Around the time he was filming Twin Peaks, Lynch was dabbling in some seriously bugged-out ad campaigns.

Around the time he was filming Twin Peaks, David Lynch was dabbling in some seriously bugged-out ad campaigns, as well.

Exhibit A is 1991's We Care About New York, a rodential PSA that addresses littering in New York City. The photography direction was handled by Frederick Elmes of Eraserhead, Blue Velvet and, er, Bride Wars fame. After watching a slo-mo closeup of a rat's tail cycle like a plane's propeller, and a group of bikers/swingers locked into paroxysms of creepy glee, I certainly want to litter less. Hell, I want do go outside less. (Don't bother calling that number at the end. It's now a fax machine listed to Broadway Hair or Island Video.)

Lynch has quite a number of commercial works under his ferociously sculpted mop. Two years after the rat spot, he created a PSA about breast cancer for the American Cancer Society. I can't find a copy of that film online, but there are gems of Lynchian genius in promos for Calvin Klein's Obsession, the pregnancy-test kit Clear Blue Easy, Barilla Pasta (starring Gerard Depardieu!) and Georgia Coffee. Of that last ad campaign, completed in 1991, Lynchnet says:

These commercials were done for the Japanese canned coffee, Georgia. The series was set in Twin Peaks and featured many of the cast from the series. In the ads, a Japanese man searches for his missing wife. Each commercial added more clues to the mystery, until the final one where Cooper rescues her from the Black Lodge. Originally a second series of four were planned, but the Coffee company, unhappy with the first series, canceled them.

Here's a comprehensive list of Lynch's commercial efforts. They're all tinged with insanity, perhaps no more so than this teaser for Parisienne Mild cigarettes, a brand paradoxically headquartered in Boncourt, Switzerland:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Passengers line up for a bullet train at a platform in Tokyo Station.
    Transportation

    The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

    The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.

  2. Transportation

    Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

    The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.

  3. Life

    How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town

    New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.

  4. Design

    A Step-by-Step Guide for Fixing Badly Planned American Cities

    An excerpt from Jeff Speck’s Walkable City Rules, a step-by-step guide to fixing America’s cities and towns.

  5. vacant store fronts in mining town in Arizona
    Equity

    America’s Worsening Geographic Inequality

    The economic gap between have and have-not places continues to widen.