Bang & Olufsen and Ferrari spot

Responses by Tom Crate, creative director; and Ollie Harris, creative director, FutureDeluxe.

Background: “We created a campaign film that celebrates the new collaboration between consumer electronics company Bang & Olufsen and Ferrari,” says Ollie Harris. “The resulting film visualizes the adrenaline-packed fusion between two masters of their crafts: the masters of speed, performance and head-turning beauty coming together with the sound pioneers who flawlessly balance form and function of craftsmanship. Targeting high net-worth individuals, the film sees the two brands’ iconic design elements match-cut together to draw a clear parallel between them.”

Design thinking: “We developed a graceful visual narrative that depicts the alchemy of the two brands built in three distinctive visual chapters,” says Tom Crate. “Starting with a stroboscopic effect that uses a slow, elegant long exposure technique. As the film gradually merges with the sound design, it creates anticipation alongside motion blur, visualizing speed through fast cuts that offer moments of complete abstraction where the two brands unite. The last chapter sees the film end in liquid-like, ethereal warp distortion that tantalizingly reveals glimpses of the product and its signature color, which is created through Bang & Olufsen’s distinct anodization process at its factory in Struer, Denmark.”

Challenges: “It was a huge responsibility to create a film that does justice to the pairing of two such iconic brands from two very different areas,” says Harris. “This entailed fusing the world’s most luxurious race car credentials with the world’s most innovative audio engineering and design. The film consequently reflects the frenetic pace and exhilaration of driving the world’s most iconic sports car but with a memorable visual language that’s in line with the new collaboration’s refined product world.”

Favorite details: “There are two standout technical accomplishments in our film,” says Harris. “The first was capturing the adrenaline and frenetic pace of driving Ferraris while keeping the visual language more sensuous, rather than literal footage of actual cars driving. One of the strategies we used was, of course, the edit’s frenzied acceleration of pace combined with the camera and lens effects, which are akin to what you’d expect from a more standard automotive film—like motion blur or long exposure—without a complete departure from our refined product world.

“Second, the beautiful stroboscopic effect,” Harris continues. “This usually occurs naturally—a car wheel spinning and appearing to rotate in reverse, for example—or the photographic technique using a ‘strobing’ light to capture moments of time like an onionskin of motion across the frame. Our impression of this effect has been crafted digitally, marrying the use of instancing geometry, frame blending and motion blur to create a fresh take on the aesthetic. We mixed subtle light and transparent car parts taken from Ferrari’s Purosangue automobile.”

Visual influences: “The client came to us with some interesting references of ballet captured using a technique called stroboscopic photography,” says Crate. “It’s essentially a long exposure photograph with a strobe flash, which creates these beautiful, sequential motion studies. This became one of the key motifs of the film to accentuate the products’ beautiful forms while implying speed and gracefulness. We also spent some time studying the visceral, fast-cut editing style often seen in cinematic car chases or high-end performance car commercials. The editorial approach of motion studios like Services Generaux were also a source of inspiration.”

Specific project demands: “This project was unusual in that the client was keen to see less of their product in the film—the inverse of most product films,” says Crate. “We were given a lot of freedom to explore abstract ways to capture the essence of Bang & Olufsen and Ferrari’s collaboration and its shared values of speed, power and precision. The emphasis was on creating visually striking images that expressed elegance, energy and, at times, a minimal purity. The challenge in such an open brief is to know how far to push the boundaries and experiment while still allowing time to pull everything together into a coherent whole.”

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