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Behind The Scenes of Some Impactful Campaigns

The ‘behind the scenes’ exposés of ingenious fillmmaking invention never fail to impress me.

What I find compelling is the culmination of many creative disciplines by skilled practitioners that result in motivational advertising executions that resonate with viewers.

From conceptual script writing and art direction, production processes of casting, soundtrack recordings, set and prop designs, filming direction, to special effects and post-production crafting.

1. Coors Light, Fresh Climb

Advertising Agency: Havas, London, UK

Directed by Sam Pilling, ‘Fresh Climb’ was filmed in Soldën, high up in the Austrian Alps, and a ten-meter snow channel, studio built, in neighbouring Slovenia.

The soundtrack features the apt lyrics of the garage track called “Fresh” by FooR, Majestic and Dread MC.

“Anything I touch right now is fresh. Everything in my life right now, bless. Work so hard, no time to rest, I ain’t gonna stop ’til I am the best.”

2. Coors Light, Behind The Scenes of Fresh Climb

Special Effects Studio: The Mill, London, UK

Production Companies: Pulse Films, London, UK and Division Productions, Ljubljana, Slovenia

On AdAge Filmmaker and Director Sam Pilling described ‘Fresh Climb’ as one of the most technically and logistically challenging commercials for Pulse Films Productions and The Mill Studios.

Filmed he said, in the most adverse weather conditions he has ever experienced, Sam praised the Slovenian crew for “making absolute magic, happen.”

Slovenia’s Division Productions provided a 90 strong local film crew and even recruited friends, climbers and skiers for technical and logistical assistance as well as standing in as supporting role actors.

3. Coca-Cola Company’s Sprite, Facing A Hater

Advertising Agency: Santo/Digitas, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Produced by Argentina’s renowned local production company La dobleA S.A. and their film director Lemon, the brilliantly conceived social experiment is powerfully compelling.

The online commercial is part of a Sprite’s laudable campaign to neutralize hate with love. Extensive research revealed the most aggressive online troll that had viciously attacked 565 people in more than 1,000 tweets during the past year with hateful comments.

Sprite contacted him to be part of an “experiment,” but did not reveal what it entailed. He agreed to participate, not knowing what to expect, and what happened next is emotively insightful and highly watchable.

4. Sprite, Behind The Scenes of Facing A Hater

Advertising Agency: Santo/Digitas, Buenos Aires, Argentina

AdAge advertising magazine, declared ‘Facing A Hater’ one the world’s best campaings of 2019. The human-insights revealed in ‘Behind The Scenes’ more than adequately justifies’ their carefully considered pronouncement.

5. Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Meet Graham

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

‘Meet Graham’ was the focused theme of an integrated and interactive public service TAC campaign, that from a communication perspective, I regard as an absolute marvel of conceptual brilliance, implementation ingenuity, and creative complexity that is powerfully evocative.

 The simple human truth that ‘drives home’ the message of the campaign was succinctly summed on TAC’s website.

“As much as we like to think we’re invincible, we’re not. But what if we were to change? What if our bodies were built to survive a low impact crash? What might we look like? The result of these questions is Graham, a reminder of just how vulnerable our bodies really are”.

“Meet Graham. The only person designed to survive on our roads”.

6. TAC, The Making of Meet Graham

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

The agency engaged Royal Melbourne Hospital trauma surgeon Christian Kentfield, Monish University Accident Research Centre crash investigator David Logan, and Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini, to develop an interactive, lifelike sculpture demonstrating human vulnerability for public gallery viewing.

7. TAC, Graham In 3D

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

The latest immersive, augmented reality technology was employed at gallery installations to allow visitors a look beneath Graham’s skin. What they were enabled to discover was how Graham’s unique physiological makeup would help cushion him from serious injury in a collision.

Campaign integration included a website access to a 360 degree ‘Online Graham’ to find out exactly what kind of injuries a car accident would inflict on a normal body.

The ‘Meet Graham’ communication campaign’s numerous accolades include New York Festivals Best of Show and two Cyber Grand Prix Cannes awards.

