Crate and Barrel’s new commercials are simple and classic, mixing their identity with storytelling, music, and a little wit.
Usually when I see a type-only commercial on TV, it’s for a local business who wants to do something “artsy” but has no budget.
However, Crate and Barrel has a new series of commercials that rely strictly on typography as the visual. Type set entirely in Helvetica.
If someone suggested to me doing a commercial with black type set entirely in 50pt Helvetica flying in from different angles on an all white background, I’d have some serious concerns.
But these commercials are brilliant.
Black type set entirely in 50pt Helvetica on an all white background is the Crate and Barrel identity, and these commercials use that as a visual foundation. More specifically, they use the ampersand.
From there they tell a simple story using thoughtful, and sometimes witty word pairings with the ever present ampersand in the middle.
Mom&Daughter: Carrying out a holiday tradition of baking cookies in the kitchen (a Crate and Barrel kitchen, of course). Home&Coming: Celebrating Christmas with the family. Love&Light: Enjoying the annual Hanukkah rituals.
The wordplay is wonderful.
There’s more to these commercials, though. There’s a soundtrack.
The music selection for each video is as well done as everything else. MIKA’s “Celebrate”, Lenka’s “The Show”, Lucy and The Cloud Parade’s “Come Together”. Each song provides much needed energy for the type to dance.
In the overcomplicated world we live in, where the norm is special effects and 3D, it’s nice to see a video so simple. Not only that, but simple for good reason.
No wimpy budget or lazy creative director dictated this simplicity. These beautifully simple commercials came from a well developed concept centered on the brand they were meant to promote.
Nice job, Crate and Barrel. Thanks for proving once again, less is absolutely more.