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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - In it's quest to build upon the Jeep brand image, Southfield, Mich.-based agency Bozell Worldwide, now known as FCB Worldwide, found a solution - quite literally - in a divine power.
"Hand," a :60 for the Jeep Wrangler, directed by Andrew Douglas of bicoastal/international Satellite, reinforces Jeep's status as the original pioneer in the now-crowded four-wheel sports utility vehicle (SUV) market. The "hand" in question clearly belongs to a higher authority and, although the spot is open to interpretations, the agency's explanation is that when nature was created, Jeep was there.
The ad opens with an avalanche. Winds gust violently as rocks and boulders fly. We see a massive hand-representing the Creator-sweeping across the ground. The hand scoops together a group of rocks as the fury of the storm begins to subside. Fade to the next day, which has dawned bright and sunny, and we see a mountain rock formation and a panoramic desert.
The next sequence has the giant hands upturned as pouring rain streams through them. Fade to another shot of the hand slowly opening, permitting a flock of tiny birds to fly between its fingers, followed by a scene of miniscule goats roaming on the huge hand. Cut to a shot of the hand with a mountain lion perched on the thumb; with a roar, the animal launches into the air.
We then see a shot of the desert surrounded by rock formations. The hand is resting on the ground; it drums its fingers several times, apparently pondering the natural world it has created and what to do next. We hear a deep "Hmmmm," followed by the last scene in which the hand carefully sets a red Jeep down on a mountain road. As the hand retreats, the vehicle heads down the rocky terrain. The supered tag reads: "Jeep-There's Only One."
On stage at Universal Studios, Universal City, Calif., Douglas filmed the hands, the animals (except for the birds, which were stock footage), the rain and cloud elements, and the mountain building. Contributing to the physical elements of the effects was L.A.-based Vision Crew, which created miniatures and oversize sets. The shop constructed the model of the mountain and the concoction of dust and debris which the giant hand pushes. Vision Crew also built huge-scale replicas of the hand pieces used for the bluescreen animal shots: the 10 foot-long fingertip that the lion walks across, and the 20' x 25' set of fingers that the goats walk down.
The rain was tricky, said Douglas, because the scale of rain often gives it away as artificial. The Vision Crew team conducted tests with rain jets, and came up with finely misted rain up at cloud level and a more distinct rain below that.