Central Region Athletes Become Bose Commercial Talent
Back in September, two-time Olympic Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Avon, Colo.) traveled to Chicago, Illinois for a Bose commercial shoot. The concept was simple: FOCUS. ON.
As Bose put it, “Mikaela Shiffrin is perhaps the greatest skier of all time. And it’s for one reason—she stays focused better than anyone. Even when there are distractions around her, she has the ability to shut them out and retain her tunnel vision. And QC35s are a big reason why.” Indeed, Shiffrin can often be spotted in team hospitality between runs sporting her Bose QC35 headphones, eyes closed, either visualizing or napping. So it was only natural for Bose to suggest the commercial feature Shiffrin in a loud, crowded place, trying to block the distraction out.
After discussing what a day on the mountain looks like for Shiffrin and how she operates on race day, Bose created a commercial concept that looked like this:
When training, Mikaela uses every moment possible to improve—even when she’s traveling back to the top of the mountain between training runs. This is one of the places she studies film and uses visualization. After watching a clip of a previous run, she’ll close her eyes and picture
herself going through the course. Head, shoulders, arms, hips—even knees and feet all sway as she imagines going through each gate.
THE NOISE PROBLEM
But what happens if she’s not alone on the gondola? And what if those people are really excited? What if they are a group of fun-loving snowboarders/skiers who are loud and proud about enjoying the slopes? And what if the gondola is on the smaller side—causing them to encroach on her personal space?
THE SOLUTION—STEP 1
Mikaela is wearing a pair of QC35s around her neck for this exact reason. She’s not knocked off her focus. She smiles politely and raises the QCs onto her ears. Then, with the flick of her finger, she activates her secret weapon. Bose noise canceling technology magically pushes the noisy distraction far away. The gondola begins to transform and expand into a stretch-gondola. Maybe we see details of windows, walls, bracing, etc. stretching and expanding We could see the surprised and awed reactions of the snowboarders as the wall opposite Mikaela stretches away from her—moving the snowboarders with it. They also would go quiet with awe because of what’s happening.
THE SOLUTION—STEP 2
Canceling noise is only part of the solution. Music sounds great through QC35s. Music begins to play and Mikaela goes back to visualizing. In fact, maybe she’s even standing and physically making the motions of skiing the slalom course. She’s even more focused than before because
the music has moved the snowboarders even further from her universe. How do we know that? Because through the window, we can see legs and snowboard boots dangling from the top of the gondola. But Mikaela only sees herself ripping through the gates.
And there you have it. But...there was one thing missing. Extras...individuals who understood the sport and would want to be involved in such a special shoot. That’s where Ellen Adams, Club Development Manager for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, came into play. Adams was able to tap into our club network to engage Cascade Mountain Junior Race Team - out of Portage, Wisconsin - athletes Reese and Ellie Klemm. The Klemm family then recommended Tallon Cole, who skis for Wilmot Mountain’s race program, located in Wilmot, Wisconsin - just a short drive from Chicago, Illinois, where the commercial shoot was taking place.
We sat down with the Klemm sisters - Reese and Ellie - following the shoot to talk about the experience, and unveil the commercial so they could watch it for the first time.
Megan Harrod, Alpine Communications Manager - U.S. Ski & Snowboard: What was the experience like? Did it meet your expectations?
Ellie Klemm: It was a lot cooler than I expected. I’ve never really done anything like that before. I don’t think a lot of people get the ability to hang out with people like Mikaela, and she’s so much nicer and funny and friendly than you would think a celebrity would be. You think of celebrities and you think they’re going to be stuck up, but she’s such a normal person, joking with us on set, and it was really cool.
Reese Klemm: When Mikaela and her team walked in, my heart did a backflip. I was like, “OH...WOW.” It was so funny because at that point when Mikaela went to get her nails done I was also just chilling and getting my hair done. I was snapchatting everyone on my ski team, like, ‘Hey...guess what?!’ Their reaction was like, “Don’t talk to us...because now I’m jealous and I hate you.” (she laughed)
MH: So how did your friends react when they saw you on Mikaela Shiffrin’s Instagram story?
EK: We had put some stuff on our stories, like “Oh, you know, just hanging out with Mikaela Shiffrin.” And people that I don’t talk to regularly saw on her Instagram that I was there and they said, “Wait...were you on Mikaela Shiffrin’s Instagram page?! Super jealous!” I was like, “Um, yeah, no big deal.”
MH: I know how much work shoots can be - and I believe you were there for about eight hours. Did it feel like hard work?
RK: We got to skip school, so that was awesome. I thought it was SO fun because you don’t ever really get the chance to be in a commercial. I still talk about it, whenever it becomes slightly relevant in conversation to bring up being in the commercial.
After Mikaela and the U.S. Ski Team staff left, the producers said they needed someone to help them, so I became the kind of resident ski expert afterward, and that was really fun. They wanted a shot of Katie’s (the Mikaela stand-in) legs for visualization, and they wanted to have her pretending to visualize a course. Katie wasn’t a skier, so I had to show her how to move and show her how to create angles from left to right as if she were making a turn. The producers were questioning whether or not the power strap went under or over the speed suit. Towards the end, I got to hang out with the production team, and we were having so much fun.
MH: Have you seen the commercial?
EK: No. But we’d love to!
After that, we watched the commercial for the first time. The sisters giggled as they were watching. “I like it. It looks so cool,” Reese said. “I loved the end of the commercial when we were on the gondola,” added Ellie. “And everyone wanted to leave because it was such a long day, but I was thinking ‘I could stay here for the rest of my life. This is SO much fun!’”
That day will undoubtedly be a day these young Central Region athletes will never forget, and one that Shiffrin will carry with her, too, “It was such a fun shoot,” recalled Shiffrin. “First of all, the set was so impressive. Bose had basically created a gondola structure and it actually felt quite real. After I was done shooting, we all took photos together and I had the chance to hang a bit and chat with the talent, especially Reese and Ellie. We followed each other on Instagram and shared some fun behind-the-scenes content from the day. It was fun to meet some fans who shared my passion for the sport!”