Greg Shapiro Sells Potatoes for AGRISTO
14 Sept. 2022
Soda Stream, Dollar Shave Club, Old Spice with Terry Crews… and now Greg Shapiro sells potatoes for Agristo. In an online ad directed by Gouden Kalf winner Dennis Bots. Starring me, parachuting into a potato processing plant in Wielsbeke, Belgium.
Dennis Bots knew me from watching me at Boom Chicago theater in Amsterdam. There was a time I was improvising a James Bond character, and I entered wearing a jumpsuit – which I then removed to reveal a tuxedo. Coincidentally (?) Dennis hired me to appear wearing a skydiving outfit, which I would then pull away to reveal a tailored suit. And that’s how the video opens.
Why cast Greg Shapiro to sell potatoes? Dennis wanted John Cleese type to lead the viewer on a tour through the Agristo HQ & potato processing plant. Have you ever seen those truckloads of potatoes trundling down the Dutch and Belgian highways? Now I know where they go: Agristo. Thick-cut Belgian frites, thinly-sliced potato crisps, and even those starchy-molded Pringles. The processing plant was amazing.
THE MAKING OF
Day One started outside Agristo HQ, pulling off my flight suit. Then I got to meet the Agristo management team, who were also extras in the video. Some of them dressed as giant potatoes. This was a fun team.
Day Two took place in the processing plant, leading up to the ‘Matrix’ moment. Director Dennis wanted to demonstrate the many, many potatoes flying around the processing plant by recreating the ‘Bullet time’ moment from The Matrix.
There was a stuntman to help me, but I would be bending over backwards myself. The stuntman’s name was one of the more perfect names I’ve ever heard, by the way: Kili Wolf.
I knew of Dennis from his work directing kids shows like Sinterklaas Journal & Huis Anubis. He’s also done a lot of Belgian Studio 100 productions like K3. And he won his Golden Kalf for Achtste Groepers Huilen Niet. But then he revealed the coolest credits: he helped design some of the rides at amusement park Efteling. He did the Sprookjesboom in the fairytale forest, he did the story behind the rollercoaster Joris en de Draak, and most amazingly he helped design the part dark-ride / part rollercoaster / part wet-ride De Vliegende Hollander.
Producer Reinhout Nechelput revealed at the wrap party that this production was the first with his new production company. It was great. Creatives at Belgian D-artagnan were creative. And branding manager at Agristo was delightful.
GREG SHAPIRO PREVIOUS CORPORATE HOSTING