Cloud 9 and magic

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Ads & Ends — Nanette Franco-Diyco

HOW ARE CLOUDS formed? I like the visuals in the recently launched TV commercial of Universal Robina Corp.’s longtime favorite Cloud 9 chocolate bars. This is the creative answer posed by the creative team of advetising agency Woo.

Don Sevilla III, executive creative director of Woo, revealed: “Visualizing clouds with the use of balloons, URC and WOO worked with Stephen Ngo of Pabrika to create the ethereal effect.”


But more than that, Woo cleverly had the chocolate lovers release their balloons up into the air, evidently symbolizing their reaching their “Cloud 9 rating of happiness.” This happens each time they bite into their chocolate bar, in varied situations.

Even the choice of characters — with different ages in their respective environments — shows a wide range covering Cloud 9’s widest market. I specially like the gentleman in his business suit just outside his building fully concentrating on biting onto his chocolate bar; then, a solitary balloon goes up, up, up.

The commercial opens with this youngish fellow chomping onto his Cloud 9 — and lo and behold, a balloon rises up to his ceiling. He sits up, now fully awake, and sees through his floor-to-ceiling window several white balloons rising all around his neighborhood!

Then, there’s this teenage girl waiting to board a train as her single balloon slowly rises. As the train slows to a near stop, balloons come out from within each door! As the train speeds up, the white balloons gather above it to form a huge cloud!

Releasing a balloon is equated with someone’s biting into a Cloud 9 chocolate bar with gusto. The cloud formation, I interpret as happiness that lasts. Very nice!

I also like the darkened movie-house scene where a young girl and her mom take a bite, a balloon rises, then follows hundreds of balloons rising within the theater — dramatic contrast with the white balloons and the dark surroundings.

The viewer is entertained with hundreds of white balloons hanging up in the air.

Another frame featured another camera angle where the hundreds and hundreds of balloons are shown rising in between tallest buildings.

The agency explained that the strategy was to turn the candy’s key functional attributes of “stick, gooey chewiness” into an emotional one. “Cloud 9 became an occasion to savor a feeling of happiness that lasts.”

Watching the commercial over dinner during the weekend, my friends and I happily remembered one college day in Maryknoll, where our much-rehearsed class dance climaxed with each of us releasing half a dozen multi-colored balloons into the then-unpolluted air of Loyola Heights. Of course, the balloons went their merry way, very much unlike the perfect cloud formation effected by director Stephen Ngo.

After all, Mr. Sevilla did confess that Cloud 9’s magical visualization of clouds hovering above the metropolis was a product of many hours of post production.

Be that as it may, no one will contest that balloons are loving partners with instant happiness and easy joyful drama. Beautiful juxtaposition for the brand.

I must agree that the soundtrack, a piano score by Hit Productions, was subtle and lilting — complementing the very brief copy, deliberately shortened to simply allow the viewers to just further relish the richness of the visuals on-screen.

Take a graceful bow, URC and Woo — this Cloud 9 30-seconder stands above the clutter of chocolate confections, an evil temptation to our breaking our resolution to steer clear of chocolates, even before the end of the very first month of the new year!

Credits. Client-company, Universal Robina Corporation: Pat Go, Jane Bernardo, Nerish Inumerable, and Aissa Reyes.

Advertising agency, WOO. Creative team: Don Sevilla III, Nina Jimenez, Gian Gonzales, Lennard Buhay, and Nell Fernando. Accounts team: Lawrence Tan and Hans Gahol.

Producer, Slingshot Manila, Inc.: Steve Vesagas and Yin Cruz.

Production, Film Pabrika: director Stephen Ngo; EPs Marivic San Juan and Jing Lopez; and DOP Leslie Garchitorena.

Post-production house: Riot.

Soundtrack: Hit Productions.

NANETTE FRANCO-DIYCO ended her 15th year advertising career as Vice-President of JWT, segueing into the world of academe, currently teaching communications at the Ateneo de Manila University.