I was tasked to come up with a number of ideas for a commercial, which was for a Nokia mobile phone. The client Cem Özer, a famous TV host, set an open brief with the only condition being that the Nokia tagline “Connecting People” be a component. The other condition was that two up and coming comedians, were to be featured players. One of the pair had a passing resemblance to Oliver Hardy. I thought Hardy’s indignation might be a nice element to explore.
Turkish Barber shops are like barber shops anywhere and I thought this would be a fitting setting for the spot, “Barber Shop”. This would allow me to work with an ensemble cast, and provide the chance to explore a comedic tone in a directing and writing capacity. I storyboarded the spot to figure out a number of vignettes. The spot was designed for both TV and cinema. The cinema spot had a generous 90 second duration, allowing time to explore the product and the eccentricities of the cast. I had some types in mind but found the process of casting provided some extra character types. VFXs played a big part in incorporating the connecting of people, with the barber’s mirror becoming a video screen (many years prior to Skype).
As the Agency’s first project with Nokia, the film proved very successful. The spot was very popular with the Turkish public. It was nominated for best commercial at the year’s Turkish Advertising Awards in Istanbul.