Ogilvy PR's Ricky Vazquez describes a day of Pandas going wild in London
Date: 31 October 2012 13:06
Ricky Vazquez heads up Ogilvy PR’s specialist broadcast and visual content team. For client Chengdu, the team developed an integrated broadcast and digital campaign to help maximise awareness for Panda Awareness Week. With only six weeks to co-ordinate a massive London based campaign, international outreach and bespoke content creation for international broadcasters and online influencers, it all came down to one day for Vazquez and his team to pull it off..
5.30am: The broadcast and visual content team meet at a central London production base to ingest large quantities of coffee while briefing the wider team and production units about the day’s events.
6.00am: The teams are split into three separate units. Units one and two are filming, while team three sets up to edit. After carefully trying not to step on any of the 108 people in panda suits, the teams head out to set up in Trafalgar Square and meet up with broadcasters, including Reuters and ITV Daybreak, who are coming down to cover the story.
7.00am: 108 dancing panda people descend on Trafalgar Sq to perform three Tai-Chi dances. The team shoot from a variety of locations and source interviews with spokespeople as well as crowd reactions to the unfolding and bizarre rush hour performance.
8.30am: The first set of camera cards are returned to base for the editor to begin creating a news package as soon as possible. As well as distributing the news package, the team co-ordinates bespoke filming requests and produces social media viral clips while simultaneously conducting international media relations. Coffee and copious amounts of Marlboro Lights continue to flow ...
9.15am: Production unit one takes 56 panda people down to a closed set at Charing Cross tube station. They direct and film the pandas in various commuting scenarios. There’s something rather novel about seeing 56 pandas attempting to commute … unless you’re in Chengdu City centre of course.
9.30am: Production unit two takes the remainder of the 56 pandas through Soho and China Town where they end up at their very own Bamboo house erected in Covent Garden. During the trip, the team film comedy viral clips to be seeded out via social media platforms. When isn’t it funny to see a panda sitting down to order at a restaurant? China town I hear you cry!
10.30am: All camera cards are returned to the editor. I drop my high heels in favour of trainers!
12.30pm: A news package is edited and made available for media which the team send out to global broadcasters.
1.00pm: The spokesperson is taken to the BBC World studios where the team have arranged for him to be interviewed.
2.00pm: Both crews board an open top bus to film 30 pandas sightseeing around London. They disembark and attempt to navigate the pandas over Westminster Bridge while members of the public create their own content. When the pandas are mobbed, the team shout at them to take their heads off so they can get them back on the bus. To this day, the shocked faces of little children still haunts my dreams – but needs must. The news is spreading as the team tuck in to their second pack of Marlboro Lights of the day.
2.00pm - 7.00pm: The rest of the day is spent filming interviews and editing a shorter news package for online media outlets as well as producing 10 shorter viral clips for social media distribution.
8.00pm: 15 hours after we began, we wrap for the day and disembark to the pub for a well-earned drink, high fives and sharing of panda related anecdotes from the day. Just an average day for me and my team!
The fruits of our labour, here's our Panda video.