A Japanese Sports Drink Made a Perfectly Thrilling Ad for Spring

Dentsu piece was shot in a single take, with every frame filmed in-camera

Nothing heralds spring like the sun's first kiss on winter-chilled skin, and the lush awakening of cherry blossoms in afternoon light. We feel both in the exhilarating moments of "But Then I Saw You," an ad for Japanese ion supply drink Pocari Sweat.

Directed by Show Yanagisawa and conceived by agency Dentsu, it opens on a dark school corridor and follows a young woman, actress Nakajima Sena. She is initially walking, very slowly, away from the camera. Suddenly she turns, as if summoned, and breaks in a run in the opposite direction, navigating earth rolling under her feet and a dizzying flurry of loose papers, which yield to blossoms when she throws open the doors and races into the sunshine.

Pocari Sweat | But Then I Saw You

That sprint through a flowering courtyard makes a lush contrast to the dark hallway, a metaphor for spring's arrival and the optimism that awakens when sensing longer, brighter days ahead. Sena crosses into what looks like an arts building to retrieve a friend, and together they dash off into the light. The energy is enviable and there's a vacation feeling in the air. The work is taglined, "Turn a headwind into a tailwind."

Production was a sport in and of itself. According to Shots, the ad was shot in a single take, with every frame captured in-camera, and an undulating set, nearly 85 meters long. The sides of the hallway are composed of fabric; even the wisteria-supporting terrace was designed for movement.

The behind-the-scenes video below nicely captures the elaborate work that went into putting this together. Seeing the set in production context somehow just makes it more stunning.

Pocari Sweat | But Then I Saw You (making of)
Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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