7 February 2023

Classic Seears Workwear ad gets a movie makeover ... now ya know!

| James Coleman
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Man in hard hat and man in Akubra

A Seears Workwear ad like you’ve never seen. Photo: Good Shout.

Finger-lickin’ good. I’m lovin’ it. You know the brands from three simple words. In Canberra, it’s “now ya know”.

It probably doesn’t need further explanation, especially when you throw in a sing-song, “Seears Workwear, Barrier Street, Fyshwick!”

It’s the phrase that ends every advertisement – whether on television or radio – for Seears Workwear. The family-owned company, run by Pat and his son Shane, has provided Canberra’s blue-collar workers with everything from flannel jackets to pocketknives since May 2002.

But is there more to this story? One local video production company certainly thought so.

Good Shout, co-owned by Nicholas Arganese and Brett Frawley, has turned the famous ad into a full-blown movie trailer, and the result is as much a ripper as you’d expect.

Cinematic projects and commercials are no strangers to the 10-strong company, but as videographers for the Australian Olympic, Paralympic and Dolphin teams, sports coverage is Good Shout’s bread and butter.

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Once a year, though, the team partakes in a blue-sky, no-holds-barred hackathon.

“Basically, we come up with a creative project we have to put together within 48 hours,” Nicholas explains.

“A lot of our jobs require a quick turnaround, so it’s an exercise in skill and teamwork, as well as just trying something we don’t normally do for our clients.”

Some brainstorming later and the team settled on a short movie trailer format featuring “something well known in Canberra”. As soon as the Seears Workwear ad was mentioned, Nicholas says “everyone was immediately attached”.

“The ideas started coming left, right and centre as to what we could do with it.”

It was important the end product still felt like a Seears ad, just taken up to the next level.

“We watched a bunch of 30-second movie trailers, and when you’ve only got that much time to tell a story, there’s really not much you can do,” Nicholas says.

“It’s all about jamming in as many enticing and engaging shots as possible.”

There isn’t really much of a story to the ad, apart from combining 30 to 35 different movie-inspired scenes in very quick succession.

“We sat around for a couple of hours, just thinking of the types of shots we’d seen in movie trailers,” Nicholas says.

“So we have two guys running frantically through a forest – great. Give them Seears shopping bags and it’s in.”

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Of course, the song had to remain, but it was tweaked and sung by in-house musician Sam Hosking.

Most of the scenes were shot either around the company’s Mitchell studio or in the studio itself, but Black Mountain Tower makes an appearance and eagle-eyed southside viewers will also recognise Fadden Pines.

“We tried to remember cool locations from when we were kids, and with cinematic cameras and a bit of lighting, it’s amazing what you can do with them. A normal-looking park can become something really quite epic.”

The scene that took the longest to finesse involved videographer Steph and her dog.

“It’s just one two-second shot, focussing on the dog as the pair drive along a highway in a car,” Nicholas says.

“But in reality, it was three hours of setting up a backdrop and projector, with a couple of guys shaking the car as if it were moving and another is aiming a blower at Steph’s hair, and so much more.”

But driving the team was not only the 48-hour deadline but also the fact Seears had no idea what was coming.

“That was kind of the carrot on the end of the stick for us. Are they going to love it? Are they going to hate it?”

They loved it.

“It’s a pretty weird thing to receive out of the blue, but we ended up having a five-hour lunch with Pat and Shane, just talking about anything and everything.”

But the job wasn’t done yet. It was always Nicholas’ vision to include Pat himself in the final shot, and now with the Seears’ ample blessing on the mock movie trailer, Pat was more than happy to oblige.

“We set up a time to shoot Pat’s famous ‘Now ya know’ line, so that’s added in there now.”

The trailer – followed by a behind-the-scenes video – was uploaded to social media to “overwhelming feedback”.

“Everyone loves it,” Nicholas says.

“I think the idea of taking something recognisable and turning it all the way up to 11 in a completely ridiculous way strikes gold. It’s definitely something we’ll do again.”

Now ya know.

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Very good. But I’m afraid it can’t surpass Working Gear with Chicka Ferguson scoring his amazing grand final try.

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