The Alfa Romeo MiTo is a fun but powerful car from one of the world’s most desired brands. Alfa Romeo challenged us to come up with a completely unique way to promote the car. We’re still not sure if they expected a suggestion as crazy as what we came back with, but we are certain that they were happy with the results.
We aspired to try and do something that was simple to understand, difficult to accomplish and most importantly, fun to watch. One of our creative team had an idea of smashing the car into the logo of Alfa Romeo. As the car spins and skids around the logo, we would get to boast the high quality driving experience you get with the car.
“Why don’t we shoot it in slow motion?” someone else cried, “everything looks better in slow motion,” and all of the creatives nodded in agreement. It was still missing something though.
“If we’re going to shoot it in slow motion, then why not throw in some water? Water looks great in slow motion”.
And then it dawned on us. Why not make the logo out of water balloons? Thousands of water balloons being exploded in slow motion in the shape of the Alfa Romeo logo. Who wouldn’t want to watch that? And what better way to show off the car?
Alfa Romeo loved the concept too, everyone was on board. The only problem was, how do you make something like that come to life. Fortunately, at RD, we love challenges like this.
The first problem was to find the right location. After reviewing every race track in the country we settled upon the skid-pan at Rockingham. A skid-pan is a specially designed piece of tarmac that is used to assess the quality of a car’s tyres in response to water. The tarmac reacts to water in such a way that tyres will spin and slide across it.
We meticulously planned every frame and created detailed storyboards. Through this process we began to narrow down the shots we wanted, as well as started to get a better idea for precisely how many water balloons we would actually need.
The next problem was how to film it – we needed a crane and tracking vehicles as well as a lot of light (to pick up the sparkling water on the slow motion camera). The production involved over fifty people, including a team working three days and nights to actually build the logo out of water balloons.
Then we needed to find someone who would be able to do it – Terry Grant – the world famous stunt driver came to the rescue.
It was all coming together, but we still felt we needed an extra hook. So we decided to turn the whole thing into a game online. Creating a Facebook app, users could select a balloon and win a prize if their balloon did not get destroyed through the competition.
We called up the Guinness World Record association and asked if it would be a world record – they agreed it would be the most water balloons burst by a car and duly sent someone down to report on it
The piece generated millions of views globally and featured on Top Gear and many other car related fan sites.