Beyond Awesome: Sharp Cellphone Ad from Japan

Two qualities often form the basis of exceptional ads: changing the conversation and creating a unique voice.  This new spot for Sharp’s SH-08C handset does both.

Timing in at over three minutes, I was initially reluctant to watch the entire production. But once the little wooden ball literally gets rolling, viewers will be hard pressed to turn away.  Check out this video…

Sweet mother of god, that is wonderful. The science required to determine the length and angle of this gravity-fed ramp to keep the speed of the ball rolling at a controlled pace alone boggles the mind.  But the folks at the production company Drill, Inc jumped into the challenge with gusto, first creating this combination pachinko machine/marimba and then assembling it in the woods outside of Kama City on the island of Kyushu. The press notes make a huge deal about the music being one hundred percent organic and authentic but you can believe it as you listen to this wholly original version of Bach’s transcendant “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”

Why go to all this trouble?  Because the SH-08C smartphone actually sports a kidney shaped wooden case.  Unfortunately, the Japanese tagged this mobile device with the unfortunate moniker “Touch Wood” proving that artfulness can still stumble in translation.  Worse, given that this amazing commercial is already going viral, Sharp limited the production quantities to a mere 15,000. Oh well.

Apparently, they think this phone’s QWERTY touchscreen and 5 megapixel cameras don’t grow on trees.


By Dennis Ryan, CCO, OLSON


PS: Special thanks to the inimitable John Barry for passing along this link.


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