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An Ad Defying the Laws of Gravity

January 3, 2022

"In Quebec, we rarely see ads that are both visually and technically ambitious. You need teams and an organization that want to get out of their comfort zone," enthuses world-renowned director Ivan Grbovic.

Grbovic recently led filming sessions involving 60 people, including artists from Quebec's The 7 Fingers circus collective. The goal: To produce a bold advertisement that would capture the attention of young people ages 15 to 30. Centred around the idea of bouncing back, this piece reminds us that Desjardins is there to support young people as they face challenges at school.

Take a look behind the scenes and see some of the technical challenges and feats that took place while building this one-of-a-kind classroom, including securing desks to a wall at 90° and 10 m high, holding actors with harnesses, and having an artist jump on a painting that turns into a trampoline.

Description

Bounce back stronger with Desjardins: the making of

1:49

Take a look behind the scenes and see some of the technical challenges and feats that took place while building this one-of-a-kind classroom, the "Bounce back stronger with Desjardins" making of.

Transcript

Bounce back stronger with Desjardins: the making of

[Note: This video takes a behind-the-scenes look at a Desjardins campaign on the theme of bouncing back at school. The information in brackets describes the audio and visual content of the video that is not dialogue or narration.]

[Upbeat music]

[On-screen action: Three students sit at desks in a classroom. The camera rotates 90 degrees, and a fourth student comes in through the open door and walks across the chalkboard. Two of the students react with surprise.]

[On-screen text: TO GIVE STUDENTS A RENEWED SENSE OF OPTIMISM,

DESJARDINS AND BBR CREATED AN AD ON THE THEME OF BOUNCING BACK.]

[On-screen action: The student standing on the chalkboard starts jumping and bouncing around in front of his classmates, as if he were on a trampoline.]

[On-screen text: TAKE A PEEK BEHIND THE SCENES AT THIS UPLIFTING PROJECT]

[On-screen action: He walks across the chalkboard and lifts his gaze to look at his classmates, who appear to have their head in the clouds.]

[On-screen text: STEP 1

FINDING THE BIG IDEA]

[On-screen action: We see a rough diagram of a classroom, rotated 90 degrees, so that the chalkboard is on the ground. The sketch of a person stands on the chalkboard. Desks are aligned in rows along the height of the classroom, and a camera is located at the back, at the very top of the diagram. The sketch of the person standing on the chalkboard starts bouncing and doing flips in the air, and the diagram rotates 90 degrees so that it looks as though the desks are on the ground.]

[On-screen text: STEP 2

FINDING THE TOP TALENT]

[On-screen action: A person stands in a room, facing the camera.]

[On-screen text: LOCATION: THE 7 FINGERS, MONTREAL

COMPANY: LES PRODUCTIONS HAUT VOL]

[On-screen action: A person jumps on a trampoline, doing flips.]

[On-screen text: 5 METRES

6 METRES

7 METRES

8 METRES]

[On-screen action: Three acrobats stand on a trampoline, and one of them jumps up against a wall to a height of eight metres. Cut to a split screen of two women looking on and smiling in approval.]

[On-screen text: STEP 3

PREPPING THE SCENE]

[On-screen action: A crew member rolls a paint roller in a tray of green paint, then paints a board. Cut to another crew member using an electric drill, then to another one sanding the boards that will be used to make the desks. Cut to two crew members setting up the desks and chairs on the vertical wall. Cut to a time-lapse of the crew building the set, including placing a green trampoline and green screen at ground level.]

[On-screen text: STEP 4

DEFYING THE LAWS OF GRAVITY]

[On-screen action: Various shots of the crew as they continue to build the set. Two women wearing safety harnesses are lifted and guided into place as they each take a seat at their desks high above the ground.]

[On-screen text: STEP 5

SHOWTIME!]

[On-screen action: The acrobat/student steps onto the chalkboard. We see him looking up through the screen of the director’s camera.]

[On-screen text: IVAN GRBOVIC

DIRECTOR]

[On-screen action: Cut to the crew standing behind the screen, discussing the shoot. Cut to the acrobat/student jumping on the trampoline and doing flips in front of his classmates. Two acrobats dressed completely in green stand on either side of the trampoline, helping the acrobat/student bounce back and higher.]

[On-screen text: STEP 6

TIME FOR SPECIAL EFFECTS]

[On-screen action: The acrobat/student continues to jump on the trampoline. The chalkboard changes into a checkerboard. One by one, the background images go from green screen to the final look of the video. The acrobat/student does one final bounce, grabs onto a desk and takes a seat. The screen swipes and we see the student sitting at his desk in the final scene. He smiles and runs his hand through his hair.]

[On-screen text: STEP 7

THAT’S A WRAP!

(TIME TO CELEBRATE)]

[On-screen action: One of the green screen acrobats stands facing the camera. He makes a victory sign with both hands.]

[On-screen text: LAURENCE LEHMANN

SENIOR MARKETING ADVISOR

DESJARDINS]

[On-screen action: The Desjardins advisor bounces and jumps around on the trampoline. One of the green screen acrobats does a flip in front of the empty vertical classroom.]

[Music stops]

[On-screen logo: Desjardins logo]

[Desjardins jingle]

[End of text transcript]

But to the unknowing eye, this ad is just magic!

"It's important not to think about the technical aspect when you're shooting. Just like in a feature film, success depends on your ability to deliver the message without the technical challenges being visible on screen," says Ivan Grbovic. And he can certainly say mission accomplished!

Working as a team to capture the viewer's imagination

For a project like this to succeed, you need boldness, rigour, perseverance and, above all, next-level collaboration.

The initiative is a shining example of a solid relationship between the client, the director and the agency Bleublancrouge, who dreamed up the whole idea. "When you receive a script for an ad, it's already been worked on by the agency and their client for many months. My job is to ask the right questions so I can understand the concept better and fully embrace it to bring their vision to life," explains Ivan Grbovic.

The director insists that an ad must go beyond words and numbers to find visual metaphors that express ideas.

Together For Our Youth

This recent ad campaign is part of Together For Our Youth's outreach program, which provides resources under 4 pillars: education, employment and entrepreneurship, health and healthy lifestyles, and community involvement. This program provides $50 million a year to help thousands of young people fulfill their ambitions.