Spec: Dannon Super Bowl Spot

Dannon Oikos, John Stamos, and Super Bowl XLVI

If you haven’t heard of Poptent.net, it’s an online “user-generated” advertising site that matches brands with filmmakers competing with each other for cash prizes. (a la doritos ads…)

Well, last fall, Poptent asked 25 filmmakers to direct in a private competition for Dannon’s new Oikos Greek Yogurt. The winning video would potentially screen at this year”s Super Bowl after a re-shoot so that John Stamos could star in it.

Dannon wanted to introduce their new greek yogurt in a way that would stand out among Super Bowl ads. Their motto was “Possibly the best yogurt in the world”, and the premise they wanted was a “taste adventure”.

I set out in this competition to make an animatic for a Super Bowl spot. I didn’t have John Stamos and I didn’t have a budget. I had my girlfriend, my equipment, a free yoga studio, and a couple CL posts for two actors. I wanted something to stand out and be memorable.

After going through a few ideas. (many of which ended up being similarly produced by other filmmakers in the competition) I decided on the idea of a fantasy world similar to Willy Wonka’s chocolate river… I knew John Stamos had broadway experience and I LOL’d at the idea that Stamos would be belting out a broadway-style song during the Super Bowl. So I set out to script a broadway-esque, Willy Wonk-ish taste adventure that would certainly stand out among other Super Bowl ads. While still carrying the action and insanity of “user-generated” ad.

This is the concept I wrote and directed, everything was shot on green screen and then layered over food footage I shot on a table-top green screen (some green foam papers in the toy section of HEB). Not a bad outcome for four days of work and one kid doing production and post. (yes, those actors never set foot in a grocery store OR a blueberry wonderland!)

I wrote the song feeling it would fit, but after shooting, it became obvious that I had tried to squeeze too much into a :30 spot. I feel this would have been more fun as a :60, but I should have just removed a verse…

Again, we didn’t win (does winning really matter in art?), I would still like to see John Stamos singing in something like this, it definitely would have been a memorable Super Bowl spot, even if it isn’t in line with the target audience. (but then again, Super Bowl isn’t in line with the target audience…)

Either way, it’s always a blast just grabbing the camera and putting together something creative…

Production Stills:

Special thanks to Amanda for help in finding the yoga studio, and Bettye Jo Shyrock for playing an awesome scooter/yogurt enthusiast.