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Breaking Down: Magnum's, 'The Pleasure Residence'

Step into the enchanting world of Magnum and discover the ultimate in luxury at the exclusive 'Pleasure Residence.' Here, you'll rub elbows with the stylish and sophisticated, including those with silver locks and gold grins. Fancy a check-in? In our first ever Daily Ad With Purpose, we sat down to dissect and learn from Martin Werner’s spot for Magnum ice cream’s ‘The Pleasure Residence’.

Before we dive in, you can watch the ad here:

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After watching the ad, we pondered over the whole idea of the campaign from the brand's perspective. As a brand, Magnum has aimed at adults to design an ice cream that provides pleasure and indulgence since its inception in 1989. The intention is to create a campaign film that positions the brand as classic rather than old, while also keeping in mind the luxurious and premium tone of the product, Magnum.

Even though Magnum has been around since 1989, which is a long time for an ice cream brand, this ad aims to show that Magnum is not old, but instead, it's becoming a classic. This is a bold move that challenges the norm and helps the brand stand out.


Right off the bat, the emotions evoked include those of luxury, premium, indulgence, decadence, and sensuality. All of these work in tandem to convey the product and brand message being advertised.


The stunning visuals drive the narrative in this ad, and we were hooked from the start. There's a protagonist who flies himself to the luxurious Pleasure Residence, and a flirtatious maiden who catches his eye. There are characters, sets, and a strong visual story that doesn't rely on dialogue or dramatic acting. Instead, the ad is a feast for the eyes rather than our heart.


The ad was shot at Palacio Hotel de Buçaco, a stunning 5-star palace situated in Luso, Portugal. The scouting of this location seemed imperative as it became the star of the film. The luxurious setting and dreamy atmosphere were beautifully combined to create a truly captivating visual experience.

Set Design

The production designer, Peter Grant, and art director, Pedro Santarem, have an incredible eye for detail. Every frame of the ad is a work of art, from the antique doorbell engraved with the famous 'M' of Magnum to the purple wheelchair. The attention to detail is impeccable and the small touches add to the grandeur of the entire film.


In the opening shot of the ad, the flying plane is rendered in 3D. The ad makers cleverly used editing to seamlessly transition to shots of the protagonist jumping off the plane, hiding the fact that it wasn't a real plane. As one team member pointed out, careful planning of this shot saved a lot of money!


For a film this beautiful, it seems that every frame is carefully deliberated over and planned. Whether it's a top angle or an extremely wide shot, the Director of Photography (DoP) ensures that every detail is captured in the frame. The lighting is subtle, with a gentle bounce of light that doesn't create harsh contrasts. It strikes the perfect balance between realism and fantasy, without being overly dreamy.

Color Grading

The initial sequence of the ad is shot during the day, but it still manages to evoke a dark, nighttime feel thanks to the magic of color grading. The color palette is kept premium, with mature shades of orange, red, and blue that complement the cast's costumes. The colors are the right amount of vibrant, bringing out the gold and brown tones of the palette.


The editing in the ad is seamless, perfectly matching the music's beat and flow. There are no choppy cuts or fast-paced sequences, allowing the film to pace itself naturally.


The music in the film was much loved and it created an old-school luxury vibe. The classic soundtrack used was ‘The Good Life’ originally recorded by Tony Bennett, but reinterpreted by Neil Hannon, from the British band The Divine Comedy. The song was originally a French ditty from 1962 called La Belle Vie, written by the late Sacha Distel. The lyrics of the song perfectly match the visuals shown in the film, celebrating the good life.


Casting an older generation is definitely an interesting choice. The beautiful cast members challenge the usual practice in advertising, where older actors are often relegated to minor roles or completely ignored. Instead, they are given a prominent role, highlighting the underlying message of the ad which focuses on the dichotomy of old versus class.

Roll Out/Length/Promotion

We debated on the appropriateness of the ad's length, receiving mixed opinions. While some found the 1 minute and 30 seconds duration suitable, others suggested editing certain shots would help. Some viewers desired a longer runtime to create a stronger connection with the "Pleasure Residence" story.

In the end, the seamless fusion of storytelling and product integration makes it one of the finest examples of visual storytelling!

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