I don’t often like covering the “neato!” ads and viral video that clog up sites like ours so much these days, but this isn’t one I’ve seen in many other places, and it is particularly striking.

The first thing to note is that it is ultimately a commercial for Jim Beam. Like the classiest ads though, the brand is subtly and definitively integrated (not hidden, but not obtrusive) and relies on the power of the filmmaking and the memorable idea to make the positive association they’re looking for. In this case, the super slick rebranding company Strawberry Frog put together this short film that explores Willem Dafoe’s many alternate lives.

The setup is simple: A young Dafoe sits at a bus-stop contemplating the rest of his life. We take a quick journey through many of the possible outcomes his decision could have. There’s a lot of inventive make-up, subtle effects, great production design, and nicely-styled photography in the ad, and it’s very much worth your time, if only to see Dafoe’s striking eyes attached to a sumo wrestler. The narration is pretty rote, but Dafoe sinks into each of these scenes remarkably well. I love Fashion Designer Dafoe.


Jim Beam “Bold Choices” Cultural Movement from StrawberryFrog on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoyed it- give me your thoughts on it in the comments below or on the message boards. What other professions or places would you have liked to have seen Dafoe in? I’m surprised they left out a President Dafoe, and an astronaut Dafoe on the more fantastic end of things. On the more day-to-day track… Gyno Dafoe maybe?

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Thanks to my friend Corey Jenkins for bringing this to my attention.