Good news: Get to work on a the new campaign for the Jabbawockeez starting with a photoshoot of the guys.


Bad news: Photoshoot is tomorrow morning and the campaign needs to launch in a month.


That's the challenge that comes up all too often, but at least this one revolved around a high-energy and fun group of performers, making it worthwhile.


Originally there was going to be a teaser campaign which we spent quite a bit of time on and came up with a number of great concepts. However, they needed to sell tickets and didn't have time to tease, had to get right to it and say, "Jabbawockeez at Luxor! Buy tickets!"


The new show, PRiSM, is all about color, providing the dancers with new costumes (which they said made them look like Power Rangers). One of the teaser ideas was to have their shows lined up like a rainbow. My thought was the colored Adidases (Adidasi?) would be a striking image that said "urban" and "dance" and "fun." The fun part was actually watching the dancers struggle and contort to get their feet lined up.


Erik and I had expected to shoot images similar to the previous campaign, with the dancers in a line, arms crossed, only this time they'd be multi-hued. Halfway through the shoot we realized that wasn't going to be the case. Each of the dancers had given us "extra" poses of several jumps or dance moves we thought would be editorial or supplemental use but ended up becoming the primary images for the campaign. Shooting Jabbas: a lot harder than herding cats.


The first ad (the collage on grey) was rushed to get something into consumers' eyes and minds as the grand opening was rapidly approaching and, aside from their fans, not many knew the Jabbas were coming to Luxor or even who they were. Keeping the background neutral and light allowed the colorful dancers to stand out. The tough part was getting the approved idividual shots into a composition that was balanced and energetic and showed each of the Jabbas equally. This was the fifth iteration of the cluster, actually done after the fourth was approved, but I couldn't stop tweaking.


Fueled by my OCD, every iteration of the campaign had to have all seven colors represented. Posters? Room Keys? Blackjack felts? Banners? Gaming chips? Cutout standees? Seven versions of each of them.


The current designs being used were created by the Jabbas, but follow the same idea as the original campaign.


Agency: MGM Resorts International

Creative Director & Designer: Michael Dunn

Photography: Erik Kabik