Following a briefing from the guys at the agency Piece of Cake, I sat down with my long-time collaborator and fellow pioneer Paul Watmough. Together, we developed concepts and moodboards to tell the three stories of the ice cold endeavours. The sketches and reference images below show a glimpse of how the visual style of the adverts was brought to life. This reference material helped tremendously with sourcing props, styling the cast, and planning the lighting for the photo shoot. Luckily, I was on a climbing trip in the French Alps just before the day of the photo shoot, so I was able to shoot all the images we needed for the backgrounds and close-ups of the snow & ice on the mountains and in the ice caves of Chamonix.
The cast members who you see in the adverts are actually real bartenders from Norway, who were recognised by Jägermeister for their skills behind a bar, and rewarded with a fun-packed trip to Germany, which included being the stars of the Ice Cold Jäger adverts.
They arrived at the photo studio in Berlin with no idea why they were there. It was a complete surprise for them!
They were quickly briefed, and hurried into styling to begin their transformation into the intrepid explorers who would brave the fierce cold of the Arctic on the search for ice cold Jägermeister.
The amazing hair & make-up artist Rebecca Herrmann set to work, applying special effects make-up and hair to the 13 bartenders, which perfectly combined with the styling from Alexandra Heckel. The bartenders were now ice adventurers! Here are some b&w portraits from Paul Watmough, showing a behind the scenes look at their make-over.
They were brought onto the studio set, where I photographed them in positions based on our concept sketches, using different colours of lighting to represent the glow of the moonlight, the cool of the ice lands and the warmth of the handheld oil lamps.
I had a very clear vision of how the final artwork would be formed from the photos of the bartenders, combined with the photos I took in the French Alps. After the photo shoot, it was time for me to get started with the retouching and piece them all together!
The artworks combine the photos shot in Berlin and the French Alps with digital painting. For the bottles of Jägermeister encased in ice, I put real bottles into trays of water, left them in my freezer until rock solid, then hand carved the ice to show just enough of the bottle to be recognisable. The bottle in the fishing artwork was shot in a container of water with green lighting for added realism. All the bartenders received a poster of the artwork for their bar - now they always have a story to tell when someone asks for a Jägermeister!