In what could be a sign that creative directors are incredibly bored these days, a team at Element 79 in Chicago risked life and limb to train live bears to star in its latest TV campaign for Specialty Brands of America's Bear Creek Country Kitchens.
"Working with real bears was like working with trained dogs," said Chris Laubach, senior VP-group creative director at the agency. "Granted, mama and papa bear were like big strong scary willful dogs. But the cubs were very cute and cuddly. It took a month to train the them all and still there were very human things we wished they could do, like actually cooking and serving the pasta. We had to pull that off in other ways."
To fend off any complaints from animal rights groups, the agency involved them right from the beginning. "The trainers and the American Humane Association who were there for every minute of the shoot were very happy with the whole process. No animals were harmed during the filming but us agency folks suffered immensely because there couldn't be any food anywhere near the set or the bears. That was the hardest part."
And now you know what it's like to make a bear the star of your ad.
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