A hardcore smartphone deserves a hardcore commercial. For Hisense South Africa, this is exactly what was required for the Infinity KO. This rugged device has the distinction of being a life-proof smartphone that is not afraid to roll with the punches when it comes to outdoor activities.
The task of producing Hisense South Africa’s first ever live action television commercial went to Cape Town-based Mercury Productions, with Adrian Lazarus helming the project as Producer and Director. Lazarus is also known as the MD of the Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South African Fashion Film Festival, but for Hisense’s purposes, he had to make the switch from catwalk to skate park.
Red Bull athletes approached
The idea for the commercial sounded simple enough — show how rugged and versatile the Hisense Infinity KO is by using top sportsmen and women — but would require some deft execution. Ryan Curling, Brand Manager at Hisense South Africa notes that it was here where Hisense’s association with Red Bull came in useful. Internationally the brands have a strong relationship, with Hisense involved in Infiniti Red Bull Racing, while locally Hisense sponsors events such as Red Bull X-Fighters and the Red Bull Beat Battle. It was only natural, therefore, that Red Bull athletes were approached.
Three local Red Bull stars were selected, including professional skater Gavin Moses Adams, BMX street rider Murray Loubser, and innovative breakdancer (B-boy) Vouks Nojokes. Tanika Hoffman, three times South African Champion surfer also signed up for the project.
With both the idea and the talent in the bag, the Mercury Productions team went to work on conceptualising the treatment. They planned for two weeks and the commercial was then shot across two days in different locations in Cape Town. The idea was to show each athlete in their element, so the commercial races through a dusty BMX track, a concrete skate park, the surf of the cold Atlantic, and a specially constructed breakdancing stage.
Infinity KO shows its stuff
“It was challenging shooting the water sequence and the night shots as we were on a tight timeline,” notes Lazarus. However, he is quick to credit the team who assisted in making the production as seamless as possible, including director of photography, Stephan Hambsch, top stylist Tegolin Markham, and digital assistant, Christo Oberholster.
Not only was Mercury Productions tested thoroughly, the Hisense Infinity KO smartphones showed their true mettle during shooting. With the opening shot on the BMX track an Infinity KO was dropped while ramping, and another unit was actually lost while shooting in the surf, only to be found later in the sand. In both cases the Infinity KO smartphones performed as expected, with no damage to the units and still working perfectly.
As co-stars of the show, the Red Bull team certainly played their part too. “These guys are very professional and super talented, really top of their fields. Also full of great ideas and loads of energy!” enthuses Lazarus.
And a deadline waiting
As with most productions, there was, however, a deadline looming. The Mercury Productions team had ten days to get the commercial done and dusted for the Hisense Infinity KO launch that took place at the end of February in Johannesburg.
This was achieved without major headaches, and on the final product, Hisense’s Curling could not be happier. “With our positioning of the Infinity KO as an extreme, life-proof smartphone, the commercial gets it spot-on. It shows the Infinity KO being put through its paces in all conditions – land, sea and even in the air on the BMX track,” says Curling.
In fact, the advertisement has been so well received inside the company, that Hisense International expressed their interest in using the commercial on a global scale.
The 30-second Hisense Infinity KO television commercial debuted on 7 March, with the campaign running until the end of April on SABC 1-3, e.tv, and SuperSport.
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