W+K London's Freddie Powell and Hollie Walker play Horse Whisperer
You’ve all seen it by now. You must have done. And if you haven’t – you should have done. We’re talking about the Shetland pony that’s been making busting out moves on the UK’s television screens and all over the Internet since last week. Wieden + Kennedy’s spot for Three, which was directed by Blink’s Dougal Wilson, has been viewed almost 2.5million times in under a week. It’s not surprising really, is it? What’s not to like about a stubby-legged Shetland pony throwing some MJ-esque moves to the sounds of Fleetwood Mac? We spoke to Wieden + Kennedy London creatives Freddie Powell and Hollie Walker to find out how they created the bonkers spot.
LBB> What was the brief like that the client approached you with? Three must have been up for you to have some fun!
WK> Though deceptively simple, it took a long time to get to the final work. We went on a journey with the client to get to the right brief. It really boiled down to creating brand love and letting people know that Three are good for Internet. If we could achieve that, then all of their other price point ads would work much harder.
LBB> So, why the choice of the Shetland pony over the humble donkey? Why were its stubby legs the perfect choice for the moonwalk?
WK> It was actually the stupidly talented creative directors Dan Norris and Ray Shaughnessy who suggested it be a Shetland pony, purely because it’s cuter and funnier. In fact the whole spot was the culmination of the democratic way in which Wieden + Kennedy approach work. Everyone mucks in and helps.
LBB> And why was Fleetwood Mac’s 'Everywhere' the right soundtrack for the ad?
WK> There was just a bit of a sweet spot that ‘Everywhere’ hit. We knew we wanted a track that had a bit of heart, one that made you feel warm inside and made your tapping foot force you to get up and dance.
LBB> In terms of art direction, it's quite rustic and wild - it reminds us of the opening credits to Father Ted! How did you arrive at this aesthetic?
WK> Originally we’d all planned for it to be the most unreal and dramatic landscape. It was only after chatting to the director Dougal [Wilson] that we decided to keep it raw and therefore, make it feel even more real. The rest was just the show that the Shetland Islands put on for us. It really is the most beautiful place.
LBB> Strategically, what do you hope this campaign will achieve for Three as a brand?
WK> Three are a great network. They really are. Hopefully this might help people to notice them more and understand that they’re the network you choose if you want Internet on the go.
LBB> What did Dougal Wilson bring to the final production?
WK> Dougal Wilson is the most committed director we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. He throws himself into a project more than you can imagine. He even went and lived up in the Shetlands for 6 weeks. Dougal was instrumental to the project. What you see on screen, every flick, every dramatic landscape, was planned down to a tee in his crazy mind. Above all he brings that warm ‘fuzzy’ feeling.
LBB> What were the biggest challenges you faced along the way and how did you overcome them?
WK> There was the over-arching problem of: how do you get people to love a moonwalking Shetland pony whilst maintaining an illusion of reality? There were also other minor challenges like the weather’s hissy fits that Mother Nature threw at us every hour or so. The geniuses at MPC worked day and night to bring the little guy to life.
LBB> Is there more to come from this 'Keep on internetting' campaign? Maybe more animals to join our pony pal?
WK> We sure hope so. Maybe not animals, but definitely more interesting stuff to come. They’re a network with everything to gain.