Adding commercials to IMDb - a few clarifications

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I haven't been adding many commercials to IMDb due to obvious issues with credits and other info (well, the lack of them), but since they're accepted there's no real need to avoid them either. Some are documented better than others and those are a bit easier to add.

I read the guide (with Music Videos: ), but I still have some additional questions:

1) How to add a corporate campaign, which (at least with the bigger companies and brands) is often the case. This means that several (different) commercials are created/released within the same "umbrella" and "campaign name" (the latter could be more like a slogan also and often the subtitle of the commercial after the brand name).

For (quite random) example, Robert De Niro did a few different commercials for Kia cars recently ( ). I  believe they're all part of the "same" campaign in the UK, but should they all be added to IMDb separately (vs adding one title that basically covers them all within the same campaign)?

This question also refers to "Connections - follows for ongoing commercial series" part found from the guide, which wasn't 100% clear to me.

( Note, that I'm not really talking about a clearly different versions of the same commercial. Where e.g. the "original" commercial can be something like 40 seconds to 1-minute, but some versions are then cut to 10-20 seconds. )

2) As we know, it's (usually, at least) the advertising agency that does the actual planning, writing and often the art direction for the commercial. They are pretty much the "creators", setting the guidelines to the campaign and different commercials.

A copywriter is pretty much the closest person when it comes to "writer", and there are usually other people involved like agency's art director (which probably means a bit different thing than the actual art director in the production when they film the commercial), agency's producer (again, a bit different thing than the producer from the actual production company) and maybe people like "creative supervisor" or "art supervisor" from the agency's side. And sometimes the copywriter can actually be something like "senior copywriter" at the time of the commercial (there can be several copywriters in the company, but it's the senior one that is involved in the commercial). All these mentioned occupations and titles are real, based on the research I did for the certain commercials.

To which department the credits related more to the advertising agency are added? Is "copywriter" added to Writing, and is the agency's art director added to Art Direction (even when there could be another Art Director during the actual production of the commercial)? "Creative supervisor" and "art supervisor", perhaps to Art Department, or to Misc?

One idea could be to add certain occupation like "agency copywriter" (OR: "copywriter: agency"), "agency art director" (OR: "art director: agency") and "agency producer" (OR: producer: agency) to make it more clear that those credits are from the advertising agency side. I mean whether we like it or not, the advertising agency is usually quite involved with commercials.

Sorry for the long post. I just don't feel confident enough to add commercials based on the guide that IMDb now has. Sure, maybe adding that well-known director, DoP and celebrity actor, but with research also some other names (also from the agency side) start to pop up.

Thanks again.

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Elizabeth, Employee

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HI Eboy,

Thanks for reaching out, we'd like to clarify the questions, are you asking if you should be listing the titles individually, or as a TV series under a campaign umbrella? 
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and sorry for the late reply. I kinda missed this one.

Yes, this whole thing is a bit confusing to me and (generally speaking) I don't really want to submit anything to IMDb unless I'm pretty sure that I'm doing it right. No point otherwise. But that's just me.

Regarding to your question, I didn't really mean adding a "TV series", since I thought that the TV series cannot really be connected to commercials? Or am I missing something? I thought the part from the guide, "Connections - follows for ongoing commercial series" means Movie Connections, not series.


Anyway, one example could be the (relatively) famous "You Will" marketing campaign for AT&T from the early 1990s, where David Fincher directed a SERIES of TV commercials. It's relatively well documented, so there are cast & crew names (well, Tom Selleck narrating), and also the names of the persons of the actual advertising agency (at the time). Some links: (Wikipedia, yes, but still some decent info) (Article from 1993, where you could pick some advertising agency people behind the commercials) (Some of the actual TV commercials) (Commercials with some of the crew listed)

I'm sure there are other links when you Google.

So the question: How would one add these (type of) commercials to IMDb? The title "AT&T: You Will" is the name of the marketing campaign (and would be a good name for the commercials), but it actually consists several TV commercials (not sure how many, but probably 8-10 at least).

Should these (different) commercials to be added to IMDb individually with titles like:
- "AT&T: You Will - Supermarket"
- "AT&T: You Will - Videoconferencing"
- "AT&T: You Will - GPS navigation"

AND then Movie Connections between them?

I mean at first it seems pretty cool to add commercials to IMDb, until you realize that usually there are more commercials than one (with the same campaign name), the cast & crew credits are not that easy to find, there are all sorts of advertising agency names that probably should also be added (after all, the copywriter being the actual "writer"), etc etc. I can't help of thinking that "maybe these should be added to Other Works section only after all". But again, that's just me.


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Dan Dassow, Champion

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I raised similar concerns regarding including commercials more than four years ago:[settings][f...
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Thanks Dan. Yes, I believe the issues raised around four years earlier are still quite valid. I personally find a bit difficult to see that adding commercials to IMDb (to filmography section) would really work. I mean "really work". At least the guide should be re-written and guidelines clarified. The guide kinda works with music videos, mutta not sure about commercials.

I have a feeling that now the commercials are mainly added when there's a big name director or actor (sometimes maybe a cinematographer etc) involved. Maybe the rules/guide could be updated by simply stating (obviously along these lines, these are just examples):

"Commercials and their cast & crew are accepted on a limited basis, mainly when the famous and/or historically important director, actor or crew member is involved. IMDb reserves the right to choose what commercials are accepted and can reject the submission at any time. Mass commercials (e.g. where the product like a Big Mac is shown to the audience with the new price) are not generally accepted. Commercials also should have a clear title taken from the official source (production company, advertising agency, official site of the director/actor, historical sources, etc".

Also (as stated earlier), IMDb should address the questions above when the "campaign" actually includes several (series of) commercials.