Ad of the Day: Shake Cocktails

A nightclub is frozen in time in this Ukrainian liquor spot

Director Adam Berg made the "time-slice" film technique famous in his Grand Prix-winning "Carousel" spot for Philips. The trick involves having the actors pretend to freeze—standing still on set—while the camera moves through frozen time in a single shot. The same technique was later used in a Huggies spot by JWT. And here it is again in this new spot for Shake Cocktails from the Ukraine. Directed by Marc Wilkins, the ad opens on a model frozen in time on a city street as she approaches a nightclub's velvet rope. We head inside and see more motionless beautiful people, and end up finding the same model again, this time walking away from the bar carrying a bottle of Shake. This happens a few more times—we follow her throughout the evening until the end, when she's seen leading a stranger by the hand toward the exit. He's holding two bottles of Shake, and the sun is coming up. What a long evening of doing nothing! Actually, this technique works nicely for an alcohol brand—with the nightclub offering a chance for rich and detailed scenes, and the drunk people at least having a reason for being caught in absurd poses (not a few are spilling their drinks). The freezing of time also ties in well with the idea of a chilled drink. Wilkins used six different Steadicam shots, shooting at 50 fps with an Arri Alexa. The ad is a little dark in parts, but overall it's more visually interesting than most liquor ads. Plus, it's easy to direct the talent in these kinds of commercials. As Wilkins says: "We were looking for actors who were very skilled in freezing their movement and facial expressions, which was surprisingly difficult to find." Let's hope they got the big bucks.

An early offline edit of the spot, showing some of the technique:

Client: Shake Cocktails
Agency/Production Comany: Radioaktive Films, Kiev, Ukraine
Spot: "Shake"
Director: Marc Raymond Wilkins
Cinematography: Pascal Walder
Creative Director: Alexander Strizhelchik
Production-Design: Piotr Wyrzykowski
Styling: Dasha Filshina, Sveta Petrova
Executive Producers: Darko Skulsky, Roman Kindrachuk
Line Producer: Lera Filshina
Edit: Sam Puglise-Kipley, The Whitehouse + Yuri Reznichenko
Sound Design: Fabio Fonda
VFX: Chimney Pot, Kiev
Telecine: Fergus McCall, The Mill