It must have looked like the dream sequence of a Felini film to the Park Ranger on horseback. The vast woodland clearing, dappled with crisp October sun, spotted with groups of people raking leaves in the park – the misty tendrils of smoke rising, a strange circle of elevated white squares surrounding a cluster of Druid-like workers, methodically mounding leaves on a silver car.
Was it the autumnal ritual of some unrecorded cult? No, it was P/O/N staff and family cheerfully producing a :30 TV spot for the Dayton Area Olds Dealers. The white squares were 8-foot light reflectors for the film crew…the leaves were being raked in order to completely cover the 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera…and the misty tendrils of smoke were rising from Walter Ohlmann’s hot dog grill.
The “Knights of Olds” Octoberfest spot turned into a delightful Octoberfest picnic for fifty crew, actors and staffers – a long afternoon in the beautiful outdoors punctuated by calls of, “Take!” and “Action!” and “Where’s the mustard?”
While final editing of the spot excluded many of the staff “cast of extras” from broadcast airing, the out-takes from the shoot were shared at the agency’s monthly, early-morning “show-and-tell” meeting. It was a pleasant reminder to all of P/O/N’s woodland crew that advertising isn’t all work and no play – especially if you can manage to do them both at the same time.