8. PETA, 98% Human

Advertising Agency: BBDO, New York, USA

PETA is an American non-profit organisation founded in 1980 by Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco and based in Norfolk, Virginia.

The organisation has 6,5 million members, mostly active supporters, that plausibly makes PETA, if not the largest, certainly one of the largest, most motivated, and most influential animal rights group in the world.

Toygar Bazarkaya, executive creative director at BBDO New York explained the agency’s creative motivation behind PETA’s public service campaign, ‘The Great Ape Pledge’.

“You’re always assured by filmmakers that no animals were harmed, so you feel good about it. The thing you don’t know is these animals are often beaten and punched and tortured to do what they do.”

 “They have a window where they look cute to us, around 4 or 5 years old. But by 6 to 8, they become too strong and too dangerous, and they’re discarded. The back story gives you chills.”

To avoid the use and abuse of living creatures in filmmaking, the agency’s persuasive solution was to communicate the power 3D Animation (CGI) has to be a highly preferable and immensely effective alternative.

American actor Adrien Brody felt that the highlighted issue was a highly important public service communication and in acknowledgement of its humane gravity, gladly provided the ‘voice-over’ for the commercial at no charge.

The agency realised however, that to get the attention of their key target market, namely commercial filmmakers, they would have to win a Gold Lion at Cannes. With the help of the highly skilled ‘The Mill’ studios, they laudably achieved that goal.

9. PETA, Behind The Scenes of 98% Human

Design & Animation Studio: The Mill, New York, USA

Creative and Animation Director: Angus Kneale

VFX Supervisor: Vince Baertsoe

The detailed production process of the remarkable realism that was achieved makes for fascinating viewing.

10. Apple, Share Your Gifts

Advertising Agency: TBWA/Media Arts Lab, Los Angeles, USA

Animation Company: Buck Studios, USA

Apple’s festive season commercial is a charming story about a young girl who is shy about revealing her creativity.

The superb animation is backed by a great soundtrack of the song ‘Come Out and Play’, composed for the commercial, by 16-year-old American musician and song-writer Billie Eilish.

11. Apple, Making of Share Your Gifts

Animation Company: Buck Studios, USA

Buck is a commercial production company with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Sydney, Australia. Their highly creative studios consist of an international collective of directors, producers, digital artists, graphic designers, illustrators and animators.

The ‘Making of Share Your Gifts’ is a fascinating ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the meticulous planning, the painstaking construction of stunning miniature sets and hand-crafted miniature props.

The production crew’s collective sharing of their creative gifts is a fitting metaphor for the commercial’s thematic ode to creativity.

12. Sainsbury’s, The Big Night

Advertising Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, London, UK

Sainsbury’s, the British supermarket chain’s charming story about a group of children performing in a Christmas school play, was directed Michael Gracy.

The commercial is wonderfully crafted and a visual delight to watch. A young girl takes center stage with a ‘star’ performance of the song ‘You Get What You Give’ by the nineties American alternative rock band, the ‘New Radicals’.

13. Sainsbury’s, Meet the Kids Behind The Big Night

Planning for the commercial started ten months before filming began. A ‘look behind the scenes’ of the children involved and their amazing enthusiasm during the long process of costume fittings and rehearsals, is the biggest viewing treat of all for me.

14. Hovis Bread, Go On Lad

Advertising Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, London

Ringan Ledwidge directed this cinematic 122-second commercial that follows the journey of a young boy through 122 years of British history, from the establishment of the Hovis brand in 1886, to the eve of the millennium celebrations. Many consider the short film to be the best British commercial ever made.

The commercial received dozens of advertising industry awards but the most important acclaim came from the brand’s engaged public audience when in 1999 they voted ‘Go On Lad’ to be the best television commercial of the decade.

15. Hovis, The Making of ‘Go On Lad’

Advertising Agency: Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy, London

The ‘behind the scenes’ look at the impressive attention to authenticity and historical accuracy involved in the production planning of ‘Go On Lad’, makes for highly interesting and informative viewing.