On January 8th, a production crew brought the sun to Inuvik, a town in the Artic Circle, in wayyyyyyyyy northern Canada.
What a brilliant idea.
The Northern News Service wrote prior to the shoot, “For the commercial, the company will bring in a 15,000 pound helium balloon equipped with 40,000 to 70,000 watts of electricity all the way from France. After being released, it will hover above the park emitting a soft orange light which is meant to mimic the sun.”
The orb was kept floating, and intermittently lit, for two days.
This was a good thing. Inuvik, with its 9,000 residents, gets about 30 consecutive days of total darkness around that time of year. As I write this today, their high temp was -7F. The average temperature for the year is 14F. Um. That’s very cold. And very dark. Extended periods of very cold darkness must be a huge bummer.
The idea was brilliant because of what it brought to Inuvik.
Altruism and goodwill came to town, as the locals got paid, and will get paid residuals. Money from the crew was spent in town. Plus, a town of that size getting a fun jolt in the dead of winter is a great boost.
Optimism that the winter blahs are about to end came to town. Optimism in winter is a remarkably powerful human joy experienced from the Arctic Circle to the South Pole.
The experience brought many levels of surprise, one the most powerful human experiences. Look for the shot of the girl looking out the school window. I bet she never forgets that moment.
And hey, Tropicana is trying to sell some orange juice here. So yeah, altruism, optimism and surprise are blatantly on the wrapping paper of Tropicana’s orange juice gift to Inuvik.
My guess is that Minute Maid orange juice won’t sell very well up there for the next 20 years or so.
(The beautiful Pink Moon-ish music track is called The Great Escape from Patrick Watson.)