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Not all celebrity endorsements are created equal, as we discovered with Alexis Carrington Colby.

We’ve all been hangry (hunger = angry), allowing an empty stomach to precede an unwelcome personality transplant. Briefed by creative director Andrew Amadeo, AMV BBDO were keen to remind us that Snickers can help dodge a diva fit. And who better than a bejewelled and shoulder padded Alexis Carrington Colby (of Dynasty fame for you Junior planners) to play the part of Ultimate Diva.

The key to testing with a famous face is to make sure the audience recognises the celebrity. AMV’s concept for Snickers required a slightly different approach. Made famous by Joan Collins, the Alexis character is just that, a character. What’s important is we let the audience in on the joke.

This ever so camp treatment called for a bright, cartoon style. Visualising artist Bill experimented with different versions of Joan/Alexis before we hit on a caricature style, complete with ‘straight out of the 80s’ blow dry and frock.

‘What’s important is we let the audience in on the joke.’

The supporting cast were drawn separately, allowing our in-house team to animate them during the edit. We saved a little bit of time (and money) by treating existing location photography to ensure consistency.

Interestingly, 80s diva Stephanie Beecham was a late addition to the advert being written into the script after the first round of testing.

Getting the location, character interaction and overall tone right at the animatic stage can help ad concepts test positively. We always know that we’ve gotten it right when our animatic scenes are replicated in the finished product.

AMV pulled a blinder with this strategy, making Campaign’s Pick Of The Week and the Daily Mail. They also helped Snickers sell an additional 700 000 bars which is pretty impressive.

Copyright: Three Blind Mice 2014

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