Exploring the globe through virtual production

Ballantine’s, a venerable name in the world of Scotch whisky, epitomises the artistry and craftsmanship of fine spirits. Founded in 1827, the brand has evolved into a symbol of prestige and quality, celebrated globally for its exceptional blends. Ballantine’s has consistently adhered to its founding principles of meticulous blending and aging, creating whiskies known for their smoothness, complexity, and rich flavours. With a heritage spanning nearly two centuries, the brand has remained a trailblazer, introducing innovative expressions and staying true to its commitment to excellence. As a brand synonymous with sophistication and a discerning taste for life’s pleasures, Ballantine’s continues to be a benchmark in the world of Scotch whisky, captivating the palates of connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike. 

About this post



January 31, 2024



The brief

The shift in creative direction for the Ballantine’s “prestige highball social campaign” reflects a strategic departure from the brand’s previous imagery, characterised by colder tones and subtle shadows, conveying a sense of distance and a slower, more traditional form of luxury.  

The decision to transition to a warmer, more vibrant aesthetic perfectly aligned with the evolving narrative of the brand.  

“Time well spent is doing the things you’ve always wanted to. Living life to the fullest.” 

Inspired by this concept, our job was to depict a jet-setting, go-getting lifestyle, with the product taking centre stage. 

The use of shadows would suggest a stretch of time, capturing nuances like the time of day and the increasing depth of the liquid, which is particularly poignant as the age of the SKU rises. This intentional play with shadows would not only add depth and sophistication to the visuals but also contribute to the storytelling, emphasising the experience of enjoying Ballantine’s over time.

The challenges

The challenges extended beyond the creative scope to logistical and environmental considerations. Traditional location shoots posed multiple challenges: 

  • Travel and accommodation: Coordinating and organising travel for the entire production crew, including equipment, to multiple global destinations for the desired backgrounds would have posed a considerable logistical challenge. 
  • Permits and clearances: Securing permits and permissions for shooting in different locations, particularly in “prestige places,” involves a complex process that varies from one country or region to another. 
  • Time constraints: Shooting on location adds time constraints, as the team would need to adhere to schedules and availability at each destination. 
  • Carbon footprint: Extensive travel for the entire crew and equipment would significantly increase the footprint of the production. 
  • Weather dependence: On-location shoots are highly dependent on weather conditions, posing a risk of disruptions and impacting the ability to capture the desired visuals.  
  • Limited control: Controlling lighting, background elements, and set design becomes challenging in outdoor locations, potentially compromising the creative vision. 
  • Limited flexibility: Post-production edits might be constrained due to the fixed nature of the captured footage. Any changes or adjustments would require additional shoots or complex post-production processes. 

Our team had to come up with a solution in a controlled and flexible studio environment, reducing costs, logistical complexities, and environmental impact while providing an effective and versatile content package for the client. 

Our approach

Our approach involved creating a hybrid set that seamlessly combined physical components with virtual production backgrounds, achieving a realistic and visually captivating representation of “prestige places.” 




Lighting seamlessly connected background scenes to the physical set, crafting a cohesive and immersive visual experience. This not only added authenticity but also enhanced the overall scene ambiance, providing a genuine feel to the virtual travel experience. 

The simplicity of the setups directed attention to the product and its serving, emphasising the essence of the campaign. By incorporating a range of props, each set could be easily transformed to support product accent colours and suggest various times, hobbies, or interests, reinforcing the jet-setting, go-better lifestyle associated with enjoying the perfect whiskey serves. 

On set, we accommodated a combination of on-set attendance from our partner agency and remote attendance from the end client, where we shared the photographer’s monitor for live & quick feedback. 

To enhance flexibility and post-production editing, we delivered variations and white background visuals that allowed for seamless edits in post-production. This strategy provided the client with greater flexibility to tailor the content to evolving needs or to test different visual approaches without the need for additional shoots. The adaptability of the delivered content demonstrated BLT’s commitment to making the client’s life easier by ensuring they had versatile and editable assets at their disposal. 


We created a total of 30 completely unique assets in just two days.


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Who worked on this one

This project wouldn't have been possible without our awesome team!