Multidisciplinary studio Golden LA captures the joy of momentous occasions with a series of spots for Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Created by Havas Chicago, director Ross Cooper brings his knack for pioneering visual techniques to craft the trio of dynamic ads.
Airing on May 6 on broadcast, the three new spots of “The Brighter Times” summer campaign – “Work,” “Wedding,” and “Birthday” – are infused with playful energy that encapsulates the brand’s signature lively, irreverent style. In each ad, humorous beats propel the action, as reality morphs into a happy gathering with the opening of a bottle or can.
Approaching the project holistically, the campaign draws upon the best aspects of what Golden LA and director Ross Cooper are known for. As Managing Director Matthew Marquis explains, “A director-driven creative brief such as this beautifully showcases Ross’s toolbox of tricks. His ability to articulate and creatively map out evolving Rube Goldberg-style visuals frame by frame leaves little up to serendipity.”
In “Wedding,” a reception is electrified with a disco dance floor and upgraded, smile-inducing outfits. In “Birthday,” a six-pack of Mike’s acts as the catalyst between two patio parties, uniting attendees across balconies to create one grandiose get-together. Mike’s transforms the ordinary yet again with “Work,” in which an individual’s office is turned into a bright soirée in honor of their “workiversary.” Each spot also features three custom mixes of the New Julius song “Bubbly” from Brooklyn-based music house Low Profile.
The three spots were shot in the span of four days. With the creative heavy lifting done up front, Ross was able to capture the majority of sequences and transitions in-camera, with assist by all-star DP Fredrik Jacobi. Emphasis was placed on the production design and large-scale set builds to achieve many of the CG-looking effects practically, including the drawbridge-style conjoining of the balconies.
Back in LA, Post Producer Kevin Gallagher oversaw the project through editorial, VFX, and color. Led by VFX Super Travis Button, the team utilized CG to emphasize the bright, happy worlds Ross and the crew had created on set. In “Wedding,” the dance floor animates and lifts off into the heavens; while the matte-painted skyline complete with fireworks adds to the celebration of a workiversary soirée.
With a striking palette that amplifies the visual, the color treatment by Luis Silva gives the footage a heightened sense of reality. Lastly, Ross’s planning laid the groundwork for a seamless editorial experience, with impeccable pacing by editor Volkert Besseling. Overall, the greatest challenge was distilling the footage to the very best hijinks to include within the 30-second format, resulting in three distinct spots that capture the feel-good style of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, while giving reality a funny twist.