So, they got a brief and decided to add ye old "hey, lets put a little person in this ad" - but no, it's not at all what you'd think. Let me explain. I can't. I'll just say: Naked skating midgets! In fact the whole campaign consists of midgets in Eastpak bags. That's it right there.
from director Julian Pugsley
It’s not everyday that I get a brief as mad and ingenious as this: backpacks that transform into little people?Well, yes, of course. It makes perfect sense. The agency, Satisfaction, Brussels, were looking for a director to collaborate with in creating six stories, each with different characters representing color-specific Eastpak backpacks. As the scripts evolved, locations were discussed: India, South Africa and even Bulgaria. But Los Angeles made the most sense in terms of production and casting and besides, there aren’t too many Little People skateboarders in Bulgaria…willing to go naked, that is.
We found a costume-making company called Puppetown who rose to the challenge of creating numerous undersized backpacks for our pint-sized cast of characters. The stories dictated that the actors move freely in their costumes and, for the transformation from Little Person to bag (and vice-versa), as exact and smooth a possible. We were keen to do everything in camera and leave nothing to post, retaining a handmade aesthetic.
We now had to find our characters, and James at Typecasting Inc was briefed. We were intent on finding little people with the right amount of irony. We wanted our actors to play it straight, not broad or goofy knowing that the comedy is already in the scenario, the wardrobe, styling, production design and appearance of our characters. And like always, you hope for an element of luck whenever you begin your casting process and we certainly didn’t come up short (pun not intended).
With our cast complete, our seven select Aka warriors began work on their dance skills with more than a little help from our choreographers, Rich and Tone Talauega who had once worked with Michael Jackson. Now they were faced with a room of little people most of whom had little or no dance experience. But within two days they had been transformed into a menacing and demonic, synchronized troupe of chanting, screaming, and often burping, warriors. All dressed as Mexican wrestlers for good measure.