Who are the Ad Wizards?

How do you break down cinematic codes? Just do it. | April 22, 2010

A few weeks ago, while discussing Laura Mulvey’s essay, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, we came across this passage

… the voyeuristic-scopophilic look that is a crucial part of traditional filmic pleasure can itself be broken down. There are three different looks associated with cinema: that of the camera as it records the pro-filmic event, that of the audience as it watches the final product, and thos the characters at east other within the screen illusion.

Part of the essay’s message was that before sexism and racism can be corrected in film, film must be first broken down to its core elements. In these core elements, we can discover where and how these themes are created.  Mulvey’s claims that since the camera remains hidden to the audience, it helps to create a “gaze, a world and an object, thereby producing an illusion cut to the measure of desire.” So to combat this, the audience must be made aware of the camera. One way to do this is telling the story from the first person point-of-view.

In Nike’s new soccer spots,  Wieden+Kennedy tells the story of an unnamed young soccer player as he begins his assent into fame and soccer glory…

While this is certainly not a proper example of not objectifying women (see :51 – :57), it is good example of breaking down the cinematic code of keeping the camera hidden from the audience. From the start, the audience isn’t just a bystander to this soccer player’s story. The audience is, in effect, the soccer player.

In comparison, here’s Nike’s Tiger Woods commercial from about 3 years ago (well before the womanizing and multiple affairs were public)

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