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Stylistic simulation, twist endings and the environment

Here at Film Construction we like to have our fair share of debate and we’re not afraid to shout about our thoughts and feelings. As a group of individuals there is of course a diversity of opinion, but the ecological future of our planet is something we generally consider to be, more or less, quite important.

Over a decade ago, film makers such as Michael Moore and Oliver Stone transfigured the documentary into a platform for political activism. Today these platforms are extending to traditional advertising channels as filmmakers and agencies use the TVC for making their political feelings known.

The two pieces we are about to discuss focus on environmental protection and on holding multi-nationals to account through satirising the stylistic branding used by the companies in question.

Global organisation SumOfUs fights for the rights of people and the planet, and is in direct opposition to corporate power and greed. SumOfUs with production company Motion Picture Company released the viral video A Cheesy Love Story, a blatant attack on PepsiCo subsidiary Doritos.

This pseudo Doritos commercial imitates the stylistic quirkiness of Doritos advertisements through the depiction of a love triangle between two romantic lovers and this (in)famous corn chip.

The stylistic imitation of A Cheesy Love Story is easily seen through this comparison with Doritos ad proper Doritos Secret (top right image).

The twist ending, “Doritos: May Contain Traces of Rainforest” informs that this is not a Doritos ad, but a criticism of PepsiCo’s use of palm oil, which threatens species diversity, climate change and workers rights. Check out the full video here.

This accountability is something that FC not only affirms, but engages in.

Every Time was directed by FC’s Sandy Widynata for Greenpeace, watch it here.

The stylistic approach of Every Time screams Coca-Cola branding through the warm grade, a beach setting, beautiful cast, relaxed soundtrack, and even the archetypal close up of unscrewing a Coca-Cola bottle.

As the birds start falling to the ground, the music cuts and the grade turns grey. This twist gives rise to the explanation that plastic bottles are killing Australia’s sea birds and that Coca-Cola is fighting legislation which would help solve the problem.

The boy at the end of the piece represents the future generations of Australia who may live in a very different world due to our current degradation of the ecosystem.

The reproduction of Doritos’ and Coca-Cola’s self-affirming advertising styles, highlights how hard these companies try to elicit positive connotations and emotions with their brand, in order to maintain an image of integrity. These two works then make the stark relation between how these companies choose to represent themselves with how they actually behave in the real world.

Both A Cheesy Love Story and Every Time are standing up for what’s right through satirising the advertising styles of Doritos and Coca-Cola respectively. Bold statements from both SumOfUs and Greenpeace in a world where multi-nationals need to be held to account.

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