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Level 7 Sinks Soccer Match for Pocari

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Pocari Sweat: The thrill of victory.


As the World Cup kicks off today in Japan, Otsuka Pharmaceutical has come up with an interesting way to pitch the thirst-quenching benefits of Japanese sports drink Pocari Sweat to the soccer-loving masses. Following up on a previous spot that featured an underwater tennis match, a spot that broke in Japan last month features an underwater soccer game.

Both spots were conceived and produced by Hollywood production house Level 7, which has worked with Tokyo agency Asatsu DK on several projects for the Japanese market. "The head of ADK wanted to bring Western ideas and Western styles to the advertising over there," says Level 7 executive producer Chris Van Howten, who also served as ECD on "Soccer." The spot was shot in two days by L7 director Sandy Collora, a creature designer who here makes his commercial debut. One day was spent in a studio and one was spent at the bottom of a pool. The resulting green screen sessions were then put together by Santa Monica effects house Colorado under the supervision of Paul Kirsch, formerly of Digital Domain.

"Probably half of the live-action shots you see were shot underwater," says Van Howten, "We actually had a fake grass floor sunk at the bottom of the pool. We had a three-quarter size soccer goal sunk as well." The effects artists at Colorado dispensed with the grass, however, replacing it all with remarkably realistic CG.

All told, the project took about eight weeks, although the delivery date was bumped up, according to Van Howten, to make this year's Cannes deadline "at the agency's request."
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