Derby film students scoop national award for creative frozen ice lollies advert

12 June 2020

A team of Film Production students at the University of Derby has won a national award for its creative and high-energy advert showcasing frozen ice lollies.  

The students won ‘Best in Brief’ at the NAHEMI Kodak Commercials Awards 2020, which required film students to create a 30-second advert responding to one of four professional briefs.

The team chose to produce a commercial for POPS alcohol-infused frozen cocktails, with the creative brief being to raise awareness of the brand using a fun, humorous and bold tone.

Derby students created Sweet Sensation (That Takes You on a Vacation) and took the brief to the next level by working the product tagline ‘break the ice’ into the advert by launching an actor through an igloo into an energetic beach party after discovering the product in a box in the snow.

Omar Soomro, who was Director and Cinematographer for the project, was assisted during pre-production, principle photography and post-production by a dedicated crew from first, second and third year students at Derby.

He said: “We wanted to create a bright and fun advert with loads of energy and a high-budget feel.

“As the consumer demographics for POPS leans toward females aged 20-30, we had the profile of our lead character. The idea was to show that when the character finds the ice lollies, it literally takes her on vacation; a product that delivers a well-deserved break.

“We began building igloos, buying fake snow and used about 600kg of sand for the set build. Our advert was shot on 16mm film, which requires lots of discipline so as to not waste the precious film stock.

“Over three days, with the support of 30 crew members including Derby students, we produced something we are all truly proud of. I was so grateful to have such strong, inspired colleagues to lean on and make this advert with.”

The awards ceremony, normally held at the prestigious Regent Street Cinema in London, was this year broadcasted live on YouTube.

The results were announced by Dougal Wilson, world-renowned director for broadcast advertising, who, talking about Derby’s advert in the announcement live stream, said: “The advert was very well thought out, and lots of work had gone into the production. Fantastic, it was a very tough brief.”

On watching the announcement live at home, Omar said: “I fell silent when we were announced as the winner. I was absolutely elated. The award is a testament to the unfaltering resolve of our amazing team, to their hard work and the support of our lecturers and university staff, including my mentor Barry Squires.”

Omar’s mentor Barry Squires, who is a Senior Lecturer in Film Production at the University of Derby, added: “Winning this award is an important milestone for our film production programme as we continue to develop students to an industry-standard in pre-production, principle photography and post production.

“As we train all of our students in traditional 35mm and digital acquisition, our students are educated and prepared for the exciting world of film and drama production for cinematic and broadcast release.

“This was a national event and we were in competition with many institutions across the UK. To win Best in Brief is testament to the skills and knowledge that our students have developed while studying here at the University of Derby. We are proud to add this important award to our portfolio of awards won in recent years.”

The NAHEMI Kodak Commercials Awards 2020 received more than 80 submissions from a number of universities and film schools from across the UK. 

Watch Derby’s award-winning advertView online award ceremony

Find out more about studying Film Production at the University of Derby.

Omar filming
Omar Soomro, Director and Cinematographer for the project. Photo credit: Brandon Marples

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