STORY's Blair Hayes has directed a new spot for The Coleman Company and Doner Advertising that evokes memories of camping through "vintage" footage of people having fun in the great outdoors.
Introducing Coleman’s new Instant Tent, the spot, titled Not All Of It, builds on a series of earlier ads that were composed from home movies and old photographs submitted by campers. The new ad uses some of the same footage, but mixes in new footage, shot by Hayes, and cleverly designed to look like decades old Super 8 material. The new footage shows people setting up the Instant Tent and carousing around a campsite.
Hayes used hand-held Super 8 and 16mm cameras to shoot the camping scenes, and had the talent, which included a real family, improvise their performances. In some instances, he handed cameras to the talent and had them shoot themselves. Still, trying to replicate the look of amateur photography well enough to blend in with the real thing was no easy task.
“The viewer needs to believe that it is 100 percent authentic—that it was shot by a real person with a Super 8 camera 15 or 20 years ago,” Hayes says. “You can shoot with 8mm cameras, but if what you’re filming doesn’t feel real, it’s not going to work.”
Hayes adds that it was particularly challenging to show people setting up the tent in a natural way. “It had to be done in a way where it didn’t feel like a demonstration,” he notes. “You don’t want viewers to think they are being marketed to.”
Hayes believes that most people who view the spot will forget that the tent is a new product and will assume that the whole commercial is composed of found footage. “I defy anyone to guess which scenes are new material,” he states. “I’ve always prided myself on doing commercials that feel real and authentic. It’s a challenge, but it’s fun…it’s what I enjoy doing most.”