11 Commercials Directed by Oscar-Nominated Filmmakers

Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template
Jami Oetting
Jami Oetting




Last year's Oscars left us with a few memorable moments: the most retweeted selfie in history, a mispronounced name, that hair, a pizza party, and more than a few alright, alright, alrights.

This year's Academy Awards show is quickly approaching (this Sunday), and while there has been controversy, there are also those yawning over the lineup of movies and the possibility of a lackluster show.

If this year's event doesn't pique your interest, maybe some film-worthy advertising work will. Check out these 11 adverts directed by famous directors who have also dabbled in the commercial business, using their skills to make fragrances, shoes, and beer look even more appealing. 

David Fincher

David Fincher and Brad Pitt, who have worked together on three films, teamed up in Heineken's "Beer Run." The ad follows Pitt as he risks his privacy for a six-pack. 

The Academy nominated Fincher for Best Director for "The Social Network" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." This year's "Gone Girl" became his top grossing film in the U.S., but the film's appearance at the Oscar's will be led by Rosamund Pike, who received a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. 

Ang Lee

Ziyi Zhang stars in Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" inspired Visa commercial. Zhang insults the chef by saying the soup is too salty. This leads to an epic martial arts battle between Zhang and the restaurant staff. 

Lee has won two Oscars for Best Director -- "Life of Pi" in 2013 and "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005.   

Kathryn Bigelow 

Kathryn Bigelow directed this PSA from WildAid and Annapurna Pictures to bring awareness to the issue of poaching and its role in funding terrorist organizations. 

Bigelow won the Academy Award for Best Director for "Hurt Locker" in 2010. She also directed "Zero Dark Thirty," which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2013.

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese directed this spot for Dolce & Gabbana, featuring Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson driving around New York. Scorsese won the Oscar for Best Director in 2007 for "The Departed."

David Lynch

For the release of Christian Louboutin's nail polish that matches the iconic red of the soles of its heels, David Lynch created a surrealism-inspired commercial. The ad is a trip: strange silver orbs dot the skyline, bottles of nail polish spin, and a high heel becomes the top of a nail polish bottle.

Lynch has been nominated for three Best Director awards.

Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky directed this short film for Yves Saint Laurent's La Nuit de L'Homme cologne. The spot features Vincent Cassel, who appeared in "Black Swan." Aronofsky was nominated in 2011 for Best Director for the film. 

Sofia Coppola

Sofia Coppola directed this ad for Dior featuring Natalie Portman.

Coppola was nominated for Best Director for "Lost in Translation" in 2003.

Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott directed Apple's most famous commercial, "1984." The director's work has won the attention of the Academy Awards three different times. He was nominated for Best Director for "Thelma & Louise," "Gladiator," and "Black Hawk Down."

Spike Jonze

This ad for IKEA took home the film category's Grand Prix award at Cannes in 2003. 

The director, Spike Jonze, was nominated for Best Director for "Being John Malkovich" and won for Best Writing, Original Screenplay for "Her" in 2014. 

Joe Wright

For a Chanel short film, Keira Knightly and Joe Wright teamed up for the fourth time -- they've worked together in "Atonement," "Pride & Prejudice," and "Anna Karenina."

Wright was nominated in 2008 for Best Director for "Atonement." 

Spike Lee

Michael Jordan and Spike Lee teamed up for Nike in a series of ads made in 1988. Lee stars as Mars Blackmon, a character the director made famous in his film "She's Gotta Have It." 

The Academy Awards nominated Lee for Best Original Screenplay in 1998 and Best Documentary in 1990. 


Topics: TV Ads

Related Articles

We're committed to your privacy. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.


Outline your company's marketing strategy in one simple, coherent plan.

Marketing software that helps you drive revenue, save time and resources, and measure and optimize your investments — all on one easy-to-use platform