This commercial I did in my previous life whilst working in Singapore a few years ago. I thought it a good case study as it shows how a potentially touchy subject can be handled effectively with humour.
Our client NCPG (National Council of Problem Gambling) approached us with their problem of connecting with a younger demographic. The soccer world cup was fast approaching and they wanted to get an awareness campaign out there to warn the public of the dangers of gambling.
They had done previous campaigns with a more serious tone, that was not received well by the public. So for this campaign they wanted to try something different, we suggested comedy.
Obviously it’s a fine line to tread, you have to make sure the tone is just right and the scenarios are fun yet relevant. What we’ve found in situations like this when we’re trying to sell a new direction to a client is by showing them references of similar videos. One of these videos was a New Zealand anti-drink driving campaign that did a beautiful job of presenting the message in a fun yet memorable way.
NZ Anti-Drink Driving Ad “Legend” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtWirGxV7Q8
The client loved the reference and wanted us to follow a similar structure; a young guy sees his friend is gambling and thinks of all the worst-case scenarios that could happen.
But what? That’s where the fun began, we came up with literally dozens of potential scenarios from burning the house down to getting abducted by aliens. However thankfully we narrowed it down to what you see in the
Even though it’s only 1 minute long it took us 3 days to shoot. Mainly because we had a lot of different locations and some big setups. Fortunately our main location, the apartment, was relatively spacious and had lots of different areas to shoot in.
One of my favourite setups was definitely the helicopter, or the searchlight anyway. I think this is a great example of using sound and lights to imply that something is there without ever having to actually show it. By just using a very powerful light on a building plus some sound effects, I think we did a pretty good impression of a full-scale helicopter shot, without actually having to pay for a helicopter.
The ad was a hit with viewers and it was still being used by the council for a number of years after it was launched. It was seen on television, movie cinemas, digital banners, on World Cup broadcast channels, and posters. It was used in conjunction with a wide range of complimentary measures such as roadshows, assembly discussions and awareness talks that contributed greatly to an extremely effective and well received campaign.