Apparently James Franco's hidden talent is directing youthful, hipster-esque, raunchy short videos for 7 for All Mankind's latest campaign. I spotted the brand's newest ad in this month's Vogue, which features washed out stills (from the shorts) of models on the beach, in bed and at a party.
The copy reads, "Episodes of an untitled film imagined and directed by James Franco." The first two episodes, which were shot in Santa Monica, CA in December, have already been released:
Plus, the behind the scenes short:
The premium denim brand is known for its laid back, youthful style with a high price tag. This campaign gave its consumers (me, currently wearing my favorite pair) something to get curious about. The provocative pictures in Vogue and Franco's direction were enough to get me to put the magazine down and pick my computer up.
I had no idea Franco directed anything (a huge motivation to watch the shorts). After a quick IMDB check: he's actually directed 15 films, most of which were shorts. This was clearly the right move for 7 and it peaked my interest much more then an iPhone app or a typical magazine ad would. The print ad allowed me to engage with the online videos.
These shorts appear to be in the same genre of advertising as BMW's short films, which were carried by famous directors and actors such as "Beat the Devil:"
There are obviously big difference between the very short shorts, starring groups of beautiful people dancing around, and 10 minute films with a plot guided by acclaimed directors. Though, I think both do a marvelous job of selling a specific lifestyle to their rightful consumers.