Tag Archives: advertisement

Savana Advertisement

Back in March, a good friend of mine who’s studying in management ask me if I wanted to help him with the promotional video for the faculty’s upcoming fashion show, called Savana. Since I hadn’t produced anything fashion-related since the Perigny advertisement back in 2007, of course I told him I was really interested in helping him. Of course, the fact that this meant an entire night of shooting with hot girls in bathing suits helped facilitate my decision.

The problem was that the schedule was incredibly tight, and that the budget was pretty much non-existant. But at the same time, this adds a challenge that I rarely face in my everyday job: to produce a professional-quality video with absolutely no means.

The organization staff was able to unlock a small budget for me to rent some gear, so I took the small Fresnel kit we have at the office, some reflectors, and rented a Kino Diva and a smoke machine. We shot with my friend’s Canon 7D and used my Sigma 30mm 1.4 for the entire shoot. So as you can see, our means were really limited.

Often, when you ask your friends to play in a commercial, the quality of the “acting” goes with the price your paying, which is zero. I have to say though that this time, all the models (who were all students in the management faculty) did an amazing job. It can be uncomfortable to pose in a bathing suit in front of a stranger (me) with a big camera setup that tells you to act sensually, but everyone was really open to what I was asking and they acted really professionally, which made the production a lot easier than I thought. On top of that, we had an incredibly talented make-up artist on set that helped make the models look amazing.

What I think was the most challenging was the shooting environment. The people at Izba Spa were kind enough to let us shoot freely in their establishment, which looks truly amazing. But, the space was very limited. I had to shoot 13 models, mostly separately, in a place that had maybe three or four different rooms that were proper to shoot in. I had to be very creative in the way I was using each spot, since I was going to use each of them more than once, and I didn’t want the video to look like it had been shot all in the same room. The smoke machine really helped me to cover some of those environments. What also puzzled me was the lighting, because the rooms were so small that I couldn’t fit as much lighting as I wanted to. I had to bounce the light in very weird and bizarre angles to be able to achieve the looks I wanted. It worked well for most of the shots, but overall, I think the models’ eyes are not lit enough, something I may have been able to correct if I had more space.

The editing was quite difficult too, because of the fast-paced music I was using, and the very little footage I shot. Fortunately, I shot a lot of those models completely out of focus, to have a mysterious introduction, and that enabled me to re-use the in-focus shots later in the video.

But what I enjoyed the most in this video was color-grading it. The fact that the backgrounds were mostly greyish allowed me to have full control on the models’ skin tones and clothes. I actually used a technique I had never tried before in Apple’s Color, and that is numerically grading shots using the Red/Green/Blue Lift and Gain. It helped me achieve a look that’s different from what I usually do. I will be posting a video making-of later this week explaining how I did it.

In the end, I think I managed pretty well to produce a good-looking advertisement with such little means, so I guess this is mission accomplished for me.

Here are some photos of the shooting, snapped by my friend Sam Chenard.


Advertising is calling

Every year, Ihaveanidea hosts a worldwide event called Portfolio Night, which is an evening where young designers come to meet creative directors from top agencies to introduce themselves and get a critique of their work. Tomorrow, May 20th, is the 8th edition of the event, and for the occasion, Ogilvy produced a brilliant promo video where a woman gives a speech using only slogans from world-reknown brands.

Superbowl XLIV ads

Who doesn’t like the Superbowl ? Personally I think it’s the sport’s greatest event, even if I like hockey 100 times more than football. But the Superbowl has the ability to generate the biggest buzz of the year, especially with its ads. It is the advertisers’ fest to empty their pockets and get the highest number of views they’ll get all year long.

This year, a 30-second spot sold at close to $3 million a piece, which is the highest all-time. Recession anyone ? Anyway, I don’t know if the match over-shadowed the commercials, because god knows this was one hell of a game, but it seems this year the quality of the ads was really sub-par compared to previous years. Although there were a couple that stood out, none of them made me stare in amazement or laugh at the point to cry. GoDaddy really, really needs to trash their campaign. The concept is getting so old I can smell it rot from over here. It was a good “viral” campaign at first, but wow does it suck now !

Doritos definitely had the best spots this year. They were all kind of absurd and really funny. But the best one was definitely the Google one. It was simple, clever, and really made you feel the essence of Google.

Still, I’m disapointed and really look forward to next year to see if advertisers are going to outdo themselves to compensate for the quality they put out this year.

Climbing to the top with Pepsi

It’s now been about 6 months since TBWA took charge of the complete redesign of Pepsi’s corporate image. Opinions vary on whether or not Pepsi’s new look is better than the old one, but their new ads are mostly very good.
Update: BBDO is the agency that did this ad, entitled “Rising”, not TBWA.
They have just released a new one, called “Rising”, produced by Rattling Stick‘s France office. I must say this is some remarkable compositing. The camera moves are complex and the whole CG scene blends perfectly with the live-action footage. The story line is nothing new but it is at least presented in a very original way.
I must say I had never heard of Rattling Stick before, and I was impressed by their portfolio. Take the time to visit their website, and look especially at the Benadryl ad. It’s really good !

One more masterpiece from Toyota, “Harmony”

I recently posted an ad from a super well choreographed Toyota spot, but I think this time, Toyota outdid themselves. Saatchi & Saatchi in LA created an amazing concept for the new Prius, mixing live choreography with compositing. New Zealand’s The Sweet Shop handled production of this insanely well-crafted 30-second spot.
Pay attention to all the details. Every single graphic element in the ad is a mixture of dressed-up people: clouds, sun, etc.
Car ads, the just keep getting better and better !

VISA gets rid of its 3-year campaign for new “More People Go with VISA”

Once again, a little (a lot) late on this one, but when I first saw that campaign, my blog didn’t even exist, and late is better than never !

The never-ending marketing war between credit giants MasterCard and Visa has proven to be an immense source of quality advertisements. MC’s “Priceless” campaign is probably the longest running campaign in the last 10 years (is it already more ?) which won countless awards. VISA stroke back at the beginning of March, teaming up with TBWA, to launch it’s new “More People Go with VISA” campaign, worth over 140 million dollars worldwide. Let’s not get started on the overall marketing idea of this new image, because opinions seem split (here’s a good article on that). But, the TV and print advertisements for the campaign are worth being mentioned. Paydirt and director Iain Mackenzie took charge of the production, and their work is truly amazing. There are some stunning images in the TV ads. Superfad created the VFX and motion design.

Here’s one of the ads that is not on the website, but is the best one I think. For all other TV and prints, check out VISA’s website.

Car ads are blowing me away right now. Toyota “Covered”

I’ve always been a big fan of car ads, but it seems that lately, every car company has surpassed themselves in producing mind-blowing ads. Toyota’s latest ad, entitled Covered, is just another example of that.
This new spot is beautifully filmed, perfectly choreographed and flawlessly edited/post-produced. Chi & Partners is responsible for this clever concept, while RSA Films took care of the perfect visual effects. Brett Foraker directed this ad. In his vast portfolio, you’ll find the amazing ad for Panasonic’s Viera TV.