When pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline opened their drug-testing lab for the 2012 Olympics, they claimed that they’d be running the biggest anti-doping operation in the history of the games. Such a massive undertaking required a massive campaign, and TBWA got onboard to create a suitably large-scale project. GSK says that the billboard is wider than the wingspan of a Boeing 737 and claims it's the largest signboard featuring London 2012 advertising during the course of the games – and the TV campaign is no shrinking violet either. With Outsider’s Scott Lyon directing and athletes Marlon Devonish and Philiips Idowu starring, the final piece is a visceral film. Putting together such an ambitious campaign is no mean feat - Outsider’s Zeno Campbell-Salmon, who produced the spot tells us more.
LBB> What was the brief like from TBWA and what were your initial thoughts?
ZC-S> It was a great brief from the team at TBWA. The core idea was clearly communicated. The main challenge was having the idea last the 60 seconds of screen time but working closely with the creatives, we developed the script to incorporate more metaphors for the athletes' state of mind and heightened senses.
LBB> How were the biological elements of the spot created?
ZC-S> This was a combination of models and some post manipulation/CG elements added in.
LBB> I just love the shot with the jangling wine glasses stacked on top of each other! What was it like shooting that? Were there any near disasters?
ZC-S> There were a lot of explosives rigged to the stack of glasses, so all the crew had to turn off their mobiles to ensure we didn't set them off by mistake!
LBB> The message behind the spot - the anti-doping lab from GSK - is a rather stern one, but the spot itself refrains from being too judgemental. How did you strike this balance?
ZC-S> The key was getting into the athletes' heads and showing the journey of the sound of the crowd travelling through their bodies.
LBB> What was the biggest challenge you faced with the shoot and the post?
ZC-S> It was tough getting everything done in two days and we had to design, test and build some specific rigs to get the 360 shots as there is no existing equipment out there yet to achieve those kids of shots.
LBB> What was it like having an Olympian on set?
ZC-S> There was a nervous moment when Marlon first saw the Perspex platform which was built 15ft off the ground to achieve one of our 360 shots. But ultimately he took it all in his stride and was eager to help us achieve everything.
Client: Glaxo Smith Kline UK Ltd
London 2012 Programme Director: Clare Brosnan
President of the UK Group: Robert Harwood - Matthews
Creative Director: Fabio Abram
Creative Director: Braulio Kuwabara
Agency Producer: Gill Oglethorpe
Production Company: Outsider
Director: Scott Lyon
Producer: Zeno Campbell - Salmon
DOP: Steve Chivers
Editor: Art Jones @ Work Film Editors
Post Production Supervisor: James Sindle @ Electric Theatre Collective