Yo, Anything Goes in These Insane Ads for the Brooklyn Film Festival

Pregnant socks! Severed ears! Gimps!

Lights, camera, cray-cray!

TBWA\Chiat\Day New York and OPC Films celebrate wild (and creepy) creativity in a set of commercials touting the 20th anniversary of the Brooklyn Film Festival, which runs June 2-11 at various neighborhood theaters.

“The attitude and cred of the festival really gave us license to push to envelope,” agency associate creative director Jake Greer tells AdFreak.

Indeed, bizarre imagery and absurdly goofy storylines abound in a campaign defiantly themed, “Because We Can.”

First up, things get gimpy in a commercial that would make Quentin Tarantino proud:

Notice the spelling of Brklyn. Youse guys are so street!

“The gimp falling down the stairs made it out mostly unscathed,” says Greer, “but the one at the top nearly cut his lip off in the zipper mask.”

We all suffer for our art in one way or another.

So, who exactly is the target here?

“The audience is twofold—first and foremost, Brooklynites, and then all other New Yorkers,” Greer says. “This is a group of people who have no shortage of things to do and see every night of the week, so we wanted work that would get a reaction. Whether it makes you laugh, or makes you cringe, it will make you feel something and you will remember it.”

Next, a sock and vacuum cleaner take pregnant pauses:

“If the audience appreciates the humor in these spots and enjoys the world these characters live in, then they will probably dig the festival, too,” says Greer.

A third spot gives a twisted Lynchian fable a fair hearing:

“I think our film references were somewhat accidental, probably just because we were in the headspace,” says Greer. “The ears might even be more Universal Soldier than Blue Velvet, but Blue Velvet makes us sound classier.”

At the end of the shoot, “we all got severed ears as souvenirs,” he says.

Yeah, working in advertising just rocks like that sometimes.

And while we’re on the topic of ears, feast yours on these wacky festival radio ads featuring robot orgasms, cows giving birth and the saltiest dog of all time:

Brooklyn Film Festival – “Because We Can”

Brooklyn Film Festival
Executive Director – Marco Ursino
Director of Development – Susan Mackell

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York

Production Company: OPC Films
EP – Harland Weiss
EP – Donovan Boden
Head of Production – Isil Gilderdale
Director – Jason Jeffrey
DOP – Kelly Jeffrey
Line Producer – Pierre Campbell
Post Producer – Emily Harris

Editing House – Relish
Producer – Gerard Goco
Editor – Michael Barker
Assistant Editor – John Gallagher, Scott Edwards

Transfer – Alter Ego
Producer – Jane Gallagher
Artist – Clinton Harmouth

VO & Sound Design – Vapor RMW
Producer – Kailee Nowosad
Director – Karen Goora

Music – MassiveMusic, NY
Keith Haluska Managing Director
Creative Director – Elijah B Torn
Creative Director – Watt White

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@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com 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.