Smiling through the chills: actress braves winter swim in new Kia spot

  • Advertising
  • July 4, 2014
  • Damien Venuto
Smiling through the chills: actress braves winter swim in new Kia spot

In the new Kia Sportage spot by Work Communications, New Zealand's green landscape and pristine waters serve as a foil to office-based captivity and the screen-staring that often comes with it. And while driving to a desolate swimming beach and diving in seems like a liberating idea, it probably isn't quite as pleasurable as what it seems.

What the footage shot by TVNZ's Blacksand fails to tell the viewer is that the spot was shot at the onset of winter and that lead talent Sophie Baragwanath had to endure frigid swims during one day of shooting. 

"How do you shoot a new Sportage TV commercial all about the joys of escaping for a sneaky swim in the ocean at the onset of winter?" asks Lisa Blamires, a senior creative at Work Communications. "With tenacity, some bravery on the side of our swimmer, and a little trickery."

Blamires says the spot was shot in four locations over three days, and that Blacksand used some interesting techniques in order to achieve the end result.

"The stunning Awhitu Peninsula set the scene for aerial driving shots using the very clever Octo Chopper—a mini-drone version of the real thing—and a precision driver wearing a female wig," she says. "Day two involved the precise art of dripping hair in the office scene and some magical underwater swimming shots in the comfort and controlled environment of an indoor dive pool."

These artificial human comforts were abandoned on the third day, as the crew headed down to the beach to shoot the swimming shots.  

"Windy cold conditions at Long Bay saw all the eight-man crew in wet suits and our 'sneaky swimmer', Sophie, braving the water in a swim suit," says Blamires.

And despite the challenges posed by the frigid conditions, art director Marco Ermerins said that all the three days were  a lot of fun [presumably for everyone except Baragwanath] and praised  the fantastic 'can do' attitude of cast and crew.

“It’s not often you get to film underwater for a car commercial,” he said. 

Last year, Work Communications and Blacksand also collaborated on the TVC for the Kia Cerato, which Kia general manager Todd McDonald said was the first locally shot commercial for the car manufacturer. 

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