The denim label's S/S11 'We Are Animals' campaign invites real stunt men to perform dare devil tasks evoking scenes from action movies
The latest from Wrangler's S/S11 ‘We Are Animals’ series features Hollywood stunt men performing real-life dare devil stunts. Jumping from a second storey, diving away from explosives or running down the street this campaign has all the adrenalin of an action packed movie. Previous campaigns include showing people strewn across forests like animals naked except for the signature Wranglers and evoked in a red mist displaying a range of heightened emotions, both of which have earned the brand awards. Dazed spoke to Wranglers marketing director Adam Kakembo about Paramount, cowboys and stunts.
Dazed Digital: Where did the ‘We Are Animals’ ethos come from?
Adam Kakembo: 'We Are Animals' started a couple of years ago in 2008 with photographer Ryan McGinley. We wanted it to be adrenalin fuelled.
DD: How did you come up with the idea for Stunt?
Adam Kakembo: Well it’s interesting because our heritage is routed in cowboys. And if you think back to when those action movies were made back in the day, the real action heroes were the Wrangler cowboys. And so now moving forward into 2011 we’re pulling on our heritage and modernising it. The old real action heroes were the old rodeo riders, the old cowboys. And these were the guys who knew how to jump off the horses, jump onto the horses and everything else in between. So they used to be the stuntmen of their time. They were the genuine first cowboys and obviously all the cowboys back in the day used to and still do wear Wrangler.
DD: What was it like filing at Paramount Studios?
Adam Kakembo: Surreal. We shot on a street called New York Street. Known for films such as Spiderman and -. So all around us it looked typically New York. The only way we could tell it wasn’t was by looking to the sky and seeing plam trees.
DD: Which was the most nerve racking stunt and why?
Adam Kakembo: The memory that really sticks in my mind is the first catapult explosion shot. Seeing one of the stuntmen fly through the air with the plums of smoke behind them and the flames was absolutely incredible. It was also the most visual. I should point out here all the stunts are real.
DD: How did you decide which stunt people to use?
Adam Kakembo: The casting was key. I didn't know this but certain stunt people are good at certain things. Certain people are good at jumping out of windows others are good at being put on fire. So it was looking to their skills and our needs.
DD: If you had to do a stunt which one would you do? And why?
Adam Kakembo: Jumping through glass. I like the idea of flying through the air. There’s also a technical side to it, it’s not sugar glass as I thought. It’s real glass with explosives put around the outside. The skill is in the timing getting it right so the glass goes soft (not that that’s the technical term for it) as it’s exploding. I also think it will be exhilarating and adrenalin provoking.
DD: How did Cass Bird come on board?
Adam Kakembo: We’ve tried to push boundaries. Previously using photographers Jeff Burton and Ryan McGinley and now Cass. These photographers are not renowned for their advertising; we try to break the mould. Be disruptive yet engaging, never formulaic and always interesting.
DD: She said the project required ‘a lot of fearlessness and trust’ did you feel the same, if so how was it outing your trust in someone else?
Adam Kakembo: With campaigns that break new grounds there has to be trust. No one has ever celebrated stuntmen before. We had to have faith in Cass and the entire creative team.
DD: What are your future plans?
Adam Kakembo: The rejuvenation started four seasons ago. We’re looking at our heritage but moving consistently forward, to stay motivated push to the next step and be consistently relevant.