It’s only weird if it doesn’t work. The tagline for the Bud Light “very superstitious” ad campaign launched in 2012, this one goes out to all those die hard football fans who do whatever it takes. As far as relatability, this campaign is right on point. A sports fan myself, I know from experience that there are indeed fanatics out there who believe that their superstitions, regardless of how esoteric or nonsensical, will have an effect on the outcome of the game. Whether it be sitting in the same spot for the game’s entirety, eating the same food, not washing a jersey/shirt/pair of socks for a whole football season, or the ever-popular facial hair, it’s all in pursuit of one thing: cheering for your team on Super Bowl Sunday.
So, in light of Super Bowl Week 2014, I got in touch with New Orleans-based photojournalist Bryan Tarnowski, who recently shot a national ad campaign for Bud Light. Bryan photographed 14 different teams in one day, featuring (staged) fans involved in superstitious acts while tailgating at their respective team’s game.
Bryan was hired for this shoot specifically because of his reportage background that showcases his ability to capture authentic moments. The agency wanted the ads to feel real, which was comforting for Bryan because he was in a large commercial shoot scenario while still sticking to the style in which he prefers to work.
The biggest challenge was time. Bryan only had three days between the time the assignment was confirmed and the actual shoot day. In addition, he had 14 different set-ups to tackle in a single day. Bryan explained how he pulled off the project without any setbacks:
I put together a dream team of people to help me on the shoot which made things a lot less stressful. Having a good producer, good prop stylist, good wardrobe stylist, hair and makeup, and excellent assistants certainly made things smoother logistically and mentally for myself. I also relied heavily on my past experience working as a photo assistant working on massive ad campaigns which gave me the knowledge of how things work on a shoot of this scale.
The Saints image (above) is being used for general market advertising and on billboards across the Gulf Coast area, as well as small collateral use. The others are for Latin market and are being used in a similar fashion but in more targeted areas.
To sum it up, I had to ask Bryan where his football allegiance lies:
I am a football fan, but by no means a diehard fan. If there were ever die hard fans, they exist only here in New Orleans. Even your average super fan in another city would be a fair weather fan when compared to Saints fans. The enthusiasm is infectious and I am slowly converting to a Saints fan the longer I live here.