The Visuals in Sony Bravia’s New Commercial Are Out of This World

Planets align in DDB Berlin spot

DDB Berlin’s stunning new ad for Sony Bravia is ultimately a lot more down to earth than it initially appears.

Our story begins with a father and son driving across a desolate lunar-type landscape to attend a mysterious gathering in the middle of nowhere. Slowly, majestically, planet Earth peeks above the horizon, its deep, dramatic hues illuminating onlookers’ eyes and throwing silver-blue sparks across the shimmering sand and sky.

Set to Robot Koch and Savannah Jo Lack’s yearning, ethereal track “Heart as a River,” this cosmic symphony of sight and sound gains clarity in the end, with a final twist that resolves the mystery and brings all elements into sharp focus:

So, there you go: Everyone was on Earth all along, watching footage of our own world on a ginormous Bravia OLED A1 television set. (Those ATV helmets do look a lot like NASA surplus headgear.)

“The inspiration came from the unique design of the TV,” Sony head of brand and product communication Shuhei Sugihara tells AdFreak. “The minimalist screen with an incredibly thin bezel creates a beautiful ‘horizon’ effect, where image and colors spread directly onto the surface upon which it stands. So we jumped on the unique horizon-like viewing experience immediately and decided that our ad should show people a horizon they never experienced.”

Directed by Soup Film’s Ben Tricklebank, “Earth Rising” achieves a moody, urgent vibe that seems a world apart from Fallon London’s famously jaunty excursions for the brand. (You might recall countless balls bouncing down sidewalks, and colorful bursts of paint exploding like fireworks.)

The arresting ad was shot in Chile’s lonely, picturesque Atacama Desert.

“It was the perfect shooting place, as its dramatic landscape looks so otherworldly that it could easily be mistaken for the moon or another planet,” Sugihara says. “It is also recognized as one of the best places in the world to see the stars, and both of these factors were important considerations for our film.”

In the finished product, there’s a neat Kubrickian sub-theme at play. Instead of a strange black monolith goosing human evolution, we get a massive TV that can transport onlookers to new dimensions. Seems like a fitting modern homage, given our mania for increasingly sophisticated screens that take us on cosmic odysseys from the comfort of our living rooms.

At the shoot’s remote location, however, the team was in for a disagreeably soggy surprise.

“This is one of the driest places on earth,” says Sugihara, which the crew believed would allow them to “capture a clear starry sky as well as minimize the risk of delaying the production [for bad weather]. Well, somehow we managed to bring the rain from London all the way down to the Chilean desert. It totally poured for a few days, to the point that we had to rebuild one of the roads leading to our shoot location in the middle of the desert.”

Sony Pan European Consumer Marketing Head: Mikio Nakazawa
Head of Brand and Product Communication: Shuhei Sugihara
Brand & Product Communication Manager, Television: Alessandra D’Avino
Art Direction: Richard Small, Johan Andrews

Agency: DDB Berlin
Managing Director Creative: Myles Lord
Executive Creative Director: Gabriel Mattar
Creative Director: Hande Güler
Art Directors: Mahmoud Fathy, Jacopo Biorcio
Copywriter: Andre Santa Cruz
Client Service Director: David Barton
Account Manager: Federica Sibilla
Film Producer: Jens Mecking
Producer Print: Petra Kraus
Director: Ben Tricklebank
Soundtrack: Robot Koch & Savannah Jo Lack “Heart as a River” ft. Delhia de France
Production Company: Soup Film
Post-Production: nhb studios Berlin
Print Production: nhb studios Berlin
Media: MediaCom
Production Services Company: La Casa Films

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.