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Behind the scenes at the John Smith’s Grand National ad

You’ve eaten all your Easter eggs, forgotten to bring your umbrella to work (more than once) and spent far too long daydreaming about your summer holidays so there’s only one thing left for you to do til you know for definite that spring has sprung – watch the John Smith’s Grand National.

This year we’ve added another chapter to our ongoing work on John Smith’s sponsorship of the Grand National. Not to blow our own trumpet too much, but we’ve won over 6 industry awards for our work on the project in recent years and this year we wanted to make it even better so we’ve created a film bringing to life the famous John Smith’s ‘No Nonsense’ tone of voice in the world of horseracing.

The odds are that you’ve seen it already (in the unlikely case you haven’t, you can watch it above) but we thought you might like to see what happened behind the scenes on filming day.

We filmed at Sandown racecourse to benefit from the atmosphere of a real race day even though this did mean we got some funny looks from members of the public.

Our tic tac wannabe practices his moves before the crowds arrive. Using just a handful of extras we were able to make the race ground appear full when it came to the final cut.

Our CD Mark Tweddell was very proud to be at the first Aesop TV commercial shoot. He was there to oversee the shoot and to use his own northern ‘no nonsense’ attitude to make sure the brand’s tone of voice stayed on track.

Our tic tac man was professionally trained by a real bookie to make sure his hand actions were realistic. It clearly worked as a few unsuspecting punters even tried to place bets with him.

The end frame of the John Smith’s pint shot was actually filmed first by a separate. There were over 10 people involved in the filming of this shot including a specialist on hand to make sure the pint stayed looking its freshest.

It wasn’t all work of course. Our ECD Martin Grimer lost his lunch money on a horse he was told would walk it. Unfortunately he didn’t realise the person meant it literally.

A lot of time, thought and planning went into the production of the film and John Smith’s brand manager Karen Crowley paid testament to the team involved, saying she thought the shoot went “fantastically well”

There was a mere two weeks between filming day and the reveal of the ad online which we think is a massive achievement and a credit to the hard work of all those involved.
So there you have it, an insider’s glance into the making of the John Smith’s Tic Tac film – the highs, the lows and the downright absurd.

If you’re lucky enough to be attending the John Smith’s Grand National this weekend you won’t be able to miss our No Nonsense branding and if you’re watching on TV, keep an eye out and I’m sure you’ll spot a comic comment or two.

The Grand National will be shown this Saturday on BBC1 at 4.15pm.