The Berghoff TV Spots were shot at the downtown Blue Chicago (in Chicago of course). We had seen Eric Sardinas open up for Steve Vai playing with a slide bottle very similarly to this, so he was a natural to be in the commercial. Eric composed the music specifically for this commercial.
The idea behind the blues theme was two-fold. First, Berghoff was already sponsoring a blues bash in Monroe, Wisconsin, so it was a obvious tie-in. But more than that, the idea was to try to introduce Berghoff to a new generation of beer drinkers while trying not to alienate our older audience. The blues seemed to be the perfect unifier, all ages love the blues (and even if you don’t personally like the blues, you know the blues is cool… no one is going to be alienated by the blues.)
The original concept was to have a big club scene with all kinds of people enjoying their Berghoff beers listening to the blues bands, but as the creative team worked on it, they came up with this idea of a lone blues player enjoying his bottle of beer. Now perhaps not as strong conceptually with the idea of having people associate with the brand, it worked logistically and definitely made the budget needed smaller.
The second of two commercials for Berghoff Beer featured Chicago’s very own, grammy-nominated mouth-harp player Billy Branch.
We toyed with different ways to create the effect of the beer bottle rising each time Billy’s foot stomped on the floor. The solution was pretty old tech, created a pneumatic device to raise the floorboard while a wire moved the bottle along. No digital effects in this commercial.