The thought of having to mow your lawn is greeted with groans in the States, but in Sweden and much of Europe, it doesn’t even cross their minds.
This is can be explained by the popularity of Husqvarna’s innovative Automower products. These intelligent robots are essentially the Roombas of the lawncare world. They detect when the grass is too high, automatically release from their housing, and mow your lawn for you, all without the user lifting a finger.
We partnered with Husqvarna’s agency of record, House DDB, as their Miami video production company to create a commercial that would help them launch this revolutionary product in the North American market.
The main idea behind DDB’s thought process was the direct comparison to the Roomba, which explained in shorthand the function of the device through a cultural reference that many Americans would recognize.
The creative called for making the connection clear and obvious, and the concept centered around the device mowing a lawn inside of an actual house, where grass took the place of carpet. This not only spoke to the look and feel of an Automower lawn (“grass like a carpet”) but conjured the familiar image of a robot wandering around on the living room floor.
We wanted to center our treatment around two pillars:
- PRODUCT FEATURES: the device runs silently and smoothly, and the user will hardly be aware of it as it works. This led us to create a spot that had no music, a whispered VO track, and very minimal audio output, to help convey the stealth nature of the product.
- RUG PULL: In order to underline the similarities between Automower and the Roomba, we decided to structure the spot in such a way that the audience didn’t know if they were inside or outside as it began, and then slowly revealed the premise through increasingly wider shots.
The client wanted to use natural grass instead of Astroturf, as a perfectly manicured and healthy lawn is essentially their product. We carefully selected Empress Zosia grass palettes, convinced a Miami homeowner to let us lay it all over her floor, and implemented a plan to lay in the grass the day before the shoot so that it had time to settle.
Naturally, the week before the shoot saw an unprecedented cold snap settle in around the area, killing a good deal of the grass that we were supposed to use.
Thanks to the quick thinking of our animation team, we decided that we could color-correct the dead grass to appear vibrant and remove any seams and imperfections in the palettes.
This spot was released to spearhead a North American launch of the Automower product, and played on broadcast TV, online and in retail outlets that sell the product.
Artex was responsible for the treatment, production, and post-production for this project. We completed this commercial production in Miami using real sod.
Here’s a before-and-after that showcases the level of post-production that was performed on the grass cleanup.