Apple commercial shot in Kyiv. Why does the capital of Ukraine attract global brands? – Kiev Private Tours
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New Apple Watch commercial shot in Kyiv
4 Oct

Apple commercial shot in Kyiv. Why does the capital of Ukraine attract global brands?

Western giants loved Ukrainian capital: Apple, Google, Diesel, Mazda and Lacoste shoot their ads in the Ukrainian metropolis.

Kiev railway station on Apple presentation

Today, the culmination of Ukrainian advertising industry development is Kiev views in Apple’s advertising video that was first demonstrated during the presentation of new Company products held on September 12, 2017, in the Californian city of Cupertino.

In the video, the famous Spanish skateboarder Kilian Martin spins through the building of Kiev railway station and Zoloti Vorota metro station. Skateboarder advertised new model of Apple Watch against the background of metropolitan views and surrounded by crowds of townspeople.

Apple Watch ad shot at Kiev railway station and Zoloti Vorota metro station

“Kiev is now on trend,” says Anastasia Bukovska, Executive Producer of Family production studio. “This is a cool European capital. Foreigners did not expect that there is something interesting here, except for the Pechersk Lavra and the cathedrals. ”

The Ukrainian studio Radioaktive Film participated in the shootings for Apple. Founded in 1998 by three Americans, two of whom are of Ukrainian origin, it became a leader of local advertising market.

It was not easy to get Apple: the giant does not work directly with Ukrainian contractors. Ukrainian companies may receive orders by winning the tenders of American advertising agencies. Those, in turn, sign contracts with Apple and then look for countries where one can take a high-quality and inexpensive video. This is how Americans turned their attention to Ukraine.

Moreover, they are not alone: ​​in summer, Radioaktive participated in advertisement for the French clothing brand Lacoste, and before that, the Company worked with Google, Xbox, General Electric and Heineken.

Value for money

Ukrainian advertising productions attract foreigners first of all by its low price: the cost of filming in Ukraine is usually 4-5 times lower than in a developed European country or the United States. Even in the neighboring Czech Republic, where they already make Hollywood films, expenses are higher due to higher employee salaries.

At the same time, Western brands are not ready to trust expensive surveys to local experts in this field. Most often, they also bring their operators. In that case, Ukrainian production gets the role of organizer of filming – logistics, provision of technical equipment, crowd shots, accommodation and food. “If ten experts from America come here for a week (and they always fly business class), this is additional $50,000 to the estimate of the shooting,” – summarizes Pavlo Vrzhech, founder of Banda creative agency.

Mazda ad shot on unfinished Podilsko-Voskresenski Bridge in Kiev

Bukovska says that today even Ukrainian creative agencies do not really want to work with local directors, because they believe that there is a risk that something will go wrong and they want to be safe to avoid losing a large western client. “Universities are not teach advertising directors, and filmmakers look at advertising production down their noses,” complains the producer.

Still a new generation of national directors is snapping the heels of their foreign competitors. Production studios have long refused it but now they more and more often consider the services of cheaper Ukrainian specialists for local projects, explains Julian Ulybin, director and founder of Shoot Group.

Domestic studios are technically ready for the most exquisite foreign orders. On the local market, there are two large rentals – Patriot and Illuminator. They lease any equipment one might need for shooting – lightning equipment, cameras, etc.

Ulybin from Shoot Group is proud to consider that his studio has High Speed ​​Motion Control – a robot that moves camera at a speed of 6 m/sec and can provide the effect of “frozen water”. “In the former USSR, only we have such a robot,” the director points out. “There are a couple of such robots in the EU, so they often contact us when they need to shoot food advertising – because we are cheaper.”

Where they shot ads

In Ukraine, you can get permission to shoot in places where any other developed country would have prohibit, said Pavlo Vrzhech from Banda creative agency.

“In many countries, it’s not allowed to shoot in the subway, no matter how much money you can pay,” he says. “I do not imagine Apple hiring New York train station and how much it would cost.”

Diesel ad shot on unfinished Podilsko-Voskresenski Bridge in Kiev

Natalia Makogon, advisor to the head of the Kiev Metro, confirms his words. It is not difficult to agree on shooting in metropolitan metro – it is only necessary to fill out the form on the website and be ready to pay the estimate, which includes bills for electricity, use of the wagon warehouse and the salary of technical workers.

During the filming of the Apple movie, everything went without any problems, according to a pre-designed plan. “The Kiev subway is interesting with its urban design of the stations,” emphasizes Makogon. “It’s no wonder that Zhytomyrska, Vydubychi and Teatralna metro stations regularly appear in popular ads.”

Recently, Family Production Studio shot ad for Italian clothing brand Diesel in Kiev. For the first two weeks, it had over 200,000 views on YouTube – a very good indicator for such type of content.


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The video was directed by French film specialist Francois Roussel, who shot clips for Rolling Stones, Snoop Dogg and Madonna. The song “Non, je ne regrette rien” by Edith Piaf sounds in the video.

Roussel chose unfinished Podilsko-Voskresenski Bridge as a shooting location.

In 2016, the same bridge became the place for ad shoot of Mazda automobile brand. Popular British racing driver Ben Collins participated in the shooting. The commercial features how he is driving a blinded car on bridge, relying solely on the dashboard indicators and sensors, which prevent the car from falling into the water.

Dmytro Sukhanov, Executive Producer of Toy Production, who shot advertisements in Ukraine for the British telecom operator Virgin Media, the Italian automotive brand FIAT and the great American energy company Chevron, explains the attractiveness of Kiev’s aesthetics. “The global market is interested in Soviet architecture, as well as in modern interior things,” he emphasizes. “Our Pirogovo is of no interest for them, it’s only Ukrainian internal aesthetics. The world needs cosmopolitanism.”

Kate Dobromishev

Tour Guide in Guide me UA / English language / Private Tours in Kyiv

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