home insurance

AA let's go

case study

client: AA
agency: brando
director: milan balog
dop: antonio riestra


If you want to film something getting destroyed you simply have to destroy it!

Do you want to see your insurance company’s tv spot several times in a row?

Do you want to see your insurance company’s tv spot several times in a row?

Be honest: how many times in a row have you watched your insurance company’s tv commercial?

After a car insurance campaign for AA last summer, Milan Balog continues his collaboration with the Brando Ireland Agency, this time teaming up on a home insurance product.

Creative director Brendan O'Flaherty described his vision for the spot during one of our first conference calls:

"I want to create a bit of magic guys! I want the viewers to ask questions like: How the fuck did they do it?”

We will first attempt to define what the spot is about. It is not about destruction; rather it is about harmony in chaos. It is not hyper-realistic; it should be surreal. And it should not feel technical—quite the opposite. All the following comments should comply with these definitions.

In total, we had 13 shots planned to be filmed within the 1 shooting day and that would be doable but only 2 of those shots didn't include any SFX explosions or wired tricks.

Michal, producer

Our major shot, where you can see the whole room exploding from different directions while the family is sitting around the table putting together a jigsaw puzzle, was made of 7 different shots as we had to shoot 5 different layers of explosions and 2 layers with the actors so that they wouldn't get hurt.

Preparing a shoot like this demands a very precise preproduction in all respects. The location had to be very spacious to fit all the filming and SFX equipment and we also had to find a place where the owner would let us play at being the "dynamite boys”.

The synchronized creativity; the earplugs; the SFX boys counting down aloud before a shot; several pairs of eyes full of anticipation; being nervous about the limited number of times we can shoot and blast the individual props due to our budget—and then we heard it, the bang. Several seconds and then it either is there or it is not.

Marika, production coordinator

Nowadays, with the proliferation of post-production "tricks", the most reliable way to captivate the eye of the viewer is to shoot special effects in-camera. In this spot, we seem to have a pretty good start with the 'au naturel' approach: watch us demolish the interior of a beautiful dream apartment...no help from SFX.

George, executive producer

Watching every crew member work together as a single team to make this project a success may seem to be a standard thing. But working for 20 hours without a substantial break and with dangerous explosives in close proximity? That requires one hundred percent focus from each person present—and everyone did that; they were perfect. Very inspiring, indeed.

Thanks: DOP—Antonio Riestra; postproduction effects—UPP Prague
Special Thanx:), SFX—Flash SFX

If you want to film something getting destroyed you simply have to destroy it!

George, executive producer