I'm not sure there's anyone who hates TV commercials more than I do.
I've experienced serious head trauma three times in my life, and all were caused by TV commercials. Yep, I'd hear or see something particularly stupid, stand up on the couch, and do a triple gainer into the coffee table.
More recently, I'm bugged by most of the Coors beer commercials, which, despite showing some attractive women and featuring the occasionally driving rock beat, always show face-painted morons screaming at the top of their lungs. Yeah, those are the guys I want to hang with.
Then there's the seemingly endless stream of loathsome advertising icons like that pasty-faced, no charisma Jared; the idiot Styrofoam-head Jack in the Box CEO; and the scumball "Doctor" Greg Cynamon.
I think there's also a special place in hell reserved for that "Zoom-Zoom" kid from the Mazda commercials.
Thank God for TiVo.
Of course, there's the rare TV commercial I actually like and admire. The ads for Apple's I-Pod or Shuffle are really slick, as are the series of ads for, believe it or not, Target. ESPN's commercials sometimes make me laugh, and I'm often mesmerized by Victoria's Secret commercials – not just for the incredible women, mind you, but also for the sexual energy they convey.
As much as I like those commercials, I'm hard pressed to think of one that I'd like to watch over and over again.
I think that's going to change on July 5th. That's when Biotest's first TV commercial airs nationally.
The commercial's for Fahrenheit, our phenomenal fat-loss product for women and it is . . . awesome.
Before I tell you about the commercial and how we did it, I want to head off some potential criticism from the "you guys sold out" choir that always shows up whenever we do something that might actually make us some significant money.
We do a lot of things outside T-Nation that we don't always talk about, but all of these things finance what we love; all of these things finance T-Nation. Einstein worked at a freakin' patent office during the day so he could work on his equations at night. Writers and artists from time immemorial have worked "day jobs" so they could practice their craft in the evening.
And that's kind of what some of this stuff is to us, our TV commercial included. Oh, we take it dead serious and we can't look at ourselves in the mirror unless we do it better than anybody else, but it gives us the capital to continue to run and improve the site and to do further research on supplements for athletes.
No bucks? No Buck Rogers.
So now that I've got that crap out of the way, let me tell you about the commercial we made. And excuse me if we pat ourselves on the back a few times during the telling, but we deserve it.
Tim and the creative crew at Lyon Studios (a special thanks to Curt Lyon, the creative director) came up with the concept: a beautiful woman, mysterious and provocative with the kind of body that's so good, so idealized, it's almost a comic book super heroine come to life. She exudes heat, both the temperature kind and the sexual kind. She's in a dark, gothic building and her semi-naked body glistens with Fahrenheit-induced sweat.
Every time she takes a step, the ground explodes in flames. She flings her sunglasses at the camera and they too explode in flames. Then, in her hand, is a bright orange capsule, a Fahrenheit capsule! She tosses it in the air and the camera captures the slow motion flight of the orange ember as it hits and ignites a giant, metal F.
Heat, baby, heat!
It was ambitious; definitely about 30 steps up from the average commercial, let alone the average commercial for women's fat-loss products, but we don't usually do anything unless it's at least a little bit challenging.
First, we had to find the girl.
Brian Moss, the new T-mag photographer, suggested a Serbian beauty named Jelena Djordjevic. We thought she was fantastic, but in order to make sure she was the absolute best choice, we conducted a casting call in Miami, Los Angeles, and New York.
After considering more than 200 beautiful models, we went back to our first choice – Jelena.
Meanwhile, Tim wrote the voice-over script and began producing the commercial. To capture the creative vision on film, Tim contracted Lyon Studios, which is a super talented, LA based film-production firm. They knew exactly how and where to shoot the look he wanted. The inside of The Los Angeles Theater fit the specs perfectly.
The Los Angeles Theater
I want to make it clear that we didn't just hand off this project to a film crew. We were involved in every step of production. As I mentioned before, Tim produced the commercial, which means he literally produced the commercial. He decided how to shoot the spot, what the music score should be, how Jelena should act, how she should walk, how she should project.
Tim, a student of film and visual arts in general (among a whole bunch of other things), wanted to show a dramatic contrast between the supersaturated skin tone of Jelena with the indigo-hue shadows of the theater background. He wanted many visual perspectives, transitions, and angles. Above all, he wanted sexual tension between Jelena and the camera – and Jelena and the bottle of Fahrenheit had to be one.
Craig Barker, the director/DP, nailed it, exactly as planned. It worked beautifully!
After the initial shooting was done, the T-Nation graphics department, comprised of Corey Blake, Rob Grishow, and Philippé Abel, along with Boyd LaCrosse, Rene Diamante, and Jeffrey Marsh, started on the special effects. Our graphics guys worked on the Fahrenheit bottle animations, while Rob Hart and Sharon Goldsmith worked on compositing the flames and the slo-mo capsule in flight.
Tim and the graphics department did the final film editing at T-Nation HQ. The project was then handed off to super-stud editor Marvin McNeil, who mastered the film, special effects, music, voice-over, and sound effects into the finished commercial.
We chose a British woman to do the voice-over (she sounds just like Elizabeth Hurley). And they hired a professional musician who had scored some music for Sting, among others, to collaborate on the musical score.
Oh, and before you get the idea that I didn't have anything to do with the making of this commercial, I need to let you know that I played a big part in picking out the style of panties she's wearing. So there.
Anyhow, the whole thing turned out fantastic and we're really excited about it, and now that our backs are calloused from all the pats we've given ourselves, we're going to show it to you (that's right, T-Nation is going to see it before anyone else in the country).
Are you ready? Are you ready to see what your T-Nation/Biotest boys can do when they flex their creative muscle?
Okay, stand by for some heat.