I think this Wimbledon-centric remake of Sony Balls is a really good lesson in why the first one was so good and how you can take the same basic script and come out with two very different results:
Of course, we’re all familiar with Balls and most of us like it, so there’s that baggage for the Wimbledon ad to deal with, but there are other elements that make the remake less engaging and memorable.
For a start, the music is quite bland. The old saying tells us that music is 50% of an ad, and it just goes to show how important ‘Heartbeats’ was to the feeling of Balls (a sharper lesson was learned with Sony ‘Paint’, where the music was so crap, they ended up reshowing it with no music and it was much better).
The setting is less interesting. I’m sure other locations could have been used for Balls, but San Francisco has a kind of ethereal hippiness to it that fit perfectly with the idea and music.
And the balls themselves: a beautiful bouncing rainbow is a much more pleasant thing to look at than a sea of grubby green.
Lastly, Balls didn’t have a pair of fuckwitted cuntpipes at the end of it looking like they’d just stepped out of a Daily Mail remake of Lawnmower Man.
And that last point is of course the real key to all classic ads.