A campaign video shot to disillusion the idea of the unrealistic, “right” body to practice Hatha Yoga. Speaking on the social issue of yoga practice exclusivity in affluent society, this piece (narrated and performed by yogini Danielle Orner) urges the viewer to look within to reveal that the idea of perfection is not about outward image but how we see ourselves.
While it is possible to get the market’s attention by creating a clever video of the product in action, it is distinguishing to grasp the market by making a statement which appeals to the current social conscience.
The Undefinable yoga video campaign was a joint production between Friedman Studios and Aerial MOB. Aerial MOB sought a way to demonstrate the power of their new handheld camera stabilizer rig with an intention of selling the technology to Tiffen (owners of http://www.steadicam.com) and thus requested a promotional video be produced.
I recognized this opportunity to link Aerial MOB with a social cause as a platform to give them a wider appeal and relevance to the general public. What resulted was a short video that went viral along with the successful sale of Aerial MOB’s stabilizer technology to a giant company.
A Case for Action
Given today’s advancements in technology, and ease of access to sharing ideas globally, companies in the independent film industry seem to dominate the market in innovation. As this trend shows no sign of slowing, the market is reaching supersaturation of new rigs and setups to enhance camera operation. The success in gaining market shares for small companies lies in leveraging social media as well as viral marketing.
While it is possible to get the market’s attention by creating a clever video of the product in action, it is distinguishing to grasp the market by making a statement which appeals to the current social conscience. By coupling a showcase video of Aerial MOB's stabilizer rig with a hot social issue of affluent society, it was possible to distinguish Aerial MOB from their competition.
Linking Aerial MOB to a Hot Social Issue of the Affluent - Hatha Yoga
Quietly starting in the 1920’s, Hatha yoga in the past 10 years exploded into a 27 billion dollar industry. More than 30 percent of Yoga Journal’s readership (the leader in yoga magazines) has a household income of over $100,000.
In American culture today, a mountain of social pressure demands having the "right" body, and this inevitably transfers into yoga rooms across the country. If the social pressure persists, yoga will become inaccessible to so many people who think they need to look a certain way to practice, and they will miss out on an opportunity to transform their lives and have lasting health.
The majority of consumers undeniably do not have the "perfect" body and 72% of those consumers are women. It is possible to empower women who do not fit the "perfect mold" yet still want to condition their minds and bodies. By shooting a spec commercial showing an "imperfect" yogini practicing her flow and narrating to the audience what perfect can mean—that it is not about outward image but how we see ourselves—it is possible to attract a sale to an established corporation looking to exploit the market.
An Authority Figure to Represent the Message
After extensive research into the world of Hatha yoga practitioners, I approached Danielle Orner (a cancer survivor and motivational speaker) about being the showcased narrator and practitioner. She is photogenic and also relates to what society sees as imperfection, which allows her to be relatable to the majority of consumers.
General Concept of Video
This spec commercial will feature Aerial MOB gear's stability and precision by using a range of camera shots of a woman practicing balance through yoga in the desert. The opening shot will require the drone to fly from the sky closer and closer to the yogini with intermittent close-up shots of her in action. The second major shot will be with the handheld rig circling an arm away from the yogin (unbeknownst to the viewer that different equipment was used from the fly-in shot to now). However, the Behind-The-Scenes (BTS) footage will reveal this equipment-change to show that stability remained constant between the two rigs.
The parallel between what is required to have elegance in yoga poses and what is required to have smooth handheld camera work will draw a conclusion in the viewer's mind that the image stabilization gear is to handheld camera work as focus is to the yogini: valuable and necessary.
We shot with the Panasonic GH4 4k camera in the handheld stabilizer rig and the Red Epic in the aerial octocopter drone and delivered a 4k ultra HD video plus a full HD video of the commercial and BTS video. This project was conceptualized, shot, and delivered in three weeks, which meant we were just in time for the 2014 NAB conference where Aerial MOB successfully made contact with Tiffen.