Published March 2017

To bring in the new year—and celebrate the whirlwind that was 2016—our friends at the talent agency Vitamin T gifted us with a beautiful unicorn piñata. With a gorgeous, pastel-streamer mane. Filled to the brim with sweet, sweet candy.

But that wasn’t all. It turned out we weren’t the only ones to get a little rainbow trophy—a number of agencies across Portland also received papier-mâché unicorns filled with candy. And with every piñata came a challenge: Destroy it. But not with bats. With something more inventive. After all, it’s only fair to ask creatives to be…creative. The agency with the most imaginative destruction would be awarded a free happy hour, so you could say the stakes were high.

Preparing for a shower of rainbow shrapnel.

With our horned muse at the center of the table and a mission in mind, we began our brainstorming session. Should we strap it to a car? Take it snowboarding? See what happens when we leave it outside in the snow for a week? One thing we did know was that no matter what, glitter had to be involved. Then someone mentioned fireworks. We could stuff the piñata with glitter and explosives and blow it to pieces, recording the whole thing. And then, we could slow it down and play it in reverse. Watch it all come together. It seemed so simple.

We partnered with our friends at Lyon Films for their camera equipment and expertise. We stocked up on giant balloons, three types of glitter, and discount fireworks left over from New Year’s. The only thing left was to find a studio that would allow for (somewhat) controlled explosions.

Planning the destruction.

This turned out to be difficult. For some reason, most studios aren’t comfortable with extreme indoor pyrotechnics, even if they are “somewhat controlled.” Eventually, we realized that setting the scene outside would make much more sense. And, against the night sky, the explosion would prove much more dramatic. Luckily, we had access to some farmland far away from neighbors and city lights, way out in Corbett, Oregon.

So, one dark January evening, we set out toward Corbett with a unicorn, cameras, and fireworks in tow. Although the sun had come out long enough to melt the remains of Portland’s recent blizzard along most city streets, the snow wasn’t completely gone from Corbett’s hills and switchbacks. Something that was missing, though, was cell reception—and access to our navigation apps. Most of us got lost at least once along the way.

The beginning of the end.

But eventually, we made it. Or, most of us did. One of our designers never showed. Much later, we learned that he had gotten lost, was alarmingly low on gas, and couldn’t get reception long enough to call and let anyone know. Luckily, he made it home safe—and got an “Almost” mention in the Glitterbomb credits!

With the remainder of the crew finally gathered, the rest was fairly simple. Cut open the piñata with surgical precision, scoop out its candy guts, fill it with fireworks and glitter, tape it up, and—after arranging the balloons—light the fuse.

The rest was ballistic history.

(In case you were wondering, we did win that happy hour. Thanks, Vitamin T!)

In need of a great video campaign?
Check out our vlog and get in touch.