This stunt-filled ad for The North Face is one of the coolest we've seen this season... and not just because of the snow. A mix of music promo, short film, and branded content, the hybrid ad shows a kid sitting in the back seat of a car, bored as his family drives around town. Soon, however, his daydreaming takes on a very physical dimension.
The pace here is fantastic, as free-skier Tom Wallisch brings the kid's imagination to life in a display of urban athleticism which will keep you fully engaged throughout the four and a half minute run time. The Avalanches' 'Because I'm Me' is an inspired choice of soundtrack, bringing a kinetic joyfulness to the action... though it hardly needs the encouragement.
The contrast between the parents' mundane conversation and the kid's gleeful appreciation of what he's witnessing is especially satisfying, as Wallisch flips, grinds, and jumps his way through the town. The parents finally notice a crowd of skiers at the end, blurring the line between reality and imagination further.
From the scenery to the editing, everything here has been meticulously designed to great effect. There's also an added layer of poignancy to the film, as the concept was developed by JP Auclair, a professional free-skier who died in 2014 and to whom Wallisch pays tribute to in his stunt work. Really great work you'll want to watch more than once.