Although integration is the current buzzword, an agency which supplies
its own actors is pushing the concept a bit far.
But Marshall Communications’s toy client, Toy Options, did not argue
when creative director George Theo insisted that the latest commercial
should star Harry Wilson, director of the agency’s media affiliate,
Well, would you argue with a karate expert who happens to be a third dan
black belt? Exactly. Having spent weeks on a fruitless search for a
martial arts expert to feature in the launch commercial for Toy
Options’s new Ninja Defender toy, Theo decided it was time to call in a
It’s easy, he assured Wilson. We’ve got a kid from acting school who
practises his skills with the Ninja Defender. All you have to do is
stand behind a screen and be his shadow, mirroring his every move.
Suddenly, you stop mirroring him and start to fight back.
Of course Wilson, the man who taught Rowan Atkinson karate for a
Barclaycard commercial, knew it would not be that simple. Sure enough,
it took a whole morning to work out a ten-second routine and some 35
takes to film it.
The results are now on air, so if you’re being pestered to buy one - you
know who to blame. But unless you’re seriously fit, it’s probably wiser
to take it up with Theo, rather than Wilson. The man in the commercial
is a shadow of the real thing - in more ways than one.
This article was first published on Marketing