Was It Worth The Effort?

Most people who watch an average amount of commercial television and certainly most people with an interest in the design arts would have seen the advert for Sony Bravia Television featuring a multitude of coloured balls bouncing down a street to the tune of Jose Gonzalez’s ‘Heartbeat’ tune. The amazing thing about the advert,, of course, is the scale of it, a quarter of a million bouncy balls were fired from 10 specially constructed giant cannons onto a San Francisco street that was cleared for the shoot – and it was all shot in camera. It has received a lot of praise for it’s scope, it’s lack of computer trickery, and it is a beautiful and sublime piece of advertising. Having seen the advert a number of times, it very much looks like it was produced using CGI – I would hazard a guess that 90% of people watching it who aren’t aware of how it was produced would think so as well. So the question posed is – a lot of respect that this advert has garnered is over it’s ‘hands on approach’ to production, but if the majority of your audience is unaware of this, does it dampen the impact? Was it worth going to all the expense and trouble to produce something that looks so computer generated, something that could have looked the same at a fraction of the cost, and the audience still none the wiser?