you thought it was safe

While creating a new print ad for direct marketing company Aptimus, the folks at FCB Seattle gained new respect for their art director Larry Olsen.

The intrepid adman, they say, would stop at nothing to get a shot of a diver hand-feeding a huge shark.

There was no real danger … because there was no real shark (thanks to the wonders of digital imaging). But to get the shot of the swimmer, Olsen, a landlubber, took a crash course in snorkeling and then plunged into a 15-foot-deep pool for the shoot.

“Unfortunately, by the time Larry got in front of the camera, he was out of breath,” reports execu tive creative director Mary Knight. “Plus he kept floating up to the top before he could get a good look.”

Making matters worse, she said, the fish that the talent was holding fell apart, leaving an oily slime on the surface of the water. The pool had to be drained and refilled while the soggy Olsen cooled his heels.

Ironically, the idea of the ad is to show that the client takes the risks out of direct marketing.

An upcoming ad with a similar theme will shift to land, and feature an actual bull. No word if Olsen plans to become a matador overnight.