Our Passionate about Stories series looks at storytelling from organisations of all shapes and sizes. The series gives us an opportunity to learn from brands we love and develop our storytelling skills.
Every year there are millions of people that tune into Hollywood’s biggest event – The Oscars, which therefore makes the platform a hot spot for brands to advertise. This year was no different, one set of commercials that definitely stole the show was the collaboration between the famous watch brand Rolex and the Oscars.
As we know that films are timeless, with engaging narratives that make us want to watch them time and again. Therefore, the pairing of Rolex and the Oscars makes these commercials a worthwhile story.
Rolex is a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer that is based in Geneva. It was originally founded as Wilsdorf and Davis by Hans Wilsford and Alfred Davis in London, England in 1905. After World War I, the company moved its base of operations to Geneva in order to avoid heavy taxation from a recovering post-war Britain. The company registered Rolex as the brand name of its watches in 1915.
Rolex and Oscar Commercials
Rolex is one of the many sponsors of the Oscars, and each year the notable watch brand celebrates the art and craft of cinema and the details that go into great film-making.
This year they delivered a series of commercials that featured Oscar-winning directors James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, Kathryn Bigelow and Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Each director penned an open letter to filmmakers around the world, inspiring them on a journey that may take them to Oscars one day.
The commercial introduces a series of advertisements where each filmmaker got a full minute of airtime for their letter. It has quick snippets from each of the letters and a montage of shots displaying each director’s commendable work. There is also a prominent focus on the Rolex watch that each director wears in the commercial.
Martin Scorsese is a well-known figure in cinema, known for his timeless movies – Taxi Driver, Gangs of New York, Mean Streets and The Departed to name a few.
With a career spanning over 50 years, the renowned director and producer tells future filmmakers that if they’re “burning to tell a story” then they have to make a movie.
He also sheds light on the shifting patterns of cinema and the way upcoming filmmakers tell stories with moving images, therefore calling this new era of cinema a “world away” from his time.
James Cameron is an acclaimed filmmaker and explorer. As a director, writer and producer he is known for some of his most memorable films of the past three decades: The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies, Titanic and Avatar.
As the famed director stands proudly among the silhouettes and models of his famous creations, his one advice to filmmakers is to stay humble before the craft because even “on your 100th film there will be much to learn.”
Kathryn Bigelow is the first and only woman to win an Oscar Award for Best Director. She is known for her remarkable command of visual narrative and choice of subjects that have the ability to provoke change, thus redefining the landscape of cinema.
The female Oscar winning director is featured among script pages, storyboards and projections of her films such as The Hurt Locker and Detroit.
In her letter to future filmmakers, she asks them to use their gifts wisely, to learn but most importantly to give back to cinema by teaching others cause it’s all about making “a difference in this world.”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Alejandro G. Iñárritu is known for his exploration of the human condition coupled with his unique visual style. His films usually feature a nonlinear narrative, where time is manufactured and plays a vital role.
The Mexican director delivers his speech in Spanish while sketching from his movies such as Birdman and Amorres Perros.
He tells filmmakers around the globe that “cinema is a journey that will take you from your head to your heart.” It’s all about exploring and sharing your own experiences, and wishes upcoming filmmakers a great trip in the cinematic world.
The commercial beautifully captures each director’s message, their cinematic works and advice on how best to achieve your artistic vision and to make sure you follow your passion.