At the end of 2017, we were delighted to take part in a ‘very’ special birthday Science Boffins event.
Last year Very.co.uk ran a campaign asking people across the UK to nominate someone amazing and inspiring who had given up lots for others. They received thousands of nominations but in the end, Jude was chosen as the winner. Ever since his grandad (or Popsy) became ill, Jude has been busy raising money for a brain tumour charity, including giving up his birthday to head to his local shopping centre with a bucket to collect spare change for the charity. The team at Very.co.uk thought Jude was very deserving of being their winner and so set the wheels in motion to give him an extra special birthday surprise…
When we got a call asking if we could be part of a television advert, our answer was automatically a yes. When we were told it was for a large corporate customer and they wanted a big reveal of a prize at the end, both our business brains and our scientific senses went into overdrive. What could we do to reveal a prize? The sky was our limit.
We tried smoke bombs (too smoky for indoor use), cannons (too noisy), setting fire to it (apparently they still needed the prize) and in the end opted for a smoke screen using dry ice to completely hide the gift and make it look like it appeared from nowhere.
Fast forward a few days and Boffin Harry and Boffin Oli are in Leeds, in a small hall which has now been transformed into a planetarium. Boffin Harry had the full celebrity treatment and embarked on a walk-through of the television advert, being advised by the director and film crew where various cameras would be, who would stand where and all the other important fine details that had been meticulously planned well in advance.
Then the director shouts “and Emma will be standing just here.” Emma… Who’s Emma? The only Emma we knew about was on the support team. Why would she be in shot of the camera? “Excuse me, who’s Emma?” “Emma Bunton” came the reply.
Let’s just take a moment to let that settle in. Emma Bunton, Baby Spice herself was not only going to see the advert, she was going to be in it with Boffin Harry! The very same Emma Bunton that just a few hours earlier we had been listening to on Heart FM was now hurtling through the Yorkshire countryside at over 100mph with the sole purpose of meeting us. Well, Jude, but we like to think it was us really.
A few hours later and all the guests are in place and waiting to surprise Jude, a young man who genuinely had no idea that this party was about to take place. After shouting surprise a good 10 times for various camera shots we were ready to perform. 20+ children and an equal number of adults watching Boffin Harry do what he does best; perform.
And then came the big reveal – the gift from the corporate customer (Very.co.uk) who had been running their #LoveGiving campaign. It went perfectly! By the end of a very long day we had a happy Jude who had had a lovely party and won a trip to America with his family.
As Science Boffins we would like to pass on our congratulations to Jude and his family for winning the nomination, a very well deserved winner who dedicated so much of his time to such a worthy cause. We were delighted we were part of his ‘very’ special birthday surprise.
Watch the advert below and find out more at https://www.very.co.uk/lovegiving.page.