Usain Bolt plays coaching to young sprinter in a commercial published Tuesday Feb 9, 2016.
The six-time Olympic champion sprinter acted in a one-minute spot for the South African telecommunications company Telkom.
In true Bolt style, even the filming of the TV commercial had to be done at high pace. The athlete’s preparations ahead of this year’s Olympic Games remain his primary focus, and filming had to be carefully structured around his punishing training schedule. Filming took place in Bolt’s home base of Kingston, Jamaica, and the team, led by Telkom’s agency DDB, was given just three hours to complete the shoot.
Bolt’s management worked closely with Telkom and DDB to ensure the developed concept would resonate with the superstar athlete. The storyline, which sees Bolt training and developing a young athlete, certainly achieved this.
Telkom used cinema-style technology to produce the advert – which features a toddler track star in training – while keeping a realistic look and feel. As children have proportionately bigger heads, feet, hands and knees compared to adults, fat suit technology was used to allow an adult athlete to be filmed in the sporting sequences. This allowed seamless filming while maintaining the correct proportions of a two-year-old boy. Similar state-of-the-art technology was used in The Avengers and Resident Evil movies. Computer-generated imagery was kept to a minimum and used mainly for wider scenes.
“Usain Bolt is one of the world’s most universally recognised superstars. When it comes to speed, he is the best of the best, and we are proud to associate our brand with such excellence. Our collaboration with Bolt has allowed us to tell an authentic and original story about our Boltspeed Fibre broadband,” said Telkom Chief Marketing Officer, Enzo Scarcella.
Bolt is the first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records. He is the reigning Olympic champion in these events and is the first man to win six gold medals in the sprints.
“A television commercial on this level would usually take up to four months to produce, with an entire week set aside for filming,” said Matthew Berge, Executive Creative Director at DDB. “We had to really trust our director, Robin Goode, and time our shoot to the second, with very little room for error.”
Info via olympics.nbcsports.com and techfinancials.co.za
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