TV ads as art

Sometimes we see a commercial that’s so simple and effective we can’t believe it hasn’t been done before. There’s no better recent example than What Hands Can Do, a new spot from the German advertising firm Grabarz & Partner featuring shadow hand puppetry. In the commercial, a variety of hand-shadow figures, from birds to a deer to a rearing horse, interact in elaborate choreography. Even when the spot’s true intent — promoting the new VW Phaeton — becomes apparent at the end, you’ll still swear that what you just saw was art, not a commercial.

Sure, we also like Geico’s cavemen and the gecko — but we’re complete suckers for the virtuosic arts-patronage-meets-advertising that only European clients seem willing to underwrite.

WATCH What Hands Can Do

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