CAMPAIGN CRAFT: CRAFT SECRETS - Creating the illusion of carving patterns from soap for Pears. Emma Hall discovers how BBH managed to construct models in a soap-like way

The translucent amber colour of Pears soap is its most distinctive characteristic, and the one which Bartle Bogle Hegarty singled out when asked to create the brand’s first advertising campaign for ten years. The first two press executions appeared last winter, featuring a tap and some pears, all apparently carved out of a bar of Pears soap. And last month, three more ads appeared, this time featuring a feather, drops of water and a diamond.

The translucent amber colour of Pears soap is its most distinctive

characteristic, and the one which Bartle Bogle Hegarty singled out when

asked to create the brand’s first advertising campaign for ten years.

The first two press executions appeared last winter, featuring a tap and

some pears, all apparently carved out of a bar of Pears soap. And last

month, three more ads appeared, this time featuring a feather, drops of

water and a diamond.



Graham Watson, a creative director at BBH, guessed from the start that

his team would not be able to create these images using real soap. For a

start, each bar of Pears takes two months to make, so to create slabs

big enough to carve shapes out of would have been enormously time

consuming.



’We did experiment with the soap to see what the texture should be

like,’ Watson says, ’but we decided on resin because it is a lot more

flexible.’



So the model-maker, Gavin Lindsey, who has worked with BBH on most of

its Boddingtons press campaigns, was called in for the job. He moulded

the basic shapes out of sculpting plasticine. He then made a cast of the

mould which was used to create a resin replica.



The moulds were quite large - the feather, for instance, is 18 inches

long - and the approval process for each mould was long-winded. Client,

agency and sculptor had to pour over a lot of pictorial references

before the photographer, Jonathan Lovekin, began work on the final

images for the campaign.



Each 3D resin shape was placed on a light box for the photo-shoot. To

create an authentic colour gradation, the resin used for the models was

the same tone as the lightest part of a bar of Pears. Patches of darker

colour were then added by placing acetate silhouettes over appropriate

parts of the models. Lighting also played a part in creating the right

translucent quality for the soap.



Lovekin explains: ’The feather was the hardest. It’s a flatter shape so

it was harder to get concentrated colour and depth.’ Lindsey agrees: ’We

looked at endless feathers. It was difficult to stop it looking like a

leaf.’



Finishing touches were added in post-production, perfecting the textures

and shadows to give the impression that the images have been carved from

a bar of soap.



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