Director Martin Aamund reflects on the process of building an organic-urban setting for Nena’s natural revolution
Concrete architecture draped with luscious green vines, a scarecrow in a field between apartment buildings, a carrot farm atop a brutalist housing block - in the latest ad for German supermarket PENNY, the lines between the natural and the urban are more than blurred. Created to promote the supermarket’s organic food brand Naturgut, the film abounds with images that embody the marketing message without any explanation needed.
With the motto ‘naturally for everyone’, the spot by Serviceplan Campaign also stars German musician Nena (of ‘99 Red Balloons’ fame) as she starts a revolutionary movement for natural eating on the streets of this fantastical city. It’s a visual feast, littered with cheeky characters and sweet human moments.
LBB’s Alex Reeves caught up with director Martin Aamund, who's represented in Germany by Tony Petersen Film, to talk about the process of building and bringing this world to life.
LBB> What was the idea like when you came to it?
Martin> Basically the brief was very clear and to the point.
The goal of the campaign is to attractively communicate the Penny Naturgut range with its organic products, and to consolidate the perception of the PENNY brand in the context of affordable healthy and sustainably produced foods within a broad target group.
The TVC should convey this message in an entertaining and unconventional fashion. In the spot, Nena is part of a movement that inspires more and more people throughout the film, until they eventually become a vast number. Children and adults of different cultures join this movement. All the followers stand for a positive change: ‘Natural for all!’
The movement takes place in an urban city. The energy triggered by the people leads to a fantastic story, which is reflected in strong, sometimes surreal images. Music needed to play an important role too, giving the spot a certain easiness.
By giving a clever, humorous clue, the viewer eventually understands that this positive movement is a symbol for the branding of the private label Naturgut by PENNY. A direct link to the brand Naturgut, ideally also the bird (its trademark), and a PENNY market were also required.
LBB> There are lots of nice little scenes - were they all there already or did you come up with some of them?
Martin> The agency - Serviceplan Campaign - really wanted me to add my signature to the project. From the very beginning it seemed like the creatives really liked almost all of my suggestions on the scenes, situations, details and textures that I wanted to add to the process. I was very happy to get the creative freedom to build the world the way I imagined.
LBB> Where did you shoot it and how did you decide on which city you'd shoot in?
Martin> We shot in Berlin and Belgrade. We had been looking for great locations which gave us a good base for adding all the natural elements and for creating high production value.
LBB> What was the biggest challenge of the process?
Martin> There were loads of fun challenges on this one. But to plan all the creative together with the logistics of pre-production, and production (camera movement, choreography, singing, continuity), this would only ever be possible with a great production company and a brilliant AD.
LBB> What will you remember most clearly about the shoot?
Martin> How wonderful it was to enter the dreamworld I had in my mind. And then I was lucky enough to be a part of it for quite some time, without waking up (but I have to say, that the sleep after the shoot was sweet as well).
LBB> What was the VFX process like and what will you remember most about that?
Martin> Well, I thought it was a pure pleasure working with fellow dreamers. We were like kids in a candy store. LIGA01 was all about adding quality and creativity to the project. I have worked countless times with VFX teams where its mostly about what can’t be done. With these guys, it was the opposite.
LBB> Are there any moments in the finished film that you're particularly happy with?
Martin> I can’t say that there is any particular moment that stands out. I think there are loads of wonderful little details you can indulge in. But the overall flow and orchestration with all the cinematic devices we’ve managed to get in makes it a solid piece of work that I am very proud of.