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Rocky Balboa Makes an Epic Comeback in Ladbrokes’ Recreation of Iconic Running Scene


Editors' Choice: World first sees Ladbrokes replace hundreds of people with a cast of modern characters in spot from neverland and director Nicolai Fuglsig

Rocky Balboa Makes an Epic Comeback in Ladbrokes’ Recreation of Iconic Running Scene

Ladbrokes is today launching a blockbuster film with one of the most ambitious uses of VFX ever. In a world first application of bespoke created technology, viewers will see Rocky’s famous run in an entirely new way. Using the original famous footage and backdrop of Philadelphia from Rocky II, a current day cast of characters replaces the original crowd, joining Rocky on his iconic run, ending with the big steps finale.

Titled ‘Rocky’, UK entertainment brand Ladbrokes has achieved the biggest character replacement in Hollywood history by digitally replacing the original cast with hundreds of modern sports people, drummers, horse riders, drag queens, dancers, gymnasts and many, many others. The film ends with the brand’s line ‘We Play together’.

The campaign is the latest work for Ladbrokes by neverland, the brand’s lead creative agency and follows, ‘Balloon’ and ‘Drummers’. It will launch in a media campaign planned and executed by the7stars on August 19th, the day before the Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk fight.

The launch film will run during flagship entertainment programmes including House of the Dragon, Gogglebox and The Last Leg, as well as accelerated YouTube activity during the launch weekend. The TVC will also feature in top Premier League fixtures on Sky and BT Sport over the weekend, culminating with a spot at full time in the Manchester United v Liverpool match on the 22nd of August.

UK brand marketing director of Entain, James Kennedy says: “Creating this campaign has been incredibly challenging and exciting.  Under our endline of 'We Play Together' we're bringing more entertainment and shared experiences to Ladbrokes, and we love to do this in unexpected ways.  This scene is one of the most iconic in movie history and the Rocky Balboa character is a legend of the silver screen, so mixing things up with this piece of movie magic has been a lot of fun. We're backing Rocky all the way!"

Jon Forsyth, founder and acting executive creative director on the campaign at neverland said: “This is the most audacious and exciting creative idea I’ve ever been a part of. I can’t even begin to convey the amount of time, craft and skill that has gone into making this. It sets a new benchmark in film making and I take my red headband off to the talent who have made this crazy idea a reality. Knock out.”

Joe Lee, planning director from the7stars says: “We’re incredibly excited to bring Rocky and the World of Play to the masses, matching the level of production with an unmissable media strategy! We’ve worked closer than ever with our media partners to bring Ladbrokes’ new brand approach to life.”

The ground-breaking film was created by a team of movie specialists who painstakingly went through the run scene of Rocky II and digitally removed all the original cast apart from Rocky. They mapped out the locations and camera movements of the film to allow them to film a new set of characters which could be placed back seamlessly into the original film.

The new cast were filmed in a huge 95 metre by 50 metre studio, at Origo Studios in Budapest, with them running across 1:1 scale sets that were built to exactly match the locations Rocky runs through. These sets included the iconic steps outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Ladbrokes shot with over 250 costumed characters each day to help bring the rich and vibrant world of play to life. A behind the scenes film also launches today which explains more about the epic scale of the production and the work that has gone into bringing the film to life.

The launch film was directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, who has previously created the Guinness Sapeurs advert and Sony Bravia’s iconic Balls advert. The film is set to the iconic Gonna Fly Now soundtrack from the original film, but reimagined by The English Session Orchestra and sung by the London Voices choir. The orchestra was conducted by Grammy nominated Matt Dunkley and composed by Tom Player at Abbey Road studios.

Supporting the director Nicolai Fugslig, was director of photography George Richmond, who has most recently shot Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Rocky II was one of the first films to use a Steadicam; as part of preparing for the shoot Richmond spoke to the inventor of the Steadicam (who filmed with it on Rocky II) to find out how it was used so he could match up his filming as closely as possible.

The 90-second launch film is just one part of a bigger and far-reaching campaign that has been created to create a ‘World of Play for Ladbrokes’. The brand is also launching a series of digital and social activations to bring the campaign to life. Included in this are Snapchat Lens enabled posters which will bring to life characters from the film and invite users to enter their world of play. The iconic Gonna Fly Now song will also be making its way back onto the airways through a series of audio ads that will feature the uplifting song.


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Genres: Visual VFX

Categories: Gambling, Sports and Leisure

neverland creative, Thu, 18 Aug 2022 09:24:21 GMT