At Moe’s Southwest Grill, subtlety is not on the marketing menu.
Why bother touting taste or the fast-casual dining experience when dropping microwave ovens from a helicopter and blowing up freezers is so much more satisfying on every level?
So, bombs away! And be forewarned, some electrical appliances were definitely harmed in the making of this video:
Yeah, nothing says “Welcome to Moe’s” for Tex-Mex freshness like red hot destruction.
All told, eight ovens and two freezers were sacrificed in a Monroe, Georgia, field to make the commercial.
“The first microwave that dropped didn’t provide the epic crash that we had hoped for,” client creative director Brandon Friedman tells AdFreak. “So, for the following drops, we loosened the screws in the microwave, which definitely helped.”
Well, sure, you’d have to have a few screws loose to come up with this stuff.
“Our biggest issue was getting the microwave to land exactly where we wanted so we could capture it in slow-mo,” Friedman says. “But with the changing wind and cloud cover, we kept missing the mark. Initially, we dropped the microwaves from a few thousand feet. On the last two drops, we decided that the best way to get the money shot was to drop the microwave much closer to the ground, which ended up being around 500 feet or so.”
As it turned out, the crew’s improvising extended to the incendiary climax.
“Our end shot was supposed to be a freezer falling out of nowhere serving as the exclamation point,” says Friedman. But given the unwieldy weight and shape of the units, and the fast-fading daylight, the group opted for a fiery finale instead.
“The stunt man rigged up a freezer with the explosives and proceeded to grab a rifle and walk back about 50 yards,” Friedman recalls. “As the team stood behind our cars, giddy with anticipation, he lifted his rifle like a sniper and took aim.”
After the flash! and boom! and debris flying in all directions, “the team ran to survey the situation and retrieve the cameras to look at all the footage,” Friedman says. “It was not surprising that the GoPro attached to the freezer was MIA. We combed the fields and found it about 200 yards away. It was still intact! Unfortunately, the memory card was fried, but we had plenty of other footage that showcased the explosion.”
Alas, those rockin’ soundtrack riffs weren’t created on Moe’s giant-tortilla guitar.
Maybe the crew can use it to play a few crunchy chords the next time they decide to blow some kitchen equipment all to hell.
Client: Moe’s Southwest Grill
Executive Creative Director: Jon Gordon
Creative Director/Copywriter: Brandon Friedman
Art Director: David Taylor
Copywriter: David Dulock
Producer: Matt Genne
DP: David Taylor
Cameramen: Ross Gibson, Brett May
Drone: Anthony Felder
Editor: Eddie Kesler, Beast, Atlanta
Colorist: Justin White, CO3, Atlanta
Sound Design: Gopal Swamy, Acoustech, Atlanta
VP of Global Marketing, Moe’s: Dominic Losacco