For the 2013 Chinese New Year, TWC Films Los Angeles director Ken Lambert and Santos Buenos Aires came together to produce this heart-warming spot for Coca Cola.
‘Happiness’ is a very unusual piece for Coca-Cola, one that celebrates all that is the Chinese New Year. The intention was give an up-close and personal view of the happier side Chinese society, and in doing so connect the happiness that Coke helps to foster.
Shot on location in Shanghai this entire piece a cross-section of everyday people in everyday situations, one happy moment after another. But creating and capturing scenarios that felt authentic without intruding on the emotion of the moment was the key to this spot. The smile on a woman’s face as a secret note is passed to her at work, a little boy putting on a puppet show with his grandfather, people laughing, playing music, and singing.
With such a genuine and positive underlying message, a different type of approach was required. Instead of the highly commercial and overly staged spots, Lambert went for a more authentic feel that the Chinese audience could connect with. In fact, to add the authenticity some of the spots were even shot with an iPhone.
Going for a spontaneous documentary style, the lighting and camera work was used to give the audience the impression that their right they’re watching. The trick was giving each shot that spontaneous genuine feel. Each scene required new talent, locations, and situations.
“We had to stage scenarios but we wanted them to feel like we were documenting real life. Equally we filmed people on the street without direction, capturing them doing whatever they happened to be doing naturally,” Lambert explained. “We were able to capture very authentic portraits of everyday people in their real and un-staged environments. It looks real because it is real!”
“This was a very large undertaking on the part of the agency and ourselves” added Mark Thomas, TWC’s Managing Director, “With many moving parts shot over many, many days, there is a real sense of accomplishment when we saw it completed…it’s a compelling story, and Ken couldn’t have told it any better.”
The spot is intended to air in China, and worldwide on-line.
Agency: Santos, Buenos Aires
Creative Dir: Pablo Minces
Executive Producer: Leandro Sussman
Producer: Nadia Lozano
Production: TWC Films, Los Angeles
Director: Ken Lambert
Executive Producer’s: Mark Thomas/Hugh Bacher
Producer: James Schulz
DP: Haruld Goh
Editor: Lorenzo Bombicci