Net#work BBDO and Gentlemen Films created a TVC for Virgin Money Insurance (VMI) with a mini musical that pokes fun at the serious side of making a claim.
VMI entered the SA market in October 2016 and the tune of its commercial is easy to get stuck in your head. The TVC was created as a musical with lyrics that satirically play around with the challenges the insured face each day in South Africa. A number of scenes and characters illustrate how insurance companies appear to see their customers from the perspective of the competition.
The TVC was shot in and around the city of Johannesburg from 13 to 15 August 2016. It was filmed using the Arri Amira Premium camera. Executive producer at Gentlemen Films, Vanessa La Trobe says the Arri Amira is beautiful. The musical feel was created using various lighting.
The musical track was composed and recorded specifically for the TVC. “Our lead cast members were then brought into the studio to record their singing lines. The leads and the rest of the cast then rehearsed the dancing and singing sequences to the recorded track,” explains La Trobe. They shot to playback and no live sound was recorded on set.
In the opening scene there is a car accident on a busy corner and the driver sings: “What a lovely day for you to hit my car; this is going to cost me quite a lot; even though it’s not my fault; Oh, I love insurance.” The TVC continues through myriad examples with this song and dance and chorus amusingly portrayed with awkward scenes of disappointing scenarios people have experienced when making claims. In one scene there is a family dancing in a house that’s been flooded and the father sings: “I love that my insurance won’t help me tonight; we found a hidden clause; give a round of applause; we love insurance.”
The irony is not lost in this refreshing musical and one can only hope that this leads to insurers seeing clients in a different light. The TVC has lines in each scene highlighting an aspect of the insurance industry that people do not relish or require. All the while sung anxiously by people in everyday situations, only marginally exaggerated by a flame on the head of a woman because her hair is on fire.
The offline edit was done by LEFT Post and the grade by Upstairs Ludus Post. Nic Apostoli performed a remote grade from their grading suite in Cape Town to their grading suite in Johannesburg with a live feed between them.
Nicholas Young, senior online artist at Upstairs Ludus was the lead online operator on this commercial with Gavin Hong and Schalk van Der Merwe as second and third online artists. “It was an online-heavy project and we needed all hands on deck to make this beautiful and to meet the deadline,” says executive producer at Upstairs Ludus, Joe Erasmus.
“The VMI commercial was such a fun concept with some great compositing and effects work thrown in, which is always so good to work on,” says Young. “Creating the environments was an enjoyable challenge. We did some enhancement to really create the world. All the skies were re-generated and replaced to create a storybook look with the clouds. This look was further enhanced with perfectly manicured topiary which isn’t easy to find and shoot; but really added to the humour and feel of the whole commercial,” explains Young.
“The animation done by Rob van den Bragt in the fire scene and the opening scene really adds another great layer. It was such a great team to work with across the board and in the end we put out a fun and unique product,” says Young.
Close attention to detail is paid throughout this canny TVC. Whether VMI actually changes the game in the insurance industry is not in the hands of the experts who finely crafted its commercial.
Key companies and crew:
- Director: Greg Rom
- Executive Creative Director: Brad Reilly
- Art Director: Heidi Kasselman
- Senior Copywriter: Shane Durrant
- Executive Producer: Vanessa La Trobe
- Line Producer: Stuart Pittorino
- DOP: Willie Nel
- Off-line Editor: Evy Katz at Left Post
- Animation: Chocolate Tribe
- Online: Upstairs Ludus Post
- Choreographer: Debbie Rakusin
- Music Director: Marc Algranti
- Sound Engineer: Louis Enslin