Photos from the shoot: Progressive Insurance. Or, when I exposed myself to the entire McDonald's drive thru.
Greenscreen photography is all abut images that just push the boundaries of reality. A great image should make you stop and wonder: is it real? How’d they do that?
In my view, participants should have a blast while engaging creatively with your brand. For us, meaning US Event Photos, one of the best examples of that engagement is the “Flo-to Booth”.
Flo, Progressive’s colorful spokesperson, is a character — and love her or hate her, Progressive has done a remarkable job branding the unicorn and rainbow loving, bopped hair character. And, four years ago, they called me to see if it was possible to put agents with Flo on the green screen — a high tech cardboard cut out.
Of course it is.
The first shoot was planned for Phoenix, and — unfortunately — it was one of those “when things go horribly wrong moments.”
Matthew and I flew into Phoenix sky harbour airport the day before the first Flo-to booth was scheduled. We holed up at the Aloft, Starwood’s newer brand of loft style hotels that offer a hip bar, platform beds, and the “W’s” living room style lobby. We were late, and collapsed into bed — setting the alarm for 6 am the next morning, to head to the venue for my requisite 3 hour setup.
After the Flo-to booth, I was scheduled to fly to Nashville, to do Robin Robin’s motivational seminar. A new client, Robin Robin was nervous, and I’d received (literally) 75 emails about the 2.5 day shoot.
When we were packed up and on our way to the Progressive shoot, I texted the client: on my way.
And back came that text you either love or hate: Um, that’s nice, but the shoot isn’t for another 2 days.
Now, on one hand this was great! I suddenly had the day to play around Scottsdale with nothing to do. Who can argue with that? On the other? How to cover Progressive when I had to fly out to Nashville during their shoot time?
Solution: I flew in my old assistants, Ryan and Mike. At huge expense. But it was the only thing I could do, they were trained on the shoot, and I knew they’d pull it off.
And they did. No problem. In fact, Progressive expanded the shoot to about 30 cities over the next few years, and to this day, every once in a while, one pops up.
Yesterday’s was in Peoria, IL. One thing about the Flo-to booths, they are almost always in smaller venues. My favorite was Salina, KA.
It’s a three hour drive from Kansas City airport to Salina, KA. Maybe 4. And the distance is actually greater, rolling through miles of corn fields at 75 miles per hour, the rental car might as well be a jet.
I reached Salina LATE. And, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay at the Ramada Inn, where the event was held, but was instead housed at the adjacent Comfort Inn.
I’d just come from Las Vegas, staying on the 415th floor of the Palazzo. And, um, I sleep as nature intended.
So, I didn’t think twice about climbing out of bed the next morning, making my coffee, and throwing open the drapes. Who can see you on the 415th floor?
Except I wasn’t on the 415th floor. I was in Salina, KA, at the Comfort Inn. I was on the ground floor. And directly outside my window? The McDonald’s drive thru. And, as I looked up, naked, from the coffee maker, wiping sleep from my eyes? The entire drive thru was staring in my window, mouths hanging open behind the wheels of their SUVs. I shut the drapes.