Enthusiastic feedback is pouring in for the historic 90-second commercial for Sun International featuring Academy Award winner Charlize Theron.
The commercial was directed by Ian Gabriel and conceptualised by creatives Felix Kessel, Jacques Massardo and Prabashan Pather of Ogilvy South Africa. The commercial marks a bold launch for Sun's signature campaign for the coming years and gives notice that major brands are all gearing up for the big marketing opportunity that heralds the run-up to South Africa's host status at the 2010 World Cup.
True to form, this commercial boasts an arresting soundtrack by Muse, aptly supporting its diverse and breathtaking visuals. Gabriel's direction expertly brings out the commercial's international feel while embracing its South African flavour: a melding of two worlds which Charlize Theron so accurately embodies.
Shooting with South Africa's favorite Hollywood star presented the producers with some fascinating challenges. Time constraints were predictably tight, with Theron's travel dates being confirmed just three weeks before her arrival back on South African soil. Lisa Jaffee, Head of Broadcast at Ogilvy explains, "Our delight with the end result of this commercial is doubled, when you consider that Giant Films were given three weeks, to quote and prep a six day shoot. In addition to pulling this off, Ian had to devise a shot list and shooting schedule which would maximize the very limited shoot days and shooting hours we had with Charlize Theron. I think a huge logistical feat and a fantastic visual result was achieved."
Ian Gabriel describes how the shoot's smooth running was made possible "because the agency bought into the process 100%. There was no room for confusion or two points of view on the floor," he explains. "We'd pre-light and pre-rehearse with a double and would always shoot with two cameras, never asking Charlize for more than two or three takes to a set-up."
"Charlize was an absolute pleasure to work with," he continues. "She'd respond with instinctive intelligence to any performance adjustments. Charlize is a great star and a greater talent and is able to step in and out of character at will. She particularly loved being lit by our camerawoman Vicci Turpin."
The commercial marked a unique collaboration between Giant Films and Videovision, as Anant Singh Executive Produced the commercial together with Cindy Gabriel and Kirsten Clarence of Giant Films, and Helena Spring of Videovision. It was lit by Vicci Turpin and edited by Ricky Boyd.
Brendan Seery, Media and Marketing, gives the spot an Orchid.