Mercury Rising At Watch Shoot

A new magazine campaign by Toth Design & Advertising for client Swatch uses a difficult medium in which to display the product, liquid mercury.
The ads (one is shown here) show Swatch watches immersed in mercury with the words “Irony metal collection.”
The toxicity of the element required a professional mercury handler to supervise the photo shoot. Gas masks and gloves had to be worn at all times, and a special ventilation system was installed in the studio.
According to Toth’s Donald Montgomery, creative director at the New York shop, the nerves of photographer Shu Akashi were frayed as the news of the death of a Boston scientist after handling mercury came out a day before the shoot.
The Weehawken, N.J.-based client will break the two-page ad in September issues of magazines such as Elle and GQ to tout its Happy Joe series of watches.
At press time, no ill effects from the shoot were reported. – Hank Kim