Robert Downey Jr’s Volvo Ad

Back in 2004 Robert Downey Jr appeared in a long form Volvo commercial directed by Stephen Frears.

The 12-minute spot was part of a trend in the mid-2000s when companies were experimenting with commercials specifically for the web.

‘The Route’ is an extended spot for Volvo’s line of V50 station wagons and feels like a strange piece of noir with Downey Jr playing two versions of himself.

Weirdly, it plays like a cross between Moon (2009) and his latest film Due Date (2010).

Here it is, in two parts:

It is worth remembering that this was before Downey’s major career resurgence after Iron Man (2008) and also Frears’ own rejuvenation with The Queen (2006).

If they filmed this today, I’m guessing it would have cost a lot more to produce.

However, it makes you think about the long tail appeal for adverts done for the web.

It used to be the case that adverts went on TV and were rarely seen again, but now everything seems to end up on YouTube, which didn’t even exist when this ad was shot.

A lot of new viewers will see this for the first time and Volvo will get the same impact on the money they spent six years ago.

Furthermore, Volvo can see exactly how many views it has racked up, along with analytical data of who and where people are watching.

> IFC article on the ad
> Robert Downey Jr at Wikipedia

[Via IFC]

iPhone 3G advert

It seems Robert Downey Jr is a busy man – not only is he appearing in Iron Man and The Incredbile Hulk, but he is also the voice for the new iPhone 3G ad:


Apart from higher download speeds due to being 3G, the other key features of the new iPhone are:
  • Thinner edges
  • Plastic back
  • Flush headphone jack,
  • iPhone 2.0 firmware
  • Runs 3rd party apps
  • Cheaper (8GB is $199, 16GB is $299)
  • Better battery life
  • GPS
The phone goes on sale in the US and the 22 biggest markets (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) on July 11th.

UPDATE: Here is the keynote announcement from Steve Jobs:

On a more lighthearted note here is the 60 second version: