Wes Anderson is easily one of the most singular voices in contemporary cinema, and it turns out the same is true of Wes Anderson in the world of advertising. The director has been courted by companies such as American Express, Prada, Hyundai, and AT&T over the years to unite their products with his trademark style, and the results are some of the best commercials of the 21st century.
In celebration of Anderson’s ninth feature “Isle of Dogs” opening in theaters, IndieWire looks back at Anderson’s celebrated collection of commercials and short film advertisements. The clips not only bare Anderson’s trademark style but also feature some of his greatest collaborators, including co-writer Roman Coppola, cinematographer Robert Yoeman, and actors like Jason Schwartzman and Adrian Brody.
Watch the director’s 15 most memorable ads below.
American Express (2006)
Anderson’s “My Life. My Card” advertisement for American Express is probably his most famous commercial work to date. Featuring Jason Schwartzman and the director’s longtime cinematographer Robert Yeoman, the ad brings the viewer right on to the set of an Anderson movie to both celebrate and playfully make fun of his style.
AT&T Trilogy (2007)
Anderson directed a trilogy of 30-second spots for AT&T that feature an actor, a reporter, and a salesman speaking directly to camera as the backgrounds change behind them. It’s a relatively simple conceit executed with Anderson’s imaginative precision.
Anderson teamed up with his “Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Darjeeling Limited” star Adrien Brody for a Christmas-themed short film for “H&M.” The commercial is set on a train and features Brody as a conductor trying his best to spread holiday cheer. The blocking and lateral camera movements are peak Anderson.
Hyundai I (2012)
Anderson relied on his love of miniatures for his first of two 2012 Hyundai commercials. This one takes inspiration from classic car films like “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
Hyundai II (2012)
The second of two Hyundai commercials Anderson made in 2012 was a 30-second clip take that traveled through a family’s home and ended on the mother relaxing in her car as if it were the living room. Anderson’s love for set design is alive and well in this ad.
Anderson directed the first commercial to kick off IKEA’s “Unböring” marketing campaign in 2002. The advertisement featured a family arguing in a living room. Anderson’s camera pulls back to reveal a twist: The family is actually on the IKEA sales floor.
Wes Anderson directed Schwartzman in the commercial/short film “Castello Cavalcanti” for Prada. The actor plays a Formula One driver in 1955 Italy who crashes his car in the middle of a race and decides to skip town. The short was shot by cinematographer Darius Khondji.
Prada: Candy (2013)
Anderon and Roman Coppola directed a series of ads for Prada’s Candy fragrance. Peter Gadiot and Rodolphe Pauly star as best friends who fight to win over a beautiful woman named Candy, played by Léa Seydoux.
Brad Pitt stars in Anderson’s one-take advertisement for telecommunications and Internet company SoftBank. The commercial famously takes inspiration from Jacques Tati’s “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday.”
This animated commercial for Sony’s Xperia mobile cell phone was inspired by Anderson asking real kids what they thought happened inside the electronic device. Eight-year-old Jake Ryan from Long Island had the winning vision.
Stella Artois (2010)
Anderson and frequent collaborator Roman Coppola made this stylish, gadget-centric commercial for Belgium beer company Stella Artois.