Making Alaska in DeKalb, IL
We produced a long-form version of this spot for the NIU Foundation to help raise money for the university. The video became so popular around campus that when it came time to air a spot on ESPN during their bowl game, they asked us to cut down the long spot into this :30.
Tom, Dick & Harry Creative came up with a great concept for the NIU Foundation. It revolved around tying the traits of the school’s mascot, a husky – back to the traits that make students at NIU the best.
While we were handed great creative, we also had a big challenge: how to shoot a husky in its natural environment?
Easy! Hop on a plane to Alaska. Nope, not in budget.
OK, I got it! Buy stock footage of huskies in Alaska. Nope, need to use Mission, their official mascot.
In order to shoot the husky in a “real” environment, we were going to need to get creative. As with all creative problems, we start by breaking the desired visual effect (husky running through snow) into its core components. In this case it was:
This may seem super obvious, but a lot of folks get tripped up in thinking you need mountains, or it needs to be cold, etc.
Now we just needed to get creative on how to pull off our visual stunt. We needed a place big enough to get a husky up to full speed. The biggest place to do that on campus is a gym. Next, how do we make snow? With some quick research we not only found portable snow machines, we found instant snow pellets that create gallons of fake snow when you just add water (Industry secret: it’s the same stuff that absorbs wetness in diapers. Don’t worry, it was safe for dogs.).
Armed with our plan, we tested and tested before finally shooting during a half day inside NIU’s basketball stadium using high-speed cameras and artificial snow.
We showed the video at our signature gala with about 500 alumni and donors present. It sparked great applause, and everyone loved it. Guy Bauer did everything they promised. The exciting video reflects our university and community.
Let’s get those ideas out of your head and in front of your target audience!