The AquaBank

May 11, 2008

The Aquabank (established in 2007?) is an underwater video sharing website. Users upload their underwater videos and have access to over 20,000 underwater videos already on the site. There are adult underwater videos, celebrity videos, commercials, and a variety of other types of underwater media. Everyday there is a new stream of underwater video on AquabankTV.


Clorox Mermaid commercial

May 11, 2008

Continuing my underwater commercial kick, here’s one from Clorox. A young mermaid swims in a mystical underwater environment and follows a message in a bottle up to the surface. The mermaid turns out to be a little girl taking a bath. A mother, getting ready for a night out, turns to look at her daughter. A voice says: “Because a bathroom can be more than just a bathroom. Clorox helps keep it clean, even the imaginary parts.”

This commercial (yet again) depicts the underwater space as a clean, pristine space (which establishes the conditions of possibility for imaginary spaces and imagination) and like the Whirlpool commercials, makes this the natural space of children and women.

Whirlpool underwater commercials

May 7, 2008

Whirlpool has also been using underwater spaces as a way to market dishwashers, washing machines, and general cleanliness.

This one is very similar to the Ariston commercial on the previous post: also for a washing machine, also zooming out at the end to reveal the washing machine, and also focusing on schools of sock-fish and blanket-rays. The difference is that, instead of being a little boy’s vision, it focuses on a beautiful (mermaid-like) woman swimming amidst and in awe of the beautiful underwater life/clothing.

And this ad for a dishwasher makes dishes into a coral reef. This time, the underwater dishes-reef cuts away to a woman standing on the edge of the ocean, being sprayed with foamy white water.

So what is it exactly with this trend of cleaning appliance advertisements and underwater spaces? Did they all happen to come up at the same time or are some of these knock offs?

Ariston Aqualtis “Underwater World” commercial

May 7, 2008

Another underwater commercial involving a washing machine. The spot starts out with a hand closing the washing machine, we zoom in through the front window, the frame disappears and we are underwater. What seems to be fish and rays are really socks and blankets. The space is pristine and magical – at the end we zoom back out to see a little boy gazing in (as through a porthole). The voice says, “the new Ariston Aqualtis. Deeply different.”

This commercial, like the Farmers insurance spot I wrote about earlier, depicts underwater space (specifically within the washing machine) as a transformative and surreal space where anything is possible (and any type of cleaning is possible). This particular spot won a Gold Lion at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Shipwreck Central

May 2, 2008

Shipwreck Central is a website and online video channel for shipwreck enthusiasts (also the home of the TV documentary The Sea Hunters). The site releases the latest shipwreck news, has a “live dive blog,” and a  user contributed map of shipwrecks around the world (which also serves as an interface to viewing underwater video clips).

The site also pitches itself as an base for the shipwreck enthusiast community. There is an active message board with everything from people looking for research help to news about recently found shipwrecks, and there are educational modules for teachers.

Overall, the most compelling part of the site is the underwater video of the shipwrecks.  Like the narrative of the treasure hunt these videos follow, the viewer is guided down into the depths to see sites that rarely surface.  Some of these videos focus on the divers, who emphasize the beauty of the ships and the difficulties in getting to them, or the initial accident – many of the times this is part of an underwater archaeological expedition, intended to help reconstruct history. Other videos simply showcase the underwater wrecks themselves.