Our new back to school work for OfficeMax

Going back to school is a bittersweet moment for parents and kids.

By the end of summer vacation the kids are bored and want to go back but there is also slight anxiety and apprehension.

“Will my friends be in my class? What will my teacher be like?”

Parents worry about how their kids will react to all this change. And of course the kids don’t help by bottling up their concerns and pretending everything is fine.

And it all comes down to one moment. The moment when the little ones hug Mama goodbye and run off to school.

This moment was the focus our new commercial for client OfficeMax.

We shot it in beautiful Pasadena. And thank god we weren’t recording sound because the place is plagued by flocks of unbelievably noisy escaped feral parrots who nest in the palm trees.

We’re really happy with the way it turned out. Directed by Phil Joanou via MJZ. I highly recommend working with Phil. He’s a pro!

The idea for the ending – running after bus – came from OfficeMax client Bob Thacker. And the motivation for that ending – forgetting lunch bag- came from director Phil Joanou. I just nodded my head in agreement. Glad I did!

The spot was edited by Sean Berringer at BEAST editorial Chicago.

13 responses to “Our new back to school work for OfficeMax

  1. Nice soundtrack. The puppy shot was a nice touch as well.

  2. Love the dog. Bet Seamus had a little bit of influence on that one ;]

    Do you think it would be hard for someone who doesn’t have kids to actually do an ad like this?

  3. I bet that dog had pooped.

  4. thanks rob. we actually had two dogs. but one looked like the devil. funny how dogs always “work”.

    vik, turned out a calm blockheaded lab was the best call. lowering his head was his “trick”. good question. I think it would be nigh-on impossible to do an ad like this if you didn’t have kids. I can well imagine shying away from the sappy emotionality in favor of something “cool”. this is kind of what it’s like for real.

    john, that lab was an old pro. no poop!

  5. You are completely crazy Vinny. It was over the top drama bordering into teary ultra-extreme emotional connection of love and motherhood and pencils. Brilliant.

    The end when she runs all crazy was great. I hope she had to do that a few takes LOL.

  6. glad you liked howie!

    credit where credit is due: the ending idea of chasing the bus came from our OfficeMax client Bob Thacker. And the motivation for that ending (lunch bag idea) came from the director Phil Joanou. I just nodded in agreement.

    and yes, we made her do it a bunch of times. and it was hot.

  7. Good one. I question some casting choices, but, overall, cool.

  8. why was i not given a preview befor you posted this Vinny? Am i out of the loop ? :)

  9. I think it borders on cheesy without being cheesy, that’s why the ad is so charming. Very very hard to pull off. Well done!

  10. Tommy, how dare you question my casting! This is an outrage. i’m kidding. i cast the moms for the warmth in their eyes and the kids for their sparkle and cuteness. clearly my personal biases will emerge. i have a son with curly hair for example ;-)

    nico, just forget. you’re never out of the loop.

    and yes vik. you are correct. that was a tribute to the skills of mr. phil Joanou. he nailed the vibe perfectly.

  11. I guess when other stores let you down, it’s like your mother not being at the school gates to pick you up after school. Office Max won’t let you down.

  12. “Have to say goodbye” by Chris Mann

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