story of a modern-day office Pinocchio

You love your job. You wake up every morning, and that's what you tell yourself.

Then you go to the office. And you're beset by superficial motivational posters, senseless meetings with pie charts and a dressing down from a boss. A commemorative pen reminds you that yes, you've wasted five years of your life toiling way in this particular professional hell. You smile and nod, and feign mild enthusiasm—when you can muster it. But you're not really fooling anyone.

This ad for jobs site Monster manages to pack in an awful lot of rich if depressing subtext, especially given the minimal dialogue. Created by BBDO in New York—though running only in the U.K.—it may be aided by the fact that advertising creatives feel uniquely qualified to weigh in on hating their jobs. Strong as the script is, though, the miserable protagonist delivers a knockout performance, nailing limp-armed, slack-shouldered ennui. And director Noam Murro suffuses the atmosphere with the perfect fluorescent gloom.

Little details, like our hero's thousand-yard stare into the bottom of a paper cup at the water cooler—as if he's dreaming he could escape by diving in—help tip the scales in favor of absurdist comedy. And the ever-growing nose, a familiar device, manages to serves its purpose without feeling hackneyed. For one thing, it invites the viewer to wonder if it will clear the closing elevator doors, a fresh and amusing take on Pinocchio's dilemma. And in the final shot, when the tragic hero squeaks out one more little lie to his wife, its ridiculous proportions drive the point home.

Now, all it needs is a eureka moment, where the guy realizes he should be grateful he has a job at all.

CREDITS

Client: Monster.com

Agency: BBDO, New York

Title: "Pinocchio"

Chief Creative Officer: David Lubars

Executive Creative Directors: Mike Smith, Greg Hahn

Creative Director, Art Director: Jens Waernes

Creative Director, Copywriter: Oliver Handlos

Producer: Amy Wertheimer

Executive Music Producer: Rani Vaz

Worldwide Account Director: Paul Suchman

Account Director: Courtney Hermanas

Production House: Biscuit Filmworks

Director: Noam Murro

Director of Photography: Simon Duggan

Managing Director: Shawn Lacy

Executive Producer: Colleen O'Donnell

Editorial: Final Cut

Editor: Eric Zumbrunnen

Effects: Method, New York

Music: "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music by Rodgers & Hammerstein/Imagem Music

Score: Elias