Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Neverland Wrangles Lasso Artists, British Charm and Deadpan Humour for Foxy Bingo | LBBOnline

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Leading online bingo brand Foxy Bingo has unveiled the latest instalment of its ‘Get Your Fox On’ campaign, featuring a troupe of ponytailed lasso-dancing performers. 

The ‘Foxy Moedown’ ad, conceptualised by Neverland and directed by Noah Harris of Agile Films, brings the nostalgic charm of social clubs to life and taps into the UK’s country trend, delivering a thigh-slapping, line-dancing visual delight that’s sure to make you smile.

LBB writer Olivia Atkins spoke with Neverland’s joint ECD, Rich McGrann, about the meticulous wardrobe and casting decisions that bring the spot’s magic to life, all without a single line of dialogue.

LBB> What was the brief that Foxy Bingo approached you with?
Rich> The Foxy Bingo team wanted to take their creative to the next level and create something unexpected and attention grabbing. We launched our first work with them at the end of 2022, bringing the Foxy Bingo party to a hair salon to launch their new creative platform ‘Get your fox on’. The work was a huge shift for the brand, it was the first time running work without their long-standing mascot Mr. Fox… and it was a huge success.  

We followed that up with a series of other film, digital and OOH campaigns and some experiential activations, bringing the various campaigns to life in real life – even launching the world’s first Mullet Only Hair Salon in Newcastle. 

 

LBB> And what inspired the direction of this campaign?

Rich> Our work is about bringing the Foxy party to unexpected British spaces. We’ve brought it to a hair salon, a launderette and even a country stream – so it was about time to hold the party in a social club. 

In terms of the country twist, that’s a mega trend that has been building in the UK for the last couple of years but no brands have really got on board, so we wanted to put Foxy Bingo right at the heart of that.

LBB> Why did you decide to go with Noah Harris as director for this campaign? 

Rich> Noah’s a very collaborative director who enjoys working with a team. We’ve worked with him on the last few campaigns for Foxy Bingo, but we still went through the traditional pitch process. Noah’s treatment was strong enough to convince us that although the script was a departure from the style of his previous campaigns, he and Agile had the capability to shift the tone with deadpan humour and they could craft it to the next level.

LBB> I’d love to hear about some of your casting decisions. What was the process of finding and working with the featured Mexican lasso artist?

Rich> The idea of line dancing with lasso moustaches was so preposterous on paper that we felt it needed a cowboy-booted foot in reality. There’s no dialogue in the script, but we wanted to avoid comic actors and people who looked “funny”. The brief was to find the kind of people who may well practise line dancing in a social club in Bolton. They had to learn the dance in a weekend.

Hiring a professional Mexican lasso artist was a stroke of genius from Noah and Agile, and it informed so much of the spot, from the VFX to the pacing of the music. We soon realised that modern country would be 10bpm too fast for realistic twirling, so it even informed our choice of track.

  

LBB> VFX was used throughout the spot to make each dancer’s hair lasso look realistic, how much was added in post versus choreographed in reality? 

Rich> We love in-camera work, so if we’d found a genuine troupe of moustache and ponytail lasso line dancers who would come and perform for us, we’d have hired them on the spot, but sadly none were available. We used puppeteering for the less complicated moves and Untold did an amazing job on the far-too-complicated-for-a silly-idea stuff. We’re so happy with the result.

LBB> I’d love to hear about how you approached the set and costume design and about any references used to pull it together.

Rich> With authenticity in mind, we were all set to shoot in a working men’s club in Manchester. But at the very last minute we upped sticks to Stoke Newington having fallen in love with the height of the ceiling and the lovely panelling. Although Noah and his crew did a wonderful job on the lighting, much of it still comes from the venue.

The wardrobe again came from the working men’s club brief. We envisioned a group of enthusiastic amateurs practising for an event, so we sought a mixture of rodeo tassels and Stetson cowboy hats, mixed with trackie bottoms and trainers.

 

LBB> How long did the shoot take to film and was it a pretty smooth on-set experience? With the choreography and hair lassos, there looks like there were a lot of moving parts to keep an eye on.

Rich> There was a lot of prep, choreography and rehearsals that went on before shooting which meant we filmed the work in two days a couple of months back. Whilst we were filming the main campaign work, we also had teams shooting for social and OOH campaigns – so three shoots all running in parallel.

The clients, Agile Films and our teams worked as one unit before and during the shoot. Between us all, we were able to make sure that every detail across all of the work was pushed to the next level of craft. 

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