Quincy cools off with some ice cream

The crowd listens to the music and mills around at the ice cream social. Though the event was announced just two days earlier, a large number turned out for free ice cream and live music.
James Wilson
Sports Editor

How cool is Quincy, the town voted the coolest small town in the West? Ice cold. The England-based company Wall’s apparently thinks so, at least. The European ice cream company set a crew up in Quincy on April 11 to film a commercial to be aired online later this month.

The company coordinated with the San Francisco branch of DDB Worldwide Communications Group Inc., a global advertising firm. Some members of the firm saw Quincy on Yahoo late last year, voted as one of the coolest small towns in America, and thought it would be a great location to film.

“It’s such a cute, quaint, small town,” explained DDB’s Danielle Watchman on its choice of location. “We really liked the look of it. We thought it would be a nice fit for what we are going for.”

The advertising agency contacted Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood to start planning the filming. DDB needed Hagwood’s help, because the commercial’s script involved the county sheriff’s office.

Hagwood coordinated with DDB over the last five months, keeping the project under wraps the entire time. Quincy was soon to be bombarded with ice cream, and the whole world would see.

“I thought it would be a wonderful way to promote our community,” said Hagwood. “At the same time, it reflected well on our agency and accurately reflects the wonderful nature of this town. I hope when people see the ad, they’ll make a decision to visit Plumas County and see the beautiful town of Quincy.”

DDB hired Twenty-nine Black Productions, a film production company out of San Francisco, to handle all the necessary filming. Twenty-nine Black has filmed commercials for major brands such as Kingsford, Clorox and Comcast.

On Friday, April 11, the crew set up multiple cameras around the courthouse. The team rented out the 505 Apartments on Main Street, owned by Claudia Vickers, to use as its base of operations. The secret element to the commercial: capture people’s expressions on hidden cameras.

The premise of the commercial was simple. Hagwood, along with Deputy Sgt. Carson Wingfield and actor Scott Peat from Los Angeles, would pull cars over in front of the courthouse for “driving too serious.”

The commercial filmed in Quincy will be part of a larger ad campaign by Wall’s. Filming also took place in such countries as the United Arab Emirates and Columbia. The global message is simple: don’t take life so seriously.

At around noon last Friday, filming began. Rather than receiving a ticket, drivers were given a complimentary ice cream cone and their expressions and reactions were filmed for the commercial. All the drivers pulled over reacted well, and generally enjoyed being a part of the commercial.

“It was a little nerve-wracking,” said Hagwood about being on camera. “I wasn’t sure what to expect or how people would react, but everyone was good-humored about it. It ended up being a lot of fun for everybody.”

To show appreciation to Quincