How an editor used Adobe Premiere to cut commercials for a new health care campaign

Feb 25, 2019 at 02:00 pm by Submitted

Adobe Premiere

The Colonie editor Tom Pastorelle recently partnered with Merge on a broadcast and web campaign for Advocate Aurora Health, one of the largest nonprofit integrated health systems in the U.S.

The Chicago-based company's editorial, motion design, animation and finishing services were tapped for a trio of spots by the marketing and advertising agency, which executed a large media buy for the campaign that included local airing during this year's Super Bowl.

All the commercials are set to the melody of "C'mon, Get Happy," the nostalgic theme song from the '70's TV show The Partridge Family. The lyrics are switched to "C'mon, Get Healthy," with variations on the verses and tempo underscoring each spot's message and establishes its tone.

The first spot, Anthem, is an emotional :60, that touches on seminal moments in a couple's life. It tells the story of a boy and girl who first meet at a football game, become high school and then college sweethearts, marry, have a child, and watch their daughter go off to college, leaving the empty-nesters to begin the next chapter of their lives. Cut to a slow-paced version of the track, the story ends where it began, on the football field. The spot closes with the tagline, "Together let's make healthy happen."

Advocate-Aurora Anthem from The Colonie on Vimeo.

"'Anthem' was a lot of fun to edit," says Pastorelle, who cut the spots on Adobe Premiere. "We played with a few different options for opens and endings before deciding to bookend the commercial with the couple back where they first met. We also explored different ways to use voiceover, ultimately discovering that the storytelling was more engaging with just the music and vocals."

"Cutting a 60-second spot that spans 30-years required making some tough choices," adds the editor. "One of the challenging aspects of the process was parting with some of director Paul Dektor's beautiful scenes."

The lively feel of the :30's, "Cardio" and "Tech" are a departure from "Anthem's" touching story. Pastorelle wove together a variety of cheery, light-hearted scenes featuring diverse groups of people engaging in healthy everyday activities while singing along with upbeat versions of "C'mon, Get Healthy."

"Hearing so many different voices singing the lyrics really makes the spots feel very inclusive," says the editor. "However, many of the actors' vocalizations weren't in sync with the soundtrack, which made cutting both 'Cardio' and 'Tech' pretty tricky."

Pastorelle worked with Assistant Editor Lindsey Fisher, reviewing the footage multiple times to find the scenes with performances that best matched the music and fit the sequencing. After considerable tweaking, including ADR, they were able to align the vocals with the tracks seamlessly.

"Cardio" features groups of people exercising together, from running to practicing 'goat' yoga in a park - while live goats join in on the action. We also see a lady dancing with her dog, two young women following a recipe posted on Advocate's app as they prepare a heart-healthy meal, and a runner taking a moment to check her stats on her 'smart' watch. The variety of scenarios in the :30 showcase people enjoying everyday activities, as they sing along with 'C'mon, Get Healthy."

Advocate-Aurora Tech from The Colonie on Vimeo.

"Tech," the second :30 in the campaign, weaves together scenes of folks enjoying various activities while using Advocate's digital health services network to schedule appointments and e-visits, as well as access tools from where ever their day takes them. The voiceover, "Advocate Aurora offers new ways to connect to your health - anytime anywhere. Together let's make healthy happen," helps bring home its message.

After completing the rough cuts for each commercial, Merge's creatives sat in on the edit sessions, working with Pastorelle to find the best approach to making each spot a simple story with an engaging message.

The editor's working relationship with the agency's Executive Creative Director, Michael Matykiewicz goes back over a decade. The ECD introduced him to Kevin Houlihan, Merge's CCO, which led to the Pastorelle cutting a number of projects for the agency, including some of Advocate's earlier campaigns.

The Colonie's talent worked under one roof as a collaborative team through every phase of the project. The company's full-service approach enabled it to provide the efficient workflow needed to meet Merge's tight deadline and deliver a compelling campaign.

Jennifer Moody, The Colonie's creative director, used Adobe After Effects to animate the screens of the multiple mobile devices that appear in the spots and design the motion graphics for all of the end titles. Tom Dernulc finished the commercials on Autodesk Flame with the assistance of Ben Pokorny. The footage required a wide range of fixes, from transforming a high school football field into a large-scale college stadium to removing the hand of a goat handler.

"I always enjoy working with the team at Merge," adds Pastorelle. "They're committed to making each spot the best it can be - and we invariably have fun and share a lot of laughs along the way. Collaborating with Merge has always been a rewarding experience and teaming up with them on this job was no exception."

About The Colonie
The Colonie is an award-winning Chicago-based creative editorial, motion design, visual FX and finishing postproduction house with a seamless full-service approach to creating broadcast and digital content that engages, entertains, informs and moves audiences.

National and global clients, such as McDonald's, BCBS, Facebook, Anheuser-Busch, Nintendo, Levi's, PepsiCo, Walmart and Bayer are just a few of the brands that call upon the company's collaborative team of talent to deliver compelling visual stories that elevate the viewer's experience and connects them to their brands across multiple platforms. For more information visit

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