BBH’s Stylish Ad for Dulux Paint Imagines a World Where Color Is Prohibited

Cue the bootleggers

In this new spot for paint brand Dulux, BBH London creates a charming, vibrant fantasy where colors, rather than alcohol, are outlawed during America's Prohibition days.

Everyone's feeling as glum and washed out as their drab surroundings as our heroine mopes around, oblivious to a potential suitor. The bit where a cop on the beat crushes a golden flower beneath his boot as a little girl looks on is a cute, tongue-in-cheek touch.

Directors Christian & Patrick of Park Pictures don't rely on black-and-white photography, which can, in some instances, look nostalgic and inviting. Rather, the film's palette is gray and faded, its colors barely perceptible, an effective technique that adds a splash of realism and enhances the downbeat vibe.

Suddenly, bullets fly, cans and barrels are punctured and smashed—and some lucky folks start seeing the world in different hues. (Maybe they just needed a few shots of bathtub gin.)

"The spillage was all done on a pre-prepared canvas so that we didn't get any on the roads," BBH creative Martha Riley tells AdFreak. "The production designer created a massive sort of jigsaw of the canvas which was laid on top of the road and the edges were taken out in post. We were very lucky with the weather that day as there were looming rain clouds, but we managed to shoot the scene before the daily downpour."

The narrative defines happiness in broad strokes, which seems entirely appropriate for a paint commercial. Ultimately, the film does a fine job of blending color and mood, and its message isn't easily brushed aside.

Credits below.


Client: Dulux

Agency: BBH, London

Creative Team: Martha Riley, Richard Glendenning

Creative Director: Nick Allsop

Team Manager: Hannah Madden

Team Director: Tracey McIntosh

Strategy Director: Tom Roach

Strategic Business Lead: Ann-Marie Costelloe

Producers: Georgina Kent, Ruben Mercadal 

Assistant Producers: Phil Cross, David Lynch

Production Company: Park Pictures

Director: Christian & Patrick

Executive Producer: Stephen Brierley

Producer: Richard Fenton

Director of Photography: Benoit Delhomme

Postproduction: Electric Theatre Collective

Producer: Matt Williams

Shoot Supervisor: Yourick Van Impe

Lead Flame Artist: Giles Cheetham

Flame: Andrew Stewart, Yourick Van Impe

Nuke: James Belch

Lead 3-D Artists: Remi Dessange, Gerard Dunleavy

3-D: Dan Marum, Laury Guintrand

Matte Painting, Gerard Dunleavy, Dave Gibbons

Grading: Aubrey Woodiwiss

Editing House: Peepshow Post

Editors: Andrea Macarthur, Lizzie Graham

Sound: Raja Sehgal, Grand Central Sound Studios