If you've seen the two surreal Old Spice spots our LA office worked on you might think things couldn't get any odder. Well, you'd be wrong. Working with our very good friends at Wieden + Kennedy Portland, our New York team was tasked with not just the visual effects involved in making hair play piano on its own, but also a fully embeddable interactive multi-browser site. Tom Kuntz and MJZ were once more upholding the grand tradition of brilliant Old Spice work.
We supervised the shoot, where we had a very talented pianist, wearing a green sleeve and a wig fixed to his hand, play 29 different Huey Lewis songs. We then had the huge task of not just removing the arm from over 10 minutes of footage, but also adding some CGI hair sections to increase believability.
Next was the build of the interactive site. It wasn't just the challenge of smooth segues between shot footage, but also creating something as versatile as YouTube in eight weeks. Fully embeddable, socially shareable, and with multi device and multi browser functionality. HTML video players do not have a particularly high level of control and are not designed to support the type of experience we really wanted, so we created multiple video players where we could toggle visibility to create seamless ‘cuts’ between the intro, loop, prompts, and songs. When one player is playing the loop, we would load a video into the other player and then swap when ready.
We had to find the right balance with manipulating the video clips themselves and the timing within the application. Creating a consistent experience across browsers is always a huge challenge, but this is particularly so with video. The challenge here was the HTML video player itself as it needed varying intrinsic properties on different browsers. Video on some browsers load and start instantaneously, while others have noticeable delays.
With all the different platforms, devices and video versions, we actually have over 500 separate video clips sat on Amazon Web Services which we select from based on what device you are viewing the content and where you are in the experience. We have a CMS to control how we retrieve these videos, but the sheer volume even made that an epic undertaking.
There is no hotter property in digital than Old Spice and we were incredibly proud to work on this, and deliver to a happy client.