Into Thin Airtime

Ammirati Puris Lintas’ latest commercial in the Iridium campaign was as much a book report as a TV spot.
The 30-second ad, which broke last week, features a mountain climber stranded in a remote, icy locale. It was inspired in part by the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, which told of the 1996 climbing season on Mount Everest in which eight climbers died.
“It was required reading in the creative group,” said creative director Roger Bentley, who dragged his crew to Ruth Glacier on Mount McKinley in Alaska to film the spot and chose a local actor as its star.
“Exposure” shows a man trudging through a snow-laden mountain pass. Despite the isolated location, a phone rings.
A humorous sequence shows the man patting his bloated parka until he finds the phone, which he puts to his ice-crusted beard to take the call (shown here). The tagline, “Calling planet Earth,” remains.
Bentley said one of the client’s goals is to put emergency strongboxes containing Iridium phones in various isolated locations–including, perhaps, the summit of Mount Everest. –Sloane Luca