Step Into the Weird World of Sparkling Ice in the Brand’s First Major Campaign

New work from Wexley School For Girls

This sparkling beverage brand asks consumers to "Be Not Bland."

For a brand to break out in the beverage category these days, going head to head with competitors like Coca-Cola and Pepsi can be quite a challenge. For Sparkling Ice, a beverage brand without any major marketing campaigns under its belt, the best way to make a statement was to be bold and unexpected.

Since 2010 the brand has seen its sales grow by 6,000 percent, according to the Kevin Klock, president and CEO of the brand’s parent company, Talking Rain Beverage Co. “For the next level of growth we really needed to go from being something that a consumer picked up in the store to something that they had on their shopping list,” Klock said of the new campaign.

To find that next level, Sparkling Ice teamed up with Seattle-based agency Wexley School For Girls and comedy director Baker Smith to create the “Be Not Bland” campaign, which includes three spots that will air nationally. The idea was to capture average families doing normal things like eating dinner together but adding an unexpected twist.

For one spot in the campaign that meant shooting a family eating dinner upside down.

For the upside down spot, the team built a contraption that turned the family of four upside down, which of course came with all sorts of challenges. For instance, the actors could only be inverted for about a minute and a half to avoid having anyone lose consciousness. (Luckily, no one did.)

“This is a fun beverage; it’s not to be taken too seriously,” said Ian Cohen, co-founder and executive creative director at Wexley School For Girls. “It’s not this super serious topic, and nowadays, it might not be a bad thing for there to be some fun out there.”

The next spot that has rolled out echoes the first. It feature a family in typical situations, but with an odd twist. A teenager sneaking into the house after his curfew is greeted by unhappy parents and the family dog, but their scolding doesn’t have the same tone.

“The name [Sparkling Ice] isn’t really well known so we wanted to get the name out there,” Cohen said. “All the commercials are intended to have you hear their name and have some fun and to ‘Be Not Bland.'”

Outside of the three TV spots, the brand will also put out print and digital components for the “Be Not Bland” campaign as well as some on-the-ground efforts in stores including “scented displays.”

CREDITS

AGENCY: Wexley School For Girls
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR, CO-FOUNDER:Ian Cohen
CEO, CO-FOUNDER: Cal McAllister
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Matt Peterson
PARTNER, DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION: Gabe Hajiani
PROJECT MANAGEMENT SUPERVISOR: Dee Dee Jones
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Patrick Mullins
WRITER: Teddy Solberg
ART DIRECTOR: Evan Bross
SENIOR PRODUCER: Maddy Giordano
GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Jordan Karr
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Casey Casanova
ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR: Annie Richards
PROJECT MANAGER: Amy Lower
PARTNER, DIRECTOR OF PLANNING & STRATEGY: Christine Wise
ASSOCIATE PLANNING DIRECTOR: Cassidy Wilber
ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY DIRECTOR: Keir Moreano

CLIENT: Sparkling Ice
CEO: Kevin Klock
CMO: Brian Kuz
BRAND MARKETING DIRECTOR: Denise Jaeschke
SENIOR BRAND MANAGER: Tara Rahman
SENIOR ASSOCIATE BRAND MANAGER: Drew Simons

Production Co: Harvest Films
Director: Baker Smith
Executive Producer: Bonnie Goldfarb
Head of Production: Niko Whelan
Producer: Ron Mohrhoff
Production Supervisor: Brienna Price
Assistant Production Supervisor: Adam Richards
1st Assistant Director: Brad Stevenson
DP: Curtis Wehr
Gaffer:Albie Fitch
Key Grip: Sean Crowell
Production Designer: Charles Infante
Art Director: David King
Propmaster: Adam Jette
Set Decorator: Simona Ennas
Sound Mixer: Rob Newell
Costume Designer: Robert Behar
Key Makeup: Gunn Espergard

Editorial Co: Abound Media
Editor:Morgan Griswold
Animator: James Nielson

VFX & Color: Lightpress
Compositing & Effects: Shane Dillon
Color Grading: Jeff Tillotson

Audio Co: Pure Audio
Sound Designer/Mixer: Scott Weiss

Talent:
Happy Good Dance: Alexis Staropoli, Andre Hotchko, Rebecca Mansueto, Tony Elliot
Helium: Dejean Brown, Eli Baxter, Kaycee Campbell
Upside Down: Ethan Flower, Johnny Meyer, Kaila Kawasaki, Rebecca Lumianski