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Ads by David Fincher

Ads by David Fincher

From thrillers to tech, David Fincher's mastery extends beyond film. Witness his iconic iPhone 3G ad, the heartfelt story of NFL stars in his Nike ad, and his normcore vision for GAP.

3 min read
May 24, 2024

He's known for his meticulous attention to detail, dark and atmospheric thrillers, and ability to extract raw emotion from actors through countless takes. 

David Fincher, a filmmaking titan, has returned with a new Netflix release, “The Killer,” starring Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton. But beyond the flashy premiere and A-list cast lies a career spanning not just iconic feature films like “Seven,” “Fight Club,” and “The Social Network,” but also a lesser-known mastery of the advertising world, where he's crafted breathtaking visuals for brands like Apple and Nike. 

So, buckle up and enjoy some of his great work in advertising.


While Apple's first iPhone, released the year before, was a hit, the iPhone 3G truly revolutionized the industry. Although it is common for new technologies to find their footing in early iterations, 3G took things to a whole new level.

With the brand new 3G network (a significant leap from the previous 2G), an SDK for app development, upgraded hardware featuring built-in GPS, and increased storage, the iPhone 3G outpaced major competitors like Nokia, Blackberry, and Microsoft in a single quarter. 

Smartphone market share 2000's

David Fincher's iconic ad for the iPhone 3G captured its transformative essence. With its spy thriller theme, high-tech visuals, and Robert Downey Jr.'s voiceover (fresh off his Iron Man success), the ad cemented the iPhone's image as a sleek, powerful device for the digital age.

Fun fact: The ad's soundtrack was a remixed version of "$165 Million + Interest (Intro)" from the movie Ocean's Twelve, composed by David Holmes.

Nike — Fate

This ad follows the lives of two real American football players, Troy Polamalu and LaDainian Tomlinson, from birth to playing together in the NFL.

A fun fact about his ad is that Fincher is against doing ads for the simple idea of showcasing the product and being “too commercial.” We can see clearly in this case that the ad is about the journey and the growth of the two players. 

As he puts it in his own words:

‘I'm totally anti-commercialism. I would never do commercials where people hold the product by their head and tell you how great it is; I just wouldn't do that stuff. It's all inference. . . The Levis commercials I did weren't really about jeans, the Nike commercials weren't about shoes.’

GAP — Dress Normal





Facing a slump in the Fall of 2014, Gap needed a bold move to revive its fortunes. Their solution? A high-profile campaign featuring A-listers like Elizabeth Moss, Michael K. Williams, and Jena Malone. 

Gap partnered with David Fincher to craft four short films for their TV placements.

These weren't your typical fashion ads. Instead, Fincher embraced the emerging “normcore” trend, a deliberate rejection of flashy labels and trends favoring everyday, unassuming clothing. The films, devoid of designer logos and runway strutting, captured the essence of normcore with a raw, relatable authenticity.

While initially met with mixed reactions, this approach sparked conversation and ultimately helped Gap regain momentum. The campaign's success demonstrated the power of embracing unconventional strategies and tapping into cultural currents to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Wrapped up by the sound of Stereophonics — Maybe Tomorrow — Live from Dakota / 2005

About the author
Mario Neto
Mario Neto
Americana, Brazil

Mario is a Content Specialist at Revealbot. He's passionate about creating engaging and educative content. When not writing, he’s binging TV shows or learning something completely random. 🤓

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