The Science of Lotteria Commercials

Update, December 2013: My translation of an article from pages 108-9 of the July 2008 edition of IMAD (아이엠애드) magazine, which has since been discontinued. I’ve removed my original commentary (and readers’ comments), but am keeping the translation up in case someone finds it useful one day:

소비자의 추억을 자극하라 Stimulating Consumer’s Memories

롯데리아 아바카도 통새우버거 TV CF 제작 현장 The Making of the Lotteria Avocado Whole Shrimp Burger Television Commercial

어린 시절 누구나 가지고 있는 추억이 있다. 신나는 동요 소리에 달려나가면 골목  어귀에 서 있던 늠름한 만들. 100원 동전 하나로 리어카에 스프링으로 매달려 있는 말을 타고 멋지게 달렸던 기억.

Everybody has many memories from their childhood, and one many Koreans cherish is suddenly hearing a nursery rhyme playing in the alleyway outside, which meant they could run out excitedly and pay 100won to ride on a magnificent mechanical horse driven around the neighborhood.

웰빙 트렌드를 반영하면서 먹거리에서도 많은 변화가 일어나고 있다. 햄버거도 가공식품의 느낌이 아닌 원재료의 느낌을 그대로 살린 제품이 출시된다. 이번 TV CF도 그런 제품의 특징을 살리고 빠른 시간 내애 소비자의 인식 속에 롯데리아 아보카도 통새우버거를 자리잡도록 하는 것이 목표였다.

Reflecting the “Well-Being” trend, the food consumers eat is undergoing many changes. Hamburger makers too are trying to remove their product’s image of being unhealthy processed food, and to emphasize the taste of their original, healthy ingredients to consumers instead. Thus, the aim of this particular television commercial is both to grab viewers’ attentions within a short time and to convince them that this new burger is also a well-being food.

‘나는 새우’ 라는 동요를 듣고 카피라터가 찾아왔다. 몇 번을 반복해 듣던 중 머리에 스치는 건 어린 시절 동요를 들으며 타고 놀았던 리어카의 장난감 말이었다. “새우를 타보는 건 어떨까?” 이 한마디로 이지아가 새우를 타게 됐다. 제작에 들어가니 한두 군데 손이 가는 것이 아니었다. 우선 가장 큰일은 새우를 만드는 것이었다. 기본 디자인은 회전목마의 모습에서 따오기로 했다. 여신의 모습으로 커다란 통새우를 타고 치마를 휘날리는 이지아의 모습에 팝송이나 클래식이 어울리지 않을까라고 생각하지만, 기획의도부터 언밸런스를 유도하여 처음 보는 소비자도 금방 기억할 수 있는 CF를 만드는 것이 목표였다.

The “Flying Shrimp” song was copyrighted for this commercial. While listening to it many times, the producer realized that it reminded him of the nursery rhymes played by the owners of mechanical horses that visited his neighborhood when he was a child, and so somebody suggested that in the commercial the model Lee Ji-ah should ride a shrimp similar to those. However, there were many to things to do to bring that concept from the drawing board to actual production, and ultimately the basic design of the shrimp used was more similar to a horse from a merry-go-round. In the commercial Lee Ji-ah represents a female goddess, her skirt fluttering in the breeze as she rides a shrimp of equally god-like proportions. The producer originally felt that classical music or a pop song would have been most appropriate for that image, but to capture consumers’ attention quickly he felt that an “unbalancing” nursery rhyme would be more effective.

촬영장소로 선택한 곳은 제주 함덕 해수욕장. 얕은 수심과 에메랄드 빛 바다로 유명한 이것은 CF촬용장소로 많이 찾는 곳이기도 하다. 전날 육지에서 배로 옮긴 통새우를 바닷가에 설치하고 촬영이 시작되었다. 밀물과 썰물의 차 때문에 바다에서의 촬영은 초를 다툴 만큼 어려웠다. 2D에서 나무를 합성해도 되지만 느낌을 최대한 살리기 위해 바다 중간에 모래로 섬을 만들고 나무도 심었다.

Hamdok Beach in Jeju was chosen as the shooting area, well-known amongst producers of commercial because of its shallow water and emerald-like glittering sea. Time was saved by taking the model of the shrimp was taken by boat from the shore and setting it up the day before shooting, but still, because of the difference between high tide and low tide the production crew was literally fighting against the clock on the day itself. This was not helped by having to make a small island out of sand in the background and planting two trees on it, because it was thought that real trees would give of a more lifelike and vivid atmosphere than the 2D ones called for in the original plan.

통새우의 이미지는 물론, 소비자가 CF를 봤을 때 먹고 싶게 만드는 것도 중요하다. 보통 시즐 촐용은 모델 촬영이 끝난 후 남는 시간에 졸린 눈을 비벼가며 야간에 찍는 것이 보통이다. 하지만 이번 CF에서 중요한 건 통새우와 아보카도를 알리는 것이기 때문에 우리는 시즐 촬영에 이틀의 시가늘 쏟아부었다. 최상의 컨디션과 신선한 재료로 최고로 먹음직스러워 보이는 화면을 찍기에는 이 시간도 짧게만 느껴졌다.

While the image of the shrimp was important, of course the main purpose of the commercial is simply to make people want to eat. Usually, in commercials of this nature the “sizzle” shot is quickly done at night after the main shooting with a model during the day, often when the commercial crew is very tired, but in this case it was felt that convincing consumers of the healthiness of the new avocado and shrimp burger was so important that 2 entire days were spent on it. Because all ingredients had to be shot fresh and in the best condition, those two days also felt too short!

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