Craig Wagner recalls his experience filming a parrot playing seven notes of Rhapsody In Blue on a piano for a 1992 United Airlines ad like it happened yesterday.
‘We gave the trainer two-and-a-half weeks to rehearse,’ said the Leo Burnett producer. ‘I’d call down there to see how everything was, and she’d say, ‘He’s getting it. Some days are better than others.’ On top of that, the writer was telling me, ‘I want the parrot to hit the right notes. You might get away with a wrong note with most people, but someone who plays the piano is going to know.’ When it came time to film, he sort of did it. But after three hours of filming, he hit seven correct notes in a row that we could use.’
Wagner, who joined Burnett from CME-KHBB three years ago, said production has changed a lot because you ‘have to find ways of getting the most for your dollar.’
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)