The team went with a mixture of two concepts: One Team, Many Moments and Good As Gold. Through clever editing, the Bulls team is recreated into a single unit made up of individual Bulls players across the decades, telling the story of a routine sequence, different players passing the ball around the key, leading up to the moment where it branches off and becomes an iconic memory of its own.
Mill+ designer Matt Darnall, who art directed the spots, walks us through the process of creating the campaign:
It’s their 50th anniversary, so the Chicago Bulls Organization was interested in representing the team through the ages as a whole. Not just the 90’s Bulls that made the franchise iconic, but also the 60’s and 70’s teams that pioneered NBA basketball in Chicago, and the promising future of the modern era.
We ended up with “Tip Off” and “Momentum Change,” two edits that give the illusion that teams from multiple eras are sharing the same court, and experiencing similar moments. We did this mostly through edit - finding just the right clip from a 70’s player (Norman Van Lier for instance) making a pass that cuts similarly to a clip from the 90’s of Toni Kukoc receiving a pass from an identical camera angle, then draining a jump shot.
In our other edit, “Good as Gold,” we created a :60 second anthem piece. Here, Bowe came up with a nifty piece of writing that compares the Bulls franchise to the city it calls home, Chicago. This script drives the edit, showing off players and moments throughout the years. We also had access to an archive of beautifully designed vintage Chicago Bulls flyers, programs, ticket stubs, and trading cards. I think using these really gave a sense of heritage to the piece, and highlighted some rarely seen Bulls relics that I think Chicago basketball fans will be excited to see.
We continued to iron out the selected idea by diving into a longer and more detailed design study in understanding the brand and products. Although the brief kept evolving creatively throughout the whole process, we always tried to keep the core elements: arresting crops, vivid colors, and “effects” that remained front and center.
It was important for us to strike a specific balance of old and new footage. We wanted to represent the whole 50 years of the Bulls, so we had to be tactful with our selections. The selection process for choosing footage was hard. Very, very, hard. There is just so much stuff! Different eras had different challenges. Old footage from the 60’s and 70’s proved to be the most difficult - they just didn’t have as many cameras at games so there were less angles available to us and almost no B-Roll, as opposed to today, where you can have so much coverage.
We could probably tell you what flavor Gatorade Aaron Brooks was drinking on December 22, 2014 in the second quarter against the Toronto Raptors. Lemon Lime. I’m pretty sure it was Lemon Lime. We loved the contrast of footage from one era to another. The 70’s grain, the 80’s fuzz and aspect ratio, and the beautiful crystal clear high speed modern footage. It’s just so authentic, and perfectly descriptive of the eras. I see the VHS scan lines in my head when I think about the highlight tapes I watched over and over again as a kid. We embraced the video aesthetics of the times, and even worked it into some of the graphics as well.
We had tons of communication with Dan Zabinzki of Whitehouse Post, who edited the spots. He was really a team player. Dan is a massive fan of the Bulls, and we couldn’t imagine a better and more appropriate editor to have on board for this job. He has a knowledge of the game and of the Bulls that proved to be invaluable.
Watch all the spots below and find out more about the Golden History of the Bulls