As my beloved Seahawks sit on the verge of their second attempt at bringing home the Lombardi Trophy, I was reminded of a campaign I worked on for Dove Men+ Care back in 2010.
The ad was a video homepage-takeover of major sport sites (i.e. ESPN.com and FOXSPORTS.com) that featured a member of the winning team singing victoriously in the shower. Given that we had no way of knowing who the winner would be, we had to be prepared for every eventuality and negotiate to shoot with a member of all four potential teams the week before the championship games.
The logistics of this compressed timeline were such that we had to build a working shower stall in Portland to be shipped and easily assembled in both practice cities with only a day’s lead time and one day in between shoots. Since it wasn’t clear until two days before our shoot what the participating teams would be, we had to negotiate shipment of our over-sized set piece to the TBD location with an air freight company. Once we learned the participating teams (Indianapolis and New Orleans), we scheduled our talent and shoots and readied the shipment for delivery. Unfortunately, the specs of the plane required that the stall be shipped lying flat and the Art Department specifically labeled it to be transported vertically which (without confirming with anyone) the freight company took as the letter of law and left off their plane intended to get our set from Portland to Indianapolis the day before our shoot. With our entire production team en route, I was left in Portland trying to figure out how to get a giant asset 2/3 of the way across the country in less that a day.
After an exhaustive search and talking to charter companies that were willing to do it for the low six-figures (more than half our overall production budget, mind you), by a stroke of luck I learned about what I’ve come to call FedEx Black Ops. FEBO is essentially a concierge level service for large/time sensitive packages that defy description (for example my liaison there told me of shipping blue whale organs on ice), a surprisingly affordable solution under the circumstances, that would pick up our set from the other carrier and load it on a plane for what amounted to same day delivery. They literally called me on the phone every step of the way to inform me of the progress, which was going smoothly until a winter storm in Indianapolis prevented inbound planes from landing. The set then had to be sent to Cincinnati, loaded on a truck and driven in a blizzard to the set. Though it arrived 6 hours later than scheduled and I wasn’t there to see it, I was told the driver looked exactly like Santa Claus and was received in kind, the crew applauding as he backed into the loading dock.
I then edited two variation of the 7 second spot and distinct behind the scenes pieces for either outcome of the game. As it happened, we lucked into having eventual Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees starring in his first national campaign, a fact that landed Brees on Oprah and garnered our spot wide national press.
The unedited BTS video can be seen here: