As we reach the one-week mark after the great actor/comedian’s tragic passing, we at Davis Advertising wanted to memorialize Robin Williams in the best way we know how—in writing, about advertising.
Robin’s range of acting skills was eclipsed only by his range of vocal impressions and improvisation. The Academy Award winner also showed his range of talent, however, in the form of ads.
He first made an appearance in an advertisement for Illinois Bell Telephone Company in 1977. His always-hilarious impersonations brought light and spontaneity to the piece, as it was surely tailored around his special skills.
From there he went on to stun the world with ads for the 2000 Olympics. His somber side shone through with touching voiceovers about the dedication, friendship, strength of character, and joy in effort that athletes demonstrate. The seven spots invite the world to rejoice in those values; as always, his tone invited viewers to celebrate with him.
Robin brought back his light and airy side the following year with an ad for Zelda, the video game for which his daughter was named. In it, the avid gamer tells his daughter that she and the game are both “magical,” a quality she no doubt inherited from her father.
In his next advertisement, this one for Snickers candy, Robin came full circle, rekindling the “loopy” side that made him a household name. And of course, he recalled some of his signature impressions.
His last known advertisement was for iPad Air in which he talks of passion, reciting a famous monologue from his 1989 film Dead Poets Society. Simultaneously, the footage of the ad shows various activities the subjects live to do—their callings, if you will—while utilizing the iPad.
In the speech noted above, Robin asks, “What will your verse be?” We all know his. He has left a legacy of scope and aptitude that some call “genius.” With the spectrum of skills that this man possessed, what agency wouldn’t want that kind of talent in-house? Every advertising agency could use a Robin Williams. The world in general still could, as well. May he rest in peace.