A new ad by AMV BBDO and created by HLA director Simon Ratigan for Total Greek Yoghurt transports the viewer back to the Greece of the 1920s when the product was first made… or does it?
The new campaign banks on the brand’s heritage, and to that effect the ad harks back to its founding year, 1926. Set in rural Greece, the film follows a young boy as he herds his family’s cow and is rewarded by his mother with a bowl of yoghurt. The end underlines the strapline “Total Greek Yoghurt, unchanged since 1926” with a humorous twist.
To create the right aged look and feel for the video, Ratigan was keen to use traditional methods. “Everyone’s instinct was to shoot on film,” he says. “Digital imaging is a powerful tool for sure, but we were never going to be able to recreate the look of vintage celluloid without starting the project by shooting on film ourselves.”
The intention from the start was to mirror the filming techniques used at that time, shooting on 35mm film with vintage lenses and a tailor-made processing technique.
“It was also a case of not moving the camera, using only middle range lenses, filming from a tripod with the camera around head height, under cranking slightly, and shooting everything where possible front lit by the sun,” adds Ratigan. “These weren’t random stylistic decisions, they were an attempt at copying the early filmmakers, who had to shoot in this way, because they didn’t have access to modern day lights, tracking vehicles, crane arms, fast lenses or super sensitive film.”
In addition, through a process of under-exposing the negative and then making a series of additional negatives and prints from the original, HLA was able to degrade and soften the images until they resembled film footage from a hundred years ago. Achieving the hand-tintend effect involved isolating and enhancing specific areas of colour, which also added to the authentic look.
“It was a joy,” says Ratigan. “It hasn’t been absent from mainstream commercials production for very long, but it is scary how quickly an entire industry involved with film has all but disappeared.”
Agency: AMV BBDO
Copywriter: Richard Baynham
Art Director: Ian Gabaldoni
Production Company: HLA
Director: Simon Ratigan
DOP: Karl Oscarsson
Production Designer: Marco Puig
Producer: Tim Daukes
Pink Floyd fans may recognise the cover of our June issue. It’s the original marked-up artwork for Dark Side of the Moon: one of a number of treasures from the archive of design studio Hipgnosis featured in the issue, along with an interview with Aubrey Powell, co-founder of Hipgnosis with the late, great Storm Thorgerson. Elsewhere in the issue we take a first look at The Purple Book: Symbolism and Sensuality in Contemporary Illustration, hear from the curators of a fascinating new V&A show conceived as a ‘walk-in book’ plus we have all the regular debate and analysis on the world of visual communications.
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