Hidden cameras, three months of planning and free chicken was the recipe for an attention-getting Bojangles’ commercial filmed at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
In the spot, taped last week, bored passengers waiting for their luggage found boxes of chicken popping up on the carousel with a tag that said “Take Me Home.” And they did – gladly.
Passengers, reacting with surprise at the unexpected gifts, didn’t know they were being filmed until afterward.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Adam Colborne, head of business development for Wheelhouse, said the reality-style shoot required 13 cameras. Head engineer Chris Shearer spent four nights installing the hidden cameras and gear at baggage claim.
Passengers getting off the flights were recorded by people walking through the terminal with cell phones.
Colborne said 11 people were waiting outside baggage claim with releases for passengers to sign. They had no problem getting signatures.
‘When I heard about it, I thought it was a great idea, but I didn’t think anyone would let them do it.’
“People were appreciative,” he said. “They couldn’t believe this was happening.”
David Oakley, creative director of BooneOakley, said the idea came from Ashley Neel and Danny Gassaway of the agency and Colby Anderson at Charlotte-based Bojangles’.
“When I heard about it, I thought it was a great idea, but I didn’t think anyone would let them do it,” Oakley said. “But the TSA and the airport were very accommodating – they thought it was a great idea.”
Four waves of passengers were taped during the day, Colborne said. Those most animated were the ones who came in on early evening flights.
“They’d been traveling all day, they’re super hungry,” said Colborne. “Those boxes were getting taken in a hurry.”
Oakley said the spot was released on social media and was widely shared. Bojangles’ is thinking about cutting it down to a 30-second TV commercial, he said.
WSOC (Channel 9) has gotten federal permission to experiment with drones for news gathering, but the launch of Buzzer 9 is a long way off.
Parent company Cox Media got the OK to use aerial cameras at its stations, but working out the logistics will take months, says news director Julie Szulczewski. There are numerous restrictions on where drones can go, and a Cox committee is studying what procedures can be used.