Want to know what faster feels like? If you can imagine everyone else in slow-mo as you go about your business, then you’re already getting the idea - at least as Telstra sees it.
Telstra has launched a national advertising campaign to spruik the speediness of its fantastic 4GX network, which it clearly hopes you’ll marvel at.
Before reading further, make sure you watch the commercial below at least once, because I explain things (the way I see them) afterwards, and it’s a lot more fun if you’ve seen the commercial at least once first before reading on.
The ad features a supposedly ‘unsuspecting jogger’ who must wonder whether he’s taken the red pill or the blue pill for everyone else to suddenly be going in slow motion, although as he passes a construction site with presumed union members, that scene might just be a more traditional and less exciting ‘go-slow’.
Interestingly, Telstra claims the jogger wasn’t actually in on the stunt when Telstra started filming, although he has probably received a payment at 4GX speed into his bank account for being part of an ad he presumably never intended being part of.
Anyway, the ad features Queen’s classic track ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, and sees the jogger noticing everyone else moving in slow motion. Presumably they are all connected to Optus or Vodafone.
At first viewing, the ad appears to be a very clever interpolation of normal speed content slowed down to slow-mo speeds, with slow falling spanners at the work site, slow cycling cyclists, a slow swinging child, slow city walkers, a slow juggler and more - and our normal speed jogger.
You can see the jogger is wondering what the heck is going on, as he jogs quickly past the slowly moving set of cyclists, and he encounters the ‘town square’ of people going about as slow as a snail taking a lift on the back of a turtle.
When the jogger gets to the middle of the people in the ‘city square’ and really starts looking around, wondering what in heaven’s name is going on, they all suddenly cheer and start clapping, with the bemused jogger cracking a smile and realising he’s just been part of some kind of slowly clever and cleverly slow stunt.
It’s presumably after this that the cameras stopped rolling and someone came up to explain to him what was going on, but clearly someone at Telstra knew this fellow was going to go jogging, as they had cameras set up around the place to record him on sections of his run.
Clearly, if this fellow ever wondered if Telstra was spying on him … Telstra was! Or at least, for this commercial.
So … when you look at the commercial for a second time, things get more interesting!
You realise that it’s not a mixture of slow-mo video with a normal speed jogger, which presumably would have been quite difficult to do without a Hollywood budget.
What you realise on the second viewing of the commercial is that everyone is being filmed at the same time - they’re just going as slowly as possible.
You can see the cyclists trying very hard to cycle slowly without wobbling their bikes too much. You can see the swing has been somehow adjusted to swing super slowly.
You can see the juggler’s balls are attached to what must be invisible fishing wire to move so slowly - while that ‘falling spanner’ is likewise attached to invisible wire to make it descend super slowly in what is meant to look like a slow-motion fall.
You also see some people sort-of half moving at faster speed but trying not to, with kudos to the production team for pulling it all off so nicely.
It’s actually a very clever commercial, because people will look at it in a different way the second time they see it, making this commercial definitely worthy of more than one viewing.
Indeed, Telstra says ‘the reaction of the jogger (who wasn’t in on the stunt when we started filming) is completely spontaneous and natural – with all slow motion effects being created on the shoot rather than in post-production.’
Presumably those slow motion effects created on the shoot were as I have surmised above.
Telstra’s Director Segment Marketing Andy Bateman said: “Telstra 4GX has set a new benchmark for mobile internet speeds in Australia, and the unsuspecting jogger’s delight is a great metaphor for how we want our customers to feel when they go faster on Telstra 4GX.
“With speeds up to twice as fast as those on Telstra’s regular 4G our customers can connect with and enjoy more of what they love be it video, social media or the internet –with less buffering when they use selected 4GX devices in 4GX areas.
“Just like our jogger they will experience the thrill of what faster feels like compared to the pace of the rest of the world. It’s another way of demonstrating that we care.”
The 60 second version of the commercial is above and will air in cinemas and pre-rolls online, but Telstra will also be airing 30 second versions on TV.
Telstra will also feature the campaign on ‘social media, digital outdoors, digital online banners and pre-rolls, mobile advertising and digital Point of Sale using an innovative, fast moving, animated text to further demonstrate what faster feels like, with context relevant messaging.’
As always Telstra says you can check for 4GX coverage at its coverage site, while noting that for ‘4GX category 6 devices, typical download speeds are 2-100Mbps in 4GX areas and 2-50Mbps in 4G areas. Speeds vary for reasons like location, distance from base stations, terrain, user numbers, hardware/software configuration, download source and upload destination.’