The Project: Melco Crown Entertainment / “The Audition”
The Plot: Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt extend the time-honored tradition of Hollywood types cashing in overseas—and this is only the trailer for the $70 million short film/commercial (the most expensive ad ever made) that’s still to come.
It’s penned by The Wolf of Wall Street scribe Terence Winter and directed by Scorsese and produced by Brett Ratner. The backer: Australian casino tycoon James Packer. The backgrounder: Scorsese’s 1995 Casino movie with De Niro.
The Project: adidas / #OriginalSuperstar
The Plot: Pharrell Williams, David Beckham, Rita Ora and Damian Lillard look like all around badasses in moody, black and white snippets.
The Verdict: Come on guys, can we get a smile? Sneakers are fun! [more]
The Project: “Kill the K-Cup”
The Plot: Building on 2011’s #killthekcup social campaign comes this short global disaster film.
The Verdict: When history is written, this will be remembered as the moment coffee purists and environmentalists made their last stand.
The Project: Shredded Wheat UK / “Live From The Heart: Dave”
The Plot: An exploration of a northern Brit’s love for soul music.
The Verdict: It’s like a real-life The Commitments—but for breakfast cereal.
The Project: Jacob’s Creek Wine / “Novak Djokovic: Made by Determination”
The Plot: From a childhood in war-torn Serbia to global tennis champ, Djokovic talks about the importance of what makes you for a series of “made by” films for the Aussie winery.
The Verdict: Djokovic is well known for his hyper-strict diet and teetotaling. Jacob’s Creek might be better off with Scot Andy Murray who, after a 2012 Grand Slam title, racked up a $1,289 bar tab.
The Project: Dr Pepper / “Mop Dog”
The Plot: Is it a mop or is it a dog?
The Verdict: Somebody’s been watching that Budweiser Super Bowl ad.
The Project: Walt Disney World / “National Champions”
The Plot: After winning the first US College Football National Championship, the Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye is going to Disney World.
The Verdict: Disney Parks posted that video on Jan. 12, the same day as the championship game. That means somewhere, buried on some hard drive, is a version with losing team mascot Oregon Duck, as the behind-the-scenes video evidences.
The Project: Nikon / “I Am Generation Image: Kordale & Kaleb”
The Plot: Recalling the Honey Maid dads, a gay couple talks about how they’re just a couple of normal dads.
The Project: Nissan / “Truckumentary”
The Plot: Nissan’s “Truckumentary” web series about its Titan model focuses, in ep. 2, on the truck’s development with Nissan’s director of product planning.
The Verdict: Is this really a truck brand’s video? Where’s the boastful chest thumping? The aggressive bombast? Are we even sure the Titan is a truck?
The Project: Christian Dior / “Savoir Faire”
The Plot: A look at the process of making Dior eyewear.
The Verdict: A fine job demonstrating the lovingly-handcrafted touch you’re paying dearly for.
The Project: St. John Ambulance / “Save a Choking Baby”
The Plot: “The Chokeables” come together to advise adults what to do in the case a baby comes to choke on one of them.
The Verdict: Like Toy Story, but for parents’ nightmares.
The Project: Sum of Us / “A Cheesy Love Story”
Finally, Creative Planet Network points out that before she was a Golden Globes-nominated director of Selma, Ava DuVernay directed branded entertainment including, below, short films for Miu Miu and lipstick brand Fashion Flair: