By Egotist / /
Hey Wonderful welcomes comedy director Craig Brownrigg to the roster for commercials. His work reflects a talent for engaging audiences with amusing scenes featuring funny, relatable characters from all walks of life. Case in point, the highly praised spot for Axos online bank – “Bank Robbers,” via Cutwater. It evokes a mundane hilarity reminiscent of the Coen Brothers with a classic bank heist setup turned upside down as bank tellers turn robbers, underscoring how little some banks actually care about their customers. McDonald’s “Collaboration,” the centerpiece film of an award-winning campaign via Cossette, is a hilarious black and white parody which evokes affectations of Anna Wintour in its depiction of a pretentious art critic. Additional directorial credits include spots for Amazon, Progressive, Rite Aid, Stand Up To Cancer, Wiser’s, Toronto Jewish Film Festival and many other brands.
Brownrigg’s work has been honored with awards from the One Show, AICP, Cannes Lions, CA and CMAs. Highlights cover the gamut of comedy: Amazon “Seashell” (Wongdoody) features a prophetic Gary Busey touting the mind-blowing Amazon Fire TV Stick which he compares to the properties of a similarly-sized seashell. His Rite Aid “Carriers” spot (MARC USA) centers on a man clearly coming down with something yet still at the office; his unwitting co-workers give him a birthday cake and he nearly chokes up a lung blowing out the candles – an uncomfortably funny reminder of what can happen if you don’t get your flu shot. And his Stand Up To Cancer PSA with Room Key, “Just Standing Up” encourages everyone to be an advocate by depicting the halo effects of doing good on an average-looking man (Tony Hale) who women suddenly can’t resist. Brownrigg also co-wrote the PSA with Tony Hale.
While renowned as a director whose forte is comedy – his earliest memories are of his father laughing hysterically while the two of them watched Peter Sellers’ movies – Brownrigg’s passion also extends to other creative pursuits. He’s been a drummer since he was 7 years old and it’s still his favorite thing to do. And he recently wrapped a dramatic narrative short about a transgender 10-year-old inspired by another parent’s experience and general cultural resonance.
Born in Vancouver, B.C., Brownrigg moved to Toronto in his teens. He began his career on the agency side, first as an art director and later, creative director, at agencies Zig Marketing and Grip Limited where he worked on many award-winning campaigns. He always had the directing bug, so he learned the craft from being on set with some of the best in the business before directing PSAs and spec spots on the side. His reel eventually caught the attention of Radke Films and he began directing fulltime in 2005. In the U.S., his first representation was Assembly Films, then hungry man in 2011. Frank Content now reps him in Canada.