Jamaicans On A Mission - Toasting Wray

Sunday, July 15, 2012    

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We reckon like us you've not stopped applauding The Wray & Nephew ad created to coincide with Jamaica's celebration of 50 years of Independence. SO shares the creative process.

The Brief

The J Wray & Nephew Ltd marketing team, led by Gary Dixon and including Cecil Smith and Jared Samuels, briefed the Advertising & Marketing (Ja) Ltd (AdMark) Account Director Kimberly Chin-Shue that they wanted to produce communication specific to Jamaica 50 for Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum. The JWN team was clear that they didn't want a regular commercial but something iconic, one that would be remembered for years to come. Of even greater importance, it must clearly demonstrate how important Jamaica is to the brand.

The Creative Process

The AdMark creative team gathered over several days to develop the creative commercial that would not only captures the spirit of the brief, but also delivers a deeper, more meaningful message.

That message was that Jamaica is the greatest nation on Earth, even with its challenges. It is a truth that must be celebrated. The creative storyline was then developed:

Let us demonstrate that Wray & Nephew has been at the heart of every important celebration in Jamaica's history. We then sought to develop a technique that would allow us to capture this in a commercial using the filming processes and equipment available locally. We then sought to create the sound and realised that it needed to be a song associated with Festival.

AdMark felt that Tinga Stewart's No Weh No Betta Dan Yard was the perfect fit. The agency challenged musician Rupert Bent Jr to create an emotional version of the song and asked Stewart to do the vocals. Both acquiesced.


Production meetings were held between AdMark, the production companies Visual Graphics Ltd and Cine-Videoworks. The location search, wardrobe development, styling and talent search began.

Most of the talent used in the commercial are J Wray & Nephew Staff who attended a special casting. Jannine Richards-Lampert handled the location acquisition, while Anthony Slaney

helped to keep the entire production flow on track. Kevon Archer led the Art Department which was instrumental in creating credible scenes.

The shoot spanned three days. Additional supporting footage was acquired from the National Library of Jamaica and shot live at the Contender TV show finals.

Post Production Process

Every effort was made to restore the buildings used to resemble those of the 1962 period. While the general scenes were shot well with good art direction, the commercial had to live in post production for quite some time to get the best look, feel and finish.

The opening scene was shot using a digital cinema system by Hollywood cinematographer Mike McGowan who was the director of photography for the shoot.

The Advertising & Marketing (Ja) Ltd post- production team cropped out the telephone wires, reconstructed the walls in 3D, retouched the brow on the Ford Cortina,

as well as added colour grading and motion to the shot. The slow push-in added that sense of realism to the entire scene and set the stage for the commercial.

All scenes depicting 1962 were treated with the same colouring and distressed film style and shot in a particular manner that allowed the transition between 1962 and 2012 to be fluid.

Agency Comments

JJ Foote - We believe that overall we produced a very high standard of advertising for our clients. The Wray & Nephew commercial is extraordinary and we are very thankful that we had the opportunity to create it. Our team and supporting teams did a superb job all the way through. Everyone was excited to work on this project. We are proud of our relationship with J Wray & Nephew.

Kim Chin Shue - It's been a great experience being able to work with such an iconic brand and on such an incredible TV commercial. The commercial has captured something special and we are proud to be a part of it.

From the client

J Wray & Nephew Marketing Manager Gary Dixon - We wanted to create a Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum television commercial for the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's independence that would resonate with all Jamaicans and demonstrate how important Jamaica is to the brand and the feedback that we have been receiving has been overwhelming and is an indication that the commercial has really touched the hearts of the consumers.



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