BLK EYE Vodka is a new brand of vodka on the market that’s made from black-eyed peas. Yes, you read correctly. And apparently there isn’t a hint of the legume’s taste in this original hand-crafted spirit. It’s distilled in Ft. Worth, by Black Eyed Distilling Company, who have created an ultra-premium vodka sipping experience.
When they decided to produce a commercial for the brand to be used across their digital platforms, they enlisted 1820 Productions in DFW. AdChat DFW interviewed Korey Miller, Director with 1820 Productions, about the inspiration behind this sexy, speakeasy-inspired spot.
Check it out…
AdChat DFW: What did BKL EYE want to accomplish with the spot?
1820: BLK EYE VODKA wanted to gain more exposure for their product. It’s a burgeoning brand with a unique process. It’s the first Vodka distilled from black-eyed peas. Their goal was to introduce their unique libation to first time tasters and seasoned spirit enthusiasts.
AdChat DFW: Where will it be airing?
The agency decided on a digital approach, so you will see the ad on all social platforms…except Myspace, does that still exist? The idea behind this was to target Vodka admirers that don’t watch traditional TV. The agency has a smart organic approach for this campaign.
AdChat DFW: Did the client hire the agency and they hired you?
1820: This project came to 1820 Productions in an unusual way. I’m always inspired by imagery. I fell in love with the branding for BLK EYE VODKA after seeing a sleek display created by GCG Marketing for their print campaign. I came back to the office and said to the producers, “Please get me a meeting with the agency and creative director, I have to do something with this brand or else, I’ll die… right here on this dirty germ polished floor.” I really said that. Sara Madsen our producer looked at me reluctantly and said “Ok, but don’t you find it ironic that you don’t even drink.” My thought was that BLK EYE Vodka looked good enough to make me want to start!
AdChat DFW: Is this a new brand of Vodka and what makes it special?
1820: It’s a new brand and the fact that it’s distilled from black-eyed peas is what makes it whimsical. We were surprised at first taste (yes, I did actually taste it) – It’s smooth, delicious and it kind of leaves you speechless because it doesn’t even have the slightest taste of black-eyed peas.
AdChat DFW: How did 1820 come up with the creative concept of showing the distilling process to showing the pouring at the bar, to the pick-up/date scenario?
1820: The concept was created by a collaboration between myself and GCG Marketing. The creatives at GCG are fantastic to work with; They had some ideas and I had some ideas but the trust and teamwork that took place between us was really energizing. I think that happened because they experienced my passion and they trusted that I had a really strong vision for the story. GCG was clear on their must haves for the piece, but after that they left me with the canvas to paint. The client wanted to make sure that the BLK EYE VODKA neon sign was in the piece, so I carefully choreographed a crane shot to subtly reveal the brand. Really fun stuff!
AdChat DFW: Who shot it, who directed it and who edited it?
1820: The DP for this shoot was Jake Wilganowski and I directed the spot. Every time Jake and I work together, we act like two long lost friends on the playground. I’m big on cooperatively creating because great ideas are an amalgamation of a team’s ideas. In pre-production meetings we dream big, which is usually accompanied by words like: DUDE, SICK! HECK YEAH, WE CAN get that! Sara and Katelyn, the producers, always remind us “We don’t have budget for that,” but Sara really earns her nickname Dream-maker because she ALWAYS delivers and somehow manages to get us the tools, locations and crew we need. Cesar Cedillo edited and did the VFX for the spot. There are actually 8 visual effects in the ad, although you may not notice them.
AdChat DFW: Why did you decide to shoot it in black and white?
1820: Black and white was the only way to go, the location is covered in a cacophony of colors that don’t necessarily match, however it reads perfectly in black and white. The agency wanted a slightly vintage feel, so it was a great marriage. I also decided on shooting a really wide scope, so a set of Orion anamorphic lenses did just the trick, it also helped to accentuate the speakeasy feel we were trying to obtain. The music really brought all of this together.
AdChat DFW: Tell us a fun story about the shoot or production process.
1820: 1820 Productions’ sets are always lively and echoing with laughter. We work hard and long hours, so it’s important for it to be fun. If you don’t like to laugh and you are not passionate about your craft, then you will absolutely hate working with our team. I love playing pranks on set. I get a kick out of secretly stealing things like the gaffer’s gloves or the art director’s tools and then urgently asking them to help with something right before rolling – It’s all in good fun and trust me the crew gives me my fair share too. Now that I think about it, it’s kind of cruel what I sometimes put them through…I probably deserve a BLK EYE.