The Festival commercial spot is almost as eagerly awaited by the general public as its lineup, and yesterday Rafa Antón, creative director of the China agency and the man responsible for its campaigns over the last ten years, presented this year’s commercial, along with Festival director Angel Sala and one of Sitges 2011’s partners Moritz Beer (the presentation was done at the Velodrome, property of the brand).
As announced at the presentation of the SITGES 2011 posters, artificial intelligence is this year’s central theme, represented through the geminoids created by professor Ishiguro in Japan. For the commercials, Rafa Antón stated that he’d “continued with the same commemorative leitmotif of the tenth anniversary of Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg), with a piece set in the perfect minimalism of the robotics world, where two identical characters are shown leaving the spectator wondering which is the robot and which is the human”. Alex Rodríguez is the director of ‘Alter Ego’, produced by Sopa de Toro.
In addition, as usual, China has also developed a spot related to fantasy’s imaginary, with the claim “reality kills us” and opening up a wide range of interpretations, from the Festival’s genre to the tough social times we’re presently going through. Oriol Segarra is the director of ‘Reality Kills Us’, produced by Albiñana Films.
Rafa Antón added that working on SITGES’s image means having values available to him like creative freedom, wide-ranging and interesting themes, an intelligent audience capable of understanding any type of code (“like that of any detergent, although we forget this when we do more commercial advertising”) and, above all, a good platform for experimentation. This experimentation, among other things, has led them to win awards at festivals like Cannes, San Sebastián or the Anuario del Club de Creativos and to even become a part of the permanent collection at Reina Sofía Museum.
In the last ten years SITGES has been able to count on Rafa Antón and the teams of Vitruvio Leo Burnett (1999-2009) and the Festival’s present agency China (2010-2011), as well as the production companies that have collaborated throughout this decade on the elaborate productions at each year’s Festival:
In 1999 with the leitmotif “Things that don’t happen in real life” they created everyday situations that seem impossible to us, like a piece of toast falling on the right side, a charming Parisian woman helping us to find our way or a husband helping his set the table during the crucial stage of a football match.
In 2002, after an interval of two years, with “Fantastic cinema and much more” they showed a typical interview set with the Sitges church in the background where a small, blue character with pointy ears asks not to be type-cast for fantastic roles and demands to do other types of roles: “I want to do drama, adventures, comedy... Take a look at Robert de Niro…”
In 2003, with “Anything can happen in Sitges”, in a mysterious atmosphere, normal people, using the power of their minds, managed to open the automatic doors of a pharmacy or foresee that a traffic light was going to change from red to green.
In 2004, the slogan “Fantasy, science fiction and other that are hard things to explain” went a little further beyond and questioned, just a week away from the presidential elections in the USA, the unconditional support president Bush was receiving for a second term. The campaign was complemented with “Some stills going beyond reality”, A disturbing exercise in style
In 2005, with the 30th anniversary of Jaws, they went straight for more direct humor with the totally true concept of “We all grow old” seeing an exhausted shark after giving its victim up for lost. In addition, the creative team wanted to give it a more surrealistic and artistic touch producing four pieces making it clear that if fantasy didn’t exist, everything would be more boring.
In 2006 they told us “Don’t expect imagination anywhere else”, showing a game of puppets where the children simply saw hands and sticks, instead of watching the story of kings, princesses and faraway lands. This year the tribute to the 20th anniversary of Blue Velvet focused on the director’s complex universe: “Time enough to understand David Lynch”.
In 2007, on the occasion of the Festival’s 40th anniversary, SITGES’ intention was made clear by using the claim “40 years making reality a little less harsh”, where a zombie was the only nice part of the commercial, in comparison to the humans. This year we also celebrated the 25th anniversary of E.T. and the recognizably hands of the alien most loved by audiences delighted us by playing John Williams’ famous song on the piano.
In 2008, with the 30th anniversary of 2001, A Space Odyssey, they made fun of the pedantry of many who didn’t consider Kubrick and his work to be a film revolution, adding “40 years of a unique visual experience”. This year they also made a commercial dedicated to Festival fans, always faithful, with a werewolf getting made up to go see films and the sentence “Sitges fans aren’t like the ones at other festivals”. LINK. A special dedicated to space ships offered a curious reflection set in an office where absolutely everything was black.
In 2009 the spot left everyone holding on to their seats with shots, blood and general nastiness, the main attractions in “A massacre that begins with an egg breaking” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Alien. LINK
In 2010 they returned to Kubrick with the 30th anniversary of The Shining, in an elegant commercial stating “You never forget a Kubrick".