The secret to testing with a celeb is simple. Make it believable. 

Celebrity endorsed adverts are a great opportunity for our team to show off their reality skills. After all, there’s no ‘nearly there’ when you’re testing with internationally recognisable faces.

Pet Food ads tend to be fairly straightforward. There’s your cute animal, the owner and a plate of meaty chunks. AMV BBDO’s subtle re-interpretation of the genre for Sheba called for a range of visualisation styles. Success relied on every pencil sketch, finished frame and photoreal animatic closely resembling the expensive Hollywood talent.

Storyboards helped us plot location, mood and most importantly, the mirroring of movements between Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria and her feline co-star. And with movement playing such a key role, we felt it vital both stars had a believable swagger.

“It’s not good enough to Photoshop a pap shot and hope for the best.”

A day at the green screen with a choreographer and Eva sized dancer helped capture a range of fluid dance moves for the animatic. Meanwhile back at HQ, Aaron busied himself creating a highly finished cat, slinking it’s way through a rather swanky 3D pad.


Now the thing about a celebrity endorsement is that the test audience really needs to recognise them. It’s not good enough to Photoshop on a pap shot and hope for the best, especially after all that time spent in a cold dance studio. Aaron researched hundreds of Eva’s press shots to match lighting, facial expression and even hairstyle to create a seamless fit.

With the first ad researching so well, there was no need to commission a second animatic for the follow up. Instead. AMV BBDO briefed us to create a handful of test frames featuring Mad Men’s Christine Hendricks. We opted for a quick pen and ink style, focusing our attentions on capturing Christine’s likeness. Dark polished wood, oak panelling and an Eames Recliner helped pinpoint both mood and interior to a specific Mad Men mid-century aesthetic.

Copyright: Three Blind Mice 2014

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