Wide angle lens in Mercedes commercial

Mercedes launched a new advertising campaign, and I really like it. Watch the 30 sec commercial in the video below!

There is a sentence appearing repeatedly both in the video and on the billboards, it goes like this:

“I want you, I can be yours.”

The advertising campaign is aimed at young people, it is fresh, provocative and the above mentioned phrase has clearly a sexual subtext.

The photo above is used for the billboards, unfortunately it is without any text, so you have to trust me that there is the sentence: “I want you, I can be yours.”

Ok, at this point we know what the story is, what is the message. Let’s look now how it is told.

Wide angle lens

The photo above was taken with wide angle lens. Wide angle lens distort the image (the wider the lens the bigger the distortion). Straight lines are curved and physical dimensions are exaggerated. This effect is clearly visible, if you get close with wide angle lens to your subject.

Now, because of the wide angle lens, the car is optically distorted. If you look at the image again, it seems like the car is popping out, trying to reach you. And I think this is exactly what they wanted!

Additionally, I did a quick test to see a comparison between wide angle lens and telephoto lens.

For me, the telephoto lens doesn’t convey the message. I like the telephoto version a lot actually, but I think it does convey a different message. Maybe something like this:

What do you think?

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POV shot in IKEA commercial

Emma Coats, former story artist at Pixar, recently tweeted a link to this commercial as an example of visual storytelling. Watch the commercial in the video below:

So far, I’ve been writing about cinematic storytelling (with one exception) using various movies as examples. However, cinematic storytelling doesn’t apply only to the movies, it has its place also in video games, music videos or TV commercials.

POV shot

The IKEA commercial uses one of the basic shots of cinematic language – the POV (point of view) shot. The POV shot shows literally, what the character sees. Additionally, through POV shot, we can experience not only what the character sees, but also how he feels or moves.

The POV shot is usually edited in such a way, that we’ll see firstly the character looking off screen and then the object the character is looking at, that is, his POV. This way of editing leaves no confusion whose POV it is. Here is a great example from Psycho.

Psycho (1960)
Psycho (1960)
Psycho (1960)
Psycho (1960)
Psycho (1960)
Psycho (1960)

The POV shot helps us to identify with the character, even if we don’t like him, like in the final scene of The Silence of the Lambs.

Most of the time, the POV shots are used in a connection to beings, who are alive (people, animals), but only very rarely you’ll see a POV shot of a thing (chair, table), because it doesn’t usually make any sense, unless its alive, right? Like in the movies from Pixar, where you’ll have hundreds of POV’s of various toys, fish, cars, bugs, monsters, robots etc.

POV in IKEA commercial

So, when I see a POV shot, I automatically presume that it comes from a live being. And when you are alive, you can breathe, smell, you can feel, you can experience emotions, and you have also the ability to recognize feelings that are being experienced by another beings.

That’s why I felt sad for the lamp, when I saw it on the street, standing in the rain and wind next to the garbage can, looking back at the window, where it used to stand and shine.

How about you, did you feel sad for the lamp as well, or was it just me? 🙂


Links

Vimeo Video School – POV
Point of View Shot (PDF)
Types of Shots (POV included)
Creating Point of View