CAMPAIGN CRAFT: CRAFT SECRETS - How BBH helped Ian Wright appear with Martin Luther King. Archive film and plenty of period detail created the effect. Emma Hall reports

It took more than a quick phone-call to put Ian Wright together with Martin Luther King for the latest One-2-One commercial.

It took more than a quick phone-call to put Ian Wright together

with Martin Luther King for the latest One-2-One commercial.

As with all the ads in the mobile phone campaign, the producers relied

on some clever techniques to match the football star with his human

rights hero.

But before the visual trickery could be set up, a lot of hard graft was

called for. The search for film footage of the 60s consumed a huge

amount of time, and specific film of King was surprisingly difficult to

come by. The Image Bank searched 20 sources, many of them transatlantic,

as well as trawling through its own archive.

Staff at Bartle Bogle Hegarty sat through hours of film, alongside the

director, Chris Palmer at Gorgeous. King’s estate has a policy of only

allowing its footage to be used for educational purposes and is unused

to being approached by advertising agencies. Happily, the script was

acceptable, although the agency had to inform the estate of every


Two scenes - a bathroom and a riot - were chosen from the footage to be

recreated for the ad. Location experts found a hospital with acres of

ground and set up a period replica of the US - just outside Boreham


The team recreated a famous 60s civil rights demonstration when King

marched across Pettus Bridge into Selma, Alabama, with a mass of

followers behind him. The march, which turned into a riot, was re-shot

so Wright could be blended in with the action.

In the bathroom scene, Wright puts his face into a refreshing spout of

water. The camera pulls away to show archive footage of a small, grubby

water spout right next to a larger, pristine fountain.

Above the first is the sign ’coloreds’ while the other, cleaner version

is labelled ’whites’.

Wright also acted for a scene in a bus where a young black man jumps up

to give his seat to a white man who has just boarded.

All the 90s film was degraded at Smoke & Mirrors to make it look like

60s footage.

Although Wright’s original choice of hero was the athlete, Jesse Owens,

the footballer was happy to go with King and surprised the production

team with his knowledge of the man.

Amanda Jardella, the TV producer at BBH, said: ’Although the script was

not written by him, Wright’s interpretation is there and he gave us two

whole days on location as well as half a day in the studio at Elstree.’