Pushing boundaries with the power of stock footage and creative captions
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Pushing boundaries with the power of stock footage and creative captionsAugust 2022
Go on an adventure through the animal kingdom, from Highdive’s wild pitch to the out-of-this-world video campaign. Packed with lessons on harnessing the power of stock footage and unlocking the creative possibilities of closed captions, this Jeep ad for the Wrangler 4xe pushes the boundaries of what agencies and brands can do when they unleash their imaginations.
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Chad Broude, co-founder and co-chief creative officer at Highdive: (singing) Bah … duh … dah-dah!
Michael Lippert, editor, Cutters: (singing) Wah-wah … !
Well, yeah, then there’s the little squeaky toad, the… [toad squeaks]
Chad: I think we have a good understanding of Jeep for a few reasons from launching five or six different name plates to launching the electrified 4xe. It’s a pretty great relationship.
So this brief was a few years in the making, you know. Years before one of these products come out, we’re working with the brand and coming up with different ways to launch it. For 80 years, Jeep has really cemented itself as the ultimate off-road nature vehicle.
Chad: You know, there’s really one opportunity to introduce the electrified Jeep to the world, but our big aha moment came when we realized, not only are people going to be really excited about this but nature is as well. What if the animals were just celebrating the Jeep as it drove past them, and they were just singing that song, but instead of instruments, they were using their natural animal noises to create that melody?
We had to prove the concept out thinking how could we make this thing sing a little bit? And one of our go-to editors, Michael Lippert, we kind of gave him the challenge of, we need you to make kind of a proof of concept rip video, and he took the challenge.
Michael: Bringing an editor in early in the process can be super helpful.
It’s a whole lot easier to look at something that is close to the finished product, as opposed to just some pictures on a board, and a lot of it is left up to the imagination. The music really had to sell it and had to drive it. And the animals singing along had to be this kind of comedic contrast to that dramatic cinematic sound.
[sloth screeches, wolfpack howls, kid goat bleets]
Jen Passiniti, head of production at Highdive: Once it was sold and approved for production, that’s when I came in. Creatives called me and said, “How are we going to make this?”
This production was unique, because we had to work backwards. We had an edit, there was a lot of stock in there that Jeep had already fallen in love with and we knew we wanted to keep.
Chad: No matter what we make, we never shy away from stock footage. If it makes the piece better and it makes the piece great, that’s really the only lens we look at things through. But in this case, we knew we couldn’t travel the world and shoot 50 different animals.
Michael: So we look through hours and hours of hundreds of different animals. But again, the challenge was: How do we integrate it with the Wrangler?
Jen: There was quite a bit of compositing and visual effects that had to happen. And then on top of that, the color really pulled it together. Because when you’re working with existing footage shot in all different types of ways, to really bring that one cohesive look to life was so important.
So adding captions has become just part of the process for everything that we produce these days. The creative team had such a great idea to write what these animals were actually doing and what they were sounding like.
Chad: Simplicity is always a key component to any great piece of creative, and I think this was a great example. And just a reminder that the best ideas are the simplest ones.
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