the big gest challenge in its mission to move the image of Fuji Photo Film beyond the familiar little green box and into the digital age was how to fit shots of several different products into a natural narrative.
"We had to incorporate an incredible amount of storytelling in a short amount of time," says associate cd Mark Ber nath of the three spots in the $20-25 million campaign. "There's a beginning, middle and end, and an incredible amount of Fuji products that have to fit into 30 seconds." The spots broke last week.
One spot alone features three items: the FinePix 6800 digital camera, which can be used for Internet conferencing; the Alad din Digital Photo Center, which outputs the prints; and the prints themselves. The ad opens on a disheveled twenty some thing in his loft, listening to his messages. His live-in Brit girlfriend, away on business, asks about the health of Monroe—her plant. Almost choking on his Pop Tart, the guy quickly snaps a digital shot of Monroe's last remaining leaf.
He then heads to the film-processing center—at which point the client called for a close-up of the Aladdin. To keep the story's integrity, director Bryan Buckley asked the actor to work the machine while looking at the store manager with a guilty expression. "It seems real and pertinent," says Buckley. "He's doing technology, but he's still in character." To heighten the intensity and get in a shot of the prints, Buckley had the boy friend rush out with an armful of photos.
Later, during a digital-video conference call, the woman notices the plant and gushes, "Oh, Monroe looks lovely." The boyfriend has taped the leaf prints to the sick plant, but just then one of them falls. Fumbling for an explanation, he says, "It's autumn."
Cut to text that reads, "Do you speak Fuji?"—the tagline for all three spots.
Buckley was relieved that the client agreed to do without a voice over—"Fuji technology will get you there" was originally planned—in order to keep the story fluid.
The other spots also feature an Everyman. In "Anniversary," a husband snaps a digital picture of a long-stemmed rose, and his wife arrives home to find a trail of rose prints leading up to the bedroom, where her tuxedo-clad man awaits. Turns out, however, their anniversary was the following week. "I shaved my back hair for you," he utters in dismay.
That line, Buckley says, was im provised during the four-day shoot, which took place in New York and a New Jersey suburb in early July. The actor playing the husband had not auditioned well, but he was reconsidered after reading with the wife. "He started flirting with her," says Buckley. "We needed that chemistry."
The two were among 500 actors who auditioned for the campaign. "We wanted a very diverse cast," explains Bernath. "We wanted lots of representations of the Everyman."
In the third spot, "Poodle," the Everyman is a twentysomething wowed by an exotic beauty who kisses her poodle in an elevator. He then takes a shot of a pooch at a pet store, and the next time he sees her, he's wearing a poodle-emblazoned T-shirt. Her interest is piqued.
At hour 17 of an 18-hour day, Buck ley asked the actress, who had been air-kissing the dog, to lay a big smooch right on the canine. The dog licked the woman's lips in delight and Buckley had his footage. "The dog was tonguing the girl. It was the most shocking moment," says Buckley. The actor played off the scene with just the right expression. "The guy was like, 'Oh, my God, she's really kissing the dog. I could be there.' "