Super Bowl XLI provided the ideal platform for two firsts: Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation (PVH) first TV media buy in twenty years, and the national commercial directing debut of Ben Orisich, HomeNYC creative director and senior Flame artist.
HomeNYC provided a full-service, design-driven approach to ‘A Man Walk’: Editor Mark Tyler cut the 30-second spot, collaborating with Orisich, who lent his talents as a Flame artist and designer, a well as director, to the commercial. Animation artist, Lawrence Calderon also brought his skills to the mix, making certain that all of the spot elements were in place, and all of the extensive rotoscoping was completed, as well as the end tag design.
The Super Bowl placement took advantage of a unique showcase that was untapped by PVH competition, positioning one of the world largest apparel and neckwear companies with its sports minded target audience. The spots kicked off PVH expansive, integrated 2007 branding campaign, which will include television, online and cinema spots, as well as print advertising.
Director Ben Orisich captured a day in the life of a modern businessman with a visual rollercoaster ride, which plays out in reverse, as the spot follows the young urbanite as his attire magically changes into the appropriate garb for every setting.
The spot opens with and attractive woman at the wheel of a sports car, dropping the man off at home after an evening out. The next scene follows him through the night out as he enjoys socializing with friends and a game of pool. As his day continues to rewind, we see him at the office, interacting with co-workers and meeting clients. The spot then transitions to his home, where he begins his day selecting a Van Heusen shirt from a well-stocked walk-in closet and relaxing in his modern loft, enjoying his morning cup of coffee. The final scene finds him still asleep in bed, just before he begins his hectic day.
Orisich shot interiors for ‘A Man Walk’ on 35mm in a dramatic SOHO residential loft and the contemporary corporate offices of V2, as well as at the Alvin Ailey Dance Studio. Nearby Crosby and Howard Streets provided exterior locations.
PVH Marketing Group senior vice president of marketing, Mike Kelly, was creative director and one of the copywriters for the commercial. Kelly got Orisich involved early on in the creative process to collaborate on establishing the direction of the spot. Kelly had previously worked with Orisich on cinema and television spots for IZOD, as well as corporate tie-ins in 2005 and 2006, which presented the senior Flame artist/creative director with his first opportunities to sit in the director chair.
After the three- day shoot, it was left to HomeNYC cutter, Mark Tyler, to devise an innovative solution to the commercial editing challenges.
Tyler cut took on global proportions between Christmas and New Year. PVH Mike Kelly was in Sweden during the holiday, Orisich was visiting family in Atlanta and Tyler was vacationing in Mexico. Armed with his laptop and the latest version of Apple Final Cut Pro HD, Tyler found a shady spot to edit the commercial.
Back in HomeNYC Flame Suite, Ben Orisich finessed each frame, element by element. A lot of the Flame work was subtle. There were three or four scenes where clothes transitioned into different attire ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® and he was able to CGI, composite and image control, isolate visual elements and color correct, and sometimes change the background environment. Every scene required rotoscoping and detailed color correction, which was all part of creating the design and effects.
Instead of going through the time-consuming process of creating a separate light source for the talent during the shoot, Orisich opted to deal with it in postproduction, where rotoscoping, and detailed color correction gave him total control.
‘Because I was coming from the perspective of a Flame artist, I knew exactly what I could accomplish in post,’ says Orisich. ‘Knowing what elements could be manipulated, changed and tweaked in my Flame suite gave me, as a director, the confidence to go for a broader range of interesting shots without slowing down to adjust things that I could control and change later.’
‘Lighting for the subtle color distinction of a fashion spot is very important and time consuming,’ adds Orisich. ‘The shoot is about finding a balance and getting the beautiful shot ?‚àö√ë‚àö¬® but it a real plus when I know that I still have the flexibility to alter the spot later.’
HomeNYC editor, Mark Tyler, collaborated closely with Orisich on the spot. Tyler noted, ‘Since the action plays out in reverse, keeping the visuals fluid and seamless was a major editorial challenge, We experimented with editing a scene and then playing it backwards, but it just didn’st time out, so we opted to cut the spot in reverse sequence. It was a time-intensive process, but it allow us to achieve just what we were wanted.’
For the last two decades, PVH has branded their labels with a series of high-end print campaigns. ‘Print gives a client total control over the final aesthetic of their ad, and in the fashion industry that critical,’ Orisich points out. ‘I think my approach to the commercial production process — and the fact that I dedicate a lot of time to intensive manipulation and tweaking in Flame — presented PVH with the opportunity to maintain the same comfort level and control in their TV spots as they have when working in print.’
‘I’sm very fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Mike Kelly, a client who thinks on his feet and has the confidence to go with the flow of guerrilla-style production so we can take advantage of every creative opportunity that presents itself,’ says Orisich.
‘Mike understands that bringing more than one talent to the mix really raises the creative bar on a project,’ he continues. ‘He was able to anticipate what we’sd need and streamline the production so there was time to take advantage of the kind of unplanned opportunities that presented themselves. It really allowed us to take the creative concept in unexpected and exciting directions.’
A member of a panel of marketing gurus assembled by Inc. Magazine to critique this year crop of Super Bowl spots, said, ‘Kind of a dark-horse pick, but from a pure brand perspective, the Van Heusen spot was exceptional. They took advantage of the incredibly large and diverse audience and made a brand that is not typically categorized as upscale’s and, in my opinion, made it that way. Very well-cast, very well-shot. The product line was effectively integrated into great creative, and it shined.’
Last year Tyler and Orisich also teamed up to provide editorial, production, design and finishing services for the second Super Bowl spot, ‘In The Snow,’ for IZOD PerformX sportswear line. Shot by Orisich in Iceland and the Bahamas, it delivers an energetic, high-impact message intended to exemplify the adventurous and fun-seeking traits of core customers. The spot, which premiered during the holiday season, features men and women active sportswear and highlights a new mark for the brand being introduced on products this season. Menswear is seen on actor Tyler Denk, winner of this year ‘Amazing Race’ series.
CLIENT/PRODUCT: Phillips-Van Heusen “A Man’s Walk;” 1x: 30; debuted on Super Bowl;
AD AGENCY: PVH Marketing Group/NY
CREATIVE DIRECTOR, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING: Mike Kelly
PRODUCER: Joan Walsh
COPYWRITERS: Mike Kelly, Barrett Esposito
PRODUCTION COMPANY: HomeNYC
DIRECTOR: Ben Orisich, DP: Pete Konczal
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Martin Malanoski
LINE PRODUCER: Joel Lilje
EDITORIAL & EFX COMPANY: HomeNYC
EDITOR: Mark Tyler
PRODUCER: Zdenka Glavan
ANIMATION/VISUAL FX COMPANY: HomeNYC
EFX ARTIST: Ben Orisich
ANIMATION ARTIST: Lawrence Calderon
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Martin Malanoski
TRANSFER COMPANY: Post Logic/NY
COLORIST: Eric Alvarado
MUSIC & AUDIO POST: Yessian/NY
COMPOSER: Lloyd Landesman
SOUND DESIGNER: Jeff Dittenber
PRODUCER: Marlene Bartos
AUDIO ENGINEER: Dan Zank