Christian Ross

Is it color or colour?

I guess it depends on where you live. Also today I saw the word ‘Lead.’ Why do/did we make it so hard on ourselves by

a. giving multiple meanings or pronunciations to one word spelled one way (Lead, follow or get out the way; Don’t eat that paint, its Lead-based)
b. make so may words sound the same but spelled differently (their, there, they’re)

Anyways, back to color. I have always liked the following commercial for the Sony Bravia TV’s, its a few years old but always fun to watch. Take 250,000 ‘Superballs,’ a blocked off San Francisco street, no CGI, 23 camera men, and give them all one take.

I love everything about this commercial. The color, the balls bouncing, the frog, the kid looking around the corner, the way they balls get into everything including the storm gutters and the music by Jose Gonzalez.

From their (ere, ey’re) ‘How we did it’:

In an age when CGI is commonplace, this makes the commercial all the more extraordinary. Every single frame was shot over two days – with the main sequence involving a 23-man camera crew and only one chance to get it right.

An entire block was closed off and special compressed-air cannons shot the balls into the air, while earth moving equipment poured thousands down the street. Not that you’d know it from the finished product, but these balls can do some damage, so all the cars were props and crew members went so far as to having protective shields and crash helmets.

But when you get it right, you get it right. The goal at the beginning was to deliver a “really simple, visual celebration of colour”. We think you’ll agree the results speak for themselves.



It took a while but I think they’ve created another commercial on par with the bouncy balls. This time they outfitted some buildings, grass, and other things with paint cannons to achieve the ‘colour fest’ similar to fireworks. Although the clown scares me a little…

Watch it:


From the website:

Our latest TV ad – featuring massive paint explosions – took 10 days and 250 people to film. Huge quantities of paint were needed to accomplish this, which had to be delivered in 1 tonne trucks and mixed on-site by 20 people.

The effect was stunning, but afterwards a major clean-up operation was required to clear away all that paint!

The cleaning took 5 days and 60 people. Thankfully, the use of a special water-based paint made it easy to scrape-up once the water had evaporated.

Keeping everyone safe was also an important factor. A special kind of non-toxic paint was used that is safe enough to drink (it contains the same thickeners that are sometimes used in soups). It was also completely harmless to the skin.

3 responses to “Is it color or colour?”

  1. autumn says:

    WHOA!! That was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!
    Good find!

  2. Aspen says:

    Remarkable! Loved them both. I will watch them over and over before the day is out.

  3. […] Sony has released the third in their trilogy for the Bravia line of TV’s. I have posted the first two before here. They again did some interesting stuff, not quite on par as the bouncy balls (my favorite) or the paint cannons, but still great advertising none the less. […]

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