For the advertising module my group and I created a thirty second moving picture to market Fry’s ‘Five Boys’ Chocolate. In doing so we established what we did correctly, and what we would change if we were to produce another advert. This document is an evaluation of my own performance within the group, the pre-production work, and the finished advert.
Our task was to make an advert for ANY chocolate bar, so we decided that it would be the most beneficial to choose a brand that had discontinued a certain bar years ago; so that there were no preconceived ideas about it. Fry’s ‘Five Boys’ Chocolate bars were discontinued in 1976 and they already had a marketing strategy, so this was an obvious choice to us.
Before we shot the advert we envisioned 4:3 aspect ratio and deep red colours with a de-saturated sepia overtone, to give the film a vintage feel. When I was editing the project I realised that using colour might actually detract from the continuity; the 4:3 aspect ratio with the film grain/silent film tiles gives off a 1920s look. I decided to re-cut it, de-saturating the colours completely, adding vignettes, sepia over-glow and a final shot of the chocolate bar (in the first cut it wasn’t obvious what product we were marketing). We decided that the second cut was more effective/coherent. I found that re-cutting the advert was the only way to really decide whether or not the first cut was working or not; which it wasn’t.
Our project lacked pre-production research massively. This is down to the fact that our idea was so simple. Within the first hour we had established exactly what product we were going to promote and how we’d do it. The filming of the advert took about ten minutes in total, so there isn’t a lot to reflect on. Perhaps we should’ve chosen a more in depth idea to film, which would give us more to plan, more to shoot, and more to edit. This would mean we could hit the essay targets more easily. Despite the fact that our project was so simple, I don’t regret making the decision to stick with the Fry’s project because it was our most creative explorative idea.
Our pre-production element of the project was in late and, albeit, slightly sparse – however this wasn’t helped by one group member leaving the course half way, so this left us with a bulk of work to complete between us, but nobody was obliged to do it. Had we given someone the role of producer, they could have dished out the work evenly and fairly; this was a group management issue, as everybody was too passive. I think my personal efforts were reasonably good when it came to writing paperwork and deciding upon the technical elements of the advert. I managed to get the work in punctually, and the edit ran as smoothly as it could have, taking about four hours in total (including the second edit).
We shot a practice cut of the advert two weeks before the official shoot. This helped us get an idea of what lens to use on the camera, find an ideal white balance, see what lighting set up to use. We used an 18-55mm zoom lens to shoot it. The wide angle nature helped us in the small space we were shooting in, and the high aperture wasn’t a problem, because we had access to lighting. Initially we planned to find a linen backdrop to go behind the subject, because the hessian fabric would give off a more vintage feel, especially the texture, when viewed in black and white. Unfortunately we didn’t have the budget, or the time to source this backdrop. I don’t think it was a major issue, as the background in the studio was the next best thing – however there’s an unsightly line above Alex’s head. I found the practice shoot very helpful for giving me an idea of the edit, as it’s a reasonably complicated edit. I learned that it would require colour adjustment, film grain (including lines, dust, flicker and hair), vignettes and sepia. This saved a lot of time when it came to the real thing. I chose the soundtrack and record player sound effects before we had shot the footage. For me the sound is the most important part of the advert, and we made the right decision.
I think this advert is fit for purpose, as it runs with Fry’s previously running theme. Fry’s Five Boys was running since 1886, so our advert fits into the timeline somewhere, and one could argue that it might be a relevant style in 2014, because trends are coming back around. The target audience for our advert is age 14+ because of the light-hearted nature. It’s easy to understand, and even as an older viewer it still has charm about it. The content is effective on younger people because the character in the advert is of a young age – which subconsciously makes him somehow relatable.
I believe that the technical qualities of this advert, the editing combined with the simplicity of the camerawork assist it in being a good marketing tool. Whilst our pre-production element lagged behind on this project, the group still pulled together to make as good an advert as possible, despite the issues within the group.