The award-winning comedic storyteller has helmed spots for Axos, McDonald's and Stand Up to Cancer ft. Tony Hale
Hey Wonderful has welcomed 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.
“Craig is a notable addition to the Hey Wonderful family, with a solid hand in comedic storytelling,” comments Michael Di Girolamo, managing partner, Hey Wonderful. “His style is driven by clever dialogue, various forms of irony and a look characterised by standout art direction. Craig has fun developing characters and knows the right notes to hit when directing talent which really comes through in their performance. We’re excited to share his expertise with our clients.”
“Craig is very collaborative and a pleasure to work with,” adds Sarah McMurray, partner/executive producer, Hey Wonderful. “Our business is fast-paced. Job parameters can shift quickly. Craig is that accomplished director whose voice you want to hear on the other end of the phone. He’s able to solve challenges, be innovative and create memorable work.”
“What drew me to Hey Wonderful were the people,” Craig says. “The management, the other talent on the roster and the reps. But also their hands-on approach to my career and the work. I like that. My goal is to keep challenging myself to do more interesting work and keep evolving as a filmmaker.”
Craig'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 – Craig's passion also extends to other creative pursuits. He’s been a drummer since he was seven years old and it’s still his favorite thing to do. He also 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., Craig 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.