"The commercial, aimed at mothers and children, faced an unusual problem. Regulations dictate that children can no longer be targeted directly and may not feature overtly in any advertising. Hence the use of an orangutan family rather than a human family to portray a fresh and entertaining advert that appeals to both moms and kids," says Rob McLennan, executive creative director of Lowe Bull.
Filming took place in Malaysia, which presented a number of interesting challenges for both agency and production company.
The casting was done in Malaysia and while this may seem to be a simple task, they ended up with hand-picked, untrained actors in the form of students from Botswana, South Africa, Nigeria and Poland. Communicating with a foreign cast and crew on set presented a real challenge and most instructions were given using miming, very basic sign language, picture drawing and broken English.
Working with animals is always a delicate issue and although there are trained orangutans in Malaysia, very little time was available to train the animals for the commercial.
"Orangutans have a very limited attention span and cannot perform the same tasks over and over again without getting bored. They are also incredibly strong animals and with very little effort, can destroy a set. This meant we had to get the perfect shot within the first couple of takes," says director, Clive Will.
McLennan adds: "They were trained to learn relatively complex actions over a very short period of time and on the day, they performed like consummate professionals. It was a fantastic experience."
The end result is a very lovable commercial.