Albany cares


Advertising agency TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris in Johannesburg conceptualised this
charming new commercial for Tiger Brands’ Albany Bread. An emotive display of
the special bond between a mother and her child, the Albany “Small’ spot shows a
little boy taking special care in choosing the perfect bread for his mother and
unborn sibling to enjoy. After carefully prodding the different brands of bread to find
the perfect “sponginess’, the little boy settles on Albany with a smile.

Co-directors Laurence Hamburger and Michael MacGarry explain that the brief from
the agency stipulated that the client wanted to reinforce the history that the brand
has had with South Africa in LSM 5-7. “They wanted an ad to show the “care’ that
people take in choosing a premium brand at that level and that this care is mutual.
They were also very keen that the work was very authentic and had an emotional
quality that was genuine and memorable,’ says Hamburger.

The concept and script for the commercial came from the agency, with creative
directors George Low, Greig Watt and Jared Osmond, and CCO Peter Khoury at the
helm. Although the directors were allowed some creative freedom in their
execution, Hamburger says that there were some very clear narrative events –
such as the choosing of the bread over another by testing its “sponginess’, or the
giving of the sandwich to the mother – that were important to the client as
emotional touchstones that the narrative was built on.

“TBWA/Hunt/Lascaris in particular are very modern in the way they deal with the
making of TV ads,’ explains Hamburger. “They expect input and they expect a
vigorous and lengthy exchange on your ideas, which we like. They understand that
storytelling on film is a process, and they’re very good and clear in their

The message of the Albany “Small’ commercial is simply that the product is one
which is made with care, “and that there is a strong tradition of this that the market
understands,’ says Hamburger. To properly convey this message, Hamburger and
MacGarry wanted to create a look and feel that translates into something genuine
without talking down to the audience. “We wanted them to really see themselves in
the piece, both actually and emotionally and despite the inherent sweetness, we still
wanted it to have a coolness,’ he says. “We also think the market is getting tired of
this 35mm/85mm/135mm paint-by-numbers graphic framing that is all over our TV
now. The US TV series and the new dynamics of their film language have changed
the way local audiences “read’ images. We wanted the camera and the cuts to
reflect that influence and so contribute to that “realness’.’

The commercial was shot over three days in December 2014 in multiple locations in
Westbury, Johannesburg. Hamburger and MacGarry wanted the TVC to be fluid as
an image but also as a unit: “We spoke to DOP Jamie Ramsay…and spoke about if
we could avoid legs and dolly completely and do the whole shoot on his Ronin, even
the statics, and he was delighted.

“…the relief for us as directors is that now, instead of having the long waits and
frustration of communication with Steadicam, this system puts your DOP at the
helm again. We mounted a Red Dragon, with Zeiss Ultra Primes and some Master
Primes too.’

The Albany “Small’ commercial possesses an authenticity and universal emotional
quality that all South Africans can relate to, “despite the specificity of it,’ says
Hamburger. “It’s an ad for anyone from wherever you may come from. “Care’ isn’t
unique to us, but a little kid being sent to the spaza to buy the bread is, so it’s a
classic case of local makes global.’
– Chanelle Ellaya


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