Saturday, May 12, 2007


Sony PlayStation’s
  • Double Life commercial
  • a captivating example of storytelling and reflection on escapism in commercial advertising by London production company Gorgeous Enterprises and ad agency TBWA\London, has been selected as the 2007 inductee to the Clio Awards Hall of Fame. The honor will be bestowed during the Clio Festival, May 9-12 in Miami Beach, FL.
    Directed by Gorgeous Productions’ Frank Budgen and first aired in 1999, ‘Double Life’ begins with a shot of young man walking through a crowded city street, speaking the lines "For years, I've lived a double life. In the day, I do my job, I ride the bus, roll up my sleeves with the hoi-polloi, but at night I live a life of exhilaration." It then launches into a quick succession of one-liner vignettes about the “other” side of the lives led by many different individuals, all related to the range of situations and emotions experienced while using the PlayStation.
    “When ‘Double Life’ debuted in 1999, it was widely heralded as the UK’s answer to Apple’s ‘Crazy Ones’,” said Mark Tutssel, 2007 Clio Television/Cinema jury chairman and Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide. “This incredible spot romanticized video gaming and deftly captured the essence of it – the personality transformation and the fantasy of gaming worlds. It got to the heart of what gaming is all about. The signature line ‘I have commanded armies and conquered worlds,’ wove itself into the vernacular. After eight years, the spot has spawned a genre of its own, but ‘Double Life’ remains unrivaled. It is absolutely deserving of being inducted into the Clio Awards Hall of Fame.”
    The Clio Hall of Fame pays tribute to the extraordinary ads that dare to be different. They are timelessly relevant, often providing the industry with a revolutionary creative concept or technology and many times enter into the realm of pop culture. Since being established in 1960, a mere 300 ads from around the world have been inducted into the Clio Hall of Fame.
    Entries to the Clio Hall of Fame must be a minimum of five years old, and must have won a Gold award in a major international awards competition. The Clio Executive TV Jury votes on the campaigns, and Hall of Fame honors are recognized at the annual Clio Festival.

    Client: Sony PlayStation
    Advertising Agency: TBWA\London
    Production Company: Gorgeous Enterprises, London
    Editing Company: The Whitehouse
    Editor: John Smith
    Account Executive: Neal Davies
    Creative Director: Trevor Beattie
    Copywriter: James Sinclair
    Art Director: Ed Morris
    Producer: Paul Rothwell
    Director: Frank Budgen
    Cinematographer: Frank Budgen


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    An excellent piece of work. Just goes to show what an unkown director can do when given a loose reign and a half decent budget. Three cheers. When does it go to air?

    12:25 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Me thinks Amy Smith now the CEO of JWT Australia/NZ was the suit on it.

    10:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    fucking blinding piece of work.
    well deserved.

    god save the queen.

    11:17 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    In structure and style, very similar to a commercial a few years back promoting football coverage on English TV (or was it Sky?). Exactly the same idea, with a lot of characters - mostly well known in that commercial - completing one ongoing sentence or thought. This commercial is done just as well, which is a compliment indeed. Though I did squirm when it ends with the line "I have lived a life" because it is sadly clear that none of the people in the ad have actually done so. In fact, this is one of those cases where it is a pity an ad for something so antisocial and regressive - life stealing, in fact - as playing video games is made to seem so attractive and fulfilling. Reminds me of effective ads for smoking, really.

    10:23 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Is anyone else having troubles veiwing these? I get sound but no picture.

    It could be this glorified calculator I'm using mind.

    9:26 AM  
    Blogger Unknown said...



    Only on this blog can someone sit behind a veil of anonymity and claim that 'Double Life' is similar to something else, and then attack its strategy.

    And by the way, the ad appeared when gaming was seen as a kid's activity - this commercial helped Playstation attract (and give permission to) a much older demographic.

    And, coupled with the fact that the gaming industry is now worth over twelve billion dollars a year, it was a very succesful strategy indeed.

    Just a point.

    9:47 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think you're actually referring to a Reebock ad, 10.23. It featured everyone from Alf Garnett to George Best telling a single story in individual snippets - a lot like this ad, but also a lot like dozens of others. The point isn't about the Sony ad's originality, which is pretty well non-existant in advertising anyway, but it's execution, which is bloody good. But what is Andy on about? 10.23 was just making a pretty salient comment on gaming in general. Does Andy really think it's a good thing that kids and adults spend half their lives attached to a Sony playstation, living fantasy lives, while there's a whole world (and life) out there passing them by? Sounds like someone with a gaming problem talking.

    1:16 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I suspect, Andy, that the 12 billion dollars the gaming industry is now worth is exactly the point 10.23 was making about gaming and its anti-social aspects. The cigarette industry is worth a lot more, but those dollars don't make it good.

    1:19 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's a little sad that the gaming industry is seen on the blog to be making money through addiction as opposed to cutting edge innovation and a genuinely exciting product.

    Comparing it to the tobacco industry is a little naiive.

    And yes, I'm into the odd blast at playstation which makes 'Double Life' so appealing to me.

    And to those that aren't - it's simply not.

    And I was sort of under the impression that that's what we did for a living - target the right people with the right ad with the right strategic direction.

    2:03 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Unknown Director" are kidding right? Surely.

    4:57 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Definitely true, 2.03. That is what we do. We sell stuff and get paid for it. But that shouldn't stop us sometimes wondering where our work leads. I mean, we all do it, but selling junk food to obese kids, alcohol to teenagers, gambling to the poor, speed to P-plate drivers - these things have consequences. Do we really want to leave it up to Governments to control us - a slippery slope if ever there was one - or should we sometimes censor ourselves? The Sony spot is brilliant. Brilliantly shot. Great words. Terrific performances. A masterclass of our art. And it was brilliantly effective. And gaming is by no means the worst vice advertising deals in. And yes, if those poor buggers whose idea of a life is spending every free minute on their playstation didn't have a playstation, they'd probably be in a pinball hall or whatever. But surely the subject of where our ads lead and the impact they have is a subject worth talking about.

    6:20 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I hate this ad. No matter how fucking well made it is, how nicely written, when I see a bunch of losers telling me how they've spend hours playing fucking video games, then end by saying "I have lived" I want to kick in the screen. You haven't fucking lived, you fucking losers, you've avoided life.

    9:15 AM  

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