The Ruffles Feeding Frenzy
Back in November, I got a call from a friend at local wünder agency Juniper Park, asking if I’d be interested in a job that was a) a pure Facebook ad campaign, b) was for a US client that hadn’t advertised in many years, and c) was based on feeding live Piranha. I pretty much fell out of my chair as I was briefed on a very ambitious, and extremely funny campaign that would involve us feeding various types of meat, inspired from new Ruffles potato chip flavours, to a tank full of hungry Piranha.
The concept was to capture a school of six Piranha, living in a tank that looked like a dude’s bachelor pad. During their time in the tank, we would feed them, once a day, either a chicken wing or some beef and cheese. These meals were inspired by two new flavours that Ruffles is launching in the US (Molten Hot Wings and Chili & Cheese, yum), and would be the tie-in to a corresponding campaign where they were giving away 100,000 free bags of chips.
Things kicked-off for me with some prop buying and set building, as the budget would not allow for a set builder. I quickly became acquainted with the Little Doll House Co., a Toronto institution in the doll house world. Thanks to their extensive collection of all things small and perfectly scaled to our needs, I was able to furnish a tiny little dudes bachelor pad in a few hours.
Once we had the set organized and approved (we cut out all alcohol, brands, etc.), I had to take on the arduous task of water sealing the set. The greatest task was to find an epoxy that would not only seal and secure the set completely, but also be non-toxic as to not kill our Piranha. With several trips around town, I finally found our epoxy, and I got to work on sealing the entire set.
Once the set was ready, our fish arrived (18 in total, divided into three tanks), and we got shooting underway. We used Kino Flo lights as they’re lightweight, easy to use, and wouldn’t bake the fish. We ended up using two RED’s as our main camera systems, a few Canon 5D Mark II and 7D systems for B-roll, as well as a GoPro Hero HD for our underwater shots.
After 5 incredible days of shooting, which featured a lot of late nights, multiple runs to our local butcher, and a new appreciation for the Red Bellied Piranha, we headed over to Relish Editing for a 14 hour editing session, where we cut 7 unique feeding frenzies for the Ruffles Facebook page. For the full effect (we had 4 tank cameras that you can flip through), log into your Facebook page, and get the Feeding Frenzy app on the Ruffles page. For the uninitiated, here’s a screen grab of the page:
Also, all seven Feeding Frenzies can be viewed via YouTube:
Feeding Frenzy No. 01
Feeding Frenzy No. 02
Feeding Frenzy No. 03
Feeding Frenzy No. 04
Feeding Frenzy No. 05
Feeding Frenzy No. 06
Feeding Frenzy No. 07
And if that wasn’t enough, here’s a loop of our guys in the Bachelor Pad (in 1080p, no less):
The campaign has been a great success thus far. The Facebook page was the fastest growing Facebook page in the world during its launch, and the YouTube videos are gathering a lot of viewership. Not bad for a campaign produced, shot and edited within four weeks!
This was exactly the sort of campaign that I hoped to direct as I get started in the world of motion: small budget, passionate creative, long hours, lots of support, and an exceptional brain trust. Clients are looking more and more to invest in unique content (ie: stills & motion), for their Internet properties, and so working with a very creative group from Juniper Park, and a fully supportive studio backing me, it was a great project to get in under my belt.