From research to…. really, really ridiculously good looking?

5/2/2015   By: Hanson Lok

In the world of insights, we don’t often see creative in the trenches. Insights tend to operate at 30,000 feet. Once we have done our investigation, thought and strategy work we step away from the creative process. Ad, brand and digital agencies take over.

That’s why when my family was approached by BrandFX to be the “talent” for a BlueShore Financial campaign, I knew it would be an enlightening experience. The opportunity arose after some creative testing Lux completed, taking early BrandFX work to consumers to see how they could continue building on BlueShore’s momentum. The credit union completed a successful rebrand in Fall 2013 and was nominated for BCAMA Marketer of the Year.

But wait. Don’t only really, really, ridiculously good-looking people model for ads? Why did we get picked?

  1.  In the research, a few images tested very positively. One was a stock image of a professional, West Coast-looking Asian man holding his happy baby up while on a hike of some sort
  2.  I happen to be a professional, West Coast Asian man with a bouncy 6-month old.
  3. Pat and Tim Kelly at BrandFX will occasionally work with non-professionals who fit their partner brands to really push through on authenticity.

A quick email got our interest and a short while later, my family was signed up for a photo shoot on a crisp, beautiful January morning. On the day, after a morning of trading texts to confirm time, location and musings about the weather/lighting, we were on site and posing for the camera on the seawall in Stanley Park.

A few things I learned about photo shoots:

  1. It’s all about preparation. Everything says something about your brand.
  2. It’s not glamourous. There is a lot of standing. And waiting. In the cold.
  3. The elements (and babies) don’t always cooperate.
  4. Holding a baby up for a long time gets really tiring.

It’s all about the planning and details. Images say everything about your brand. The “talent” must be in line: what they wear, who they are, where they are and what they are doing.  Our shoes, jackets, hair, location, time of day and posture all said something about BlueShore and BrandFX meticulously crafted each component.  Everything had to be pre-approved, but almost all of what we wore/used was something we had at home (BrandFX had to buy three pieces of baby clothing that complemented mom and dad without being overly “matchy”). After that, we just had to be ourselves. Play with baby, go for a nice walk on the seawall, look at each other and have a conversation.

In the end, I think the results are pretty amazing (and true to who we are and BlueShore’s brand).

Turns out ad shoots don’t always involve a bunch of professional models running around looking good. Sometimes, your average couple with a baby living in North Van fits the bill.