Ad of the Day: Revlon

Aronofsky directs Jessica Biel and Pharrell Williams in an ode to plump lashes

It's always interesting when a famous feature-film director decides to make a commercial. My favorite of all time is probably Wes Anderson's American Express spot, illustrating the fictitious (or maybe not) insanity on a typical Wes Anderson film shoot. Sadly, most such glamor projects aren't nearly as intriguing—they're just more glamorous. Indeed, most feature-film directors seem to gravitate toward high-fashion (or at least high-class) clients when they take commercial jobs, even if they're known for grittier fare on the big screen. And rarely does this lead to anything too creative. The latest example is Darren Aronofsky, whose features (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fighter, Black Swan) have always had backbone—but who this year has decided to direct spots for an Yves Saint Laurent fragrance and, now, a Revlon mascara. His partners in crime in the 60-second Revlon spot below are Jessica Biel and Pharrell Williams, who are seen in a stylized black-and-white scene of seduction, with Biel applying the brand's new Grow Luscious Plumping mascara and Williams making his way down a hallway to her bedroom while singing his own original song about her lashes' plumpitude. "You got me girl, you got me girl/You look at me, you blink those eyes/You plump it up, I'm hypnotized," he sings. The lyric might not be Grammy worthy, but you get the point. Visually, the spot is lush, with recurring themes of reflection and distortion, and of course close-ups of the eyes—could it be a wry commentary on how one's self-perception gets skewed in a world where you can make yourself up to look like someone else entirely? (She doesn't look much like Jessica Biel, anyway.) Of course, it's nothing that subversive. Aronofsky has clearly delivered just what Revlon wanted—something stylish, glamorous and completely safe, while haute enough for the director to justify his involvement in the first place. The lashes plump, and so does the wallet.


Client: Revlon

Agency: DDCD Partners

Spot: "Hypnotized"

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Editing: Cosmo Street

Editor: Katz

VFX & Design Co.: Charlex