Polaroid “Rock Star” 1995

Michael Cook decided to move back to England so we set up a second studio in Kingly Street, central London…a location that is now the Soho Oyster House.

Unfortunately that was the beginning of the end of our company. Being on opposite sides of the world rather upset the creative chemistry. I think this Tarsem directed spot was our last successful collaboration.

Bold “Visionary” 1995

Yes readers, that is indeed Naked Lunch author William Burroughs narrating this soap powder commercial, in a continuation of our “mad mid 90s” theme. This spot was produced by legendary ad agency Leo Burnett of Chicago.

In other news…today’s sad anniversary is even sadder this year with the passing of Chris Cornell, surely the most convincing rock star of the last 25 years. I also heard today that former Guerilla Studios team mate Marvin Slack has died of lung cancer. My deepest condolences to their families and friends.

Centura Bank “Couch”, “Pool”, “Adirondack” 1994

Ah, the mid 90s. The information age was dawning, GenX was roaring, young advertising “creatives” were given all manner of leeway to express themselves. Nobody wants to be Dylan’s Mr Jones, right? Certainly not the good folks at Centura Bank, who allowed talented young director Kevin Donovan to direct these spots the way he wanted to. A wackier bunch of ads has surely never been produced in the interests of promoting an august financial institution.

Fila “Graffiti” 1994

Before we get to today’s feature I must pay homage to the greatest drummer of our time (in my opinion) who was suddenly taken from us a few days ago. I refer of course to Jaki Liebezeit, who has joined his colleague Michael Karoli in that place of infinite and eternal creativity.

This commercial for Fila won an International Monitor Award  for sound design. I still have it but it needs a spot of glue so here’s a generic one:

It was directed by Gore Verbinski, who went on to a lucrative career making pirate movies inspired by a popular Disneyland attraction.

Audi “La Femme” 1993

Tarsem was based in London, so we started commuting over there to work on his spots. We found some interesting temporary locations to do our programming. If I remember rightly, we did this one in the back room of a puppet factory in Covent Garden.

This typically spectacular spot takes on that age-old question: what maketh a man? Let’s tick the boxes. Power…check. Bulging pocketbook…check. Audi 100…check. Soul…well if you have the Audi, and you know your Fellini, that would be a double check.

Yep…il aura la femme.

Centraal Beheer “Tattoo” 1993

At the end of ’92 the lease on Michael Cook’s Dudley Avenue digs was up and we took to the streets to find a new studio. Luckily we didn’t have to look far…one of the coolest lofts in Venice was available. The street-front unit of the Frank Gehry designed “Arnoldi Triplex” on Indiana Avenue later became part of the Dennis Hopper compound, but at that time was up for lease, so we quickly plunked down the deposit and installed our Atari and samplers.

One of the first projects to come along after the move was this darkly funny Tarsem spot, warning of the dangers of uninsuredness. Whether this Dutch company actually offered “tattoo regret” insurance I have no idea. It was certainly a hot topic back then, with the GenX predilection for body ink giving rise to a new tattoo parlor on every block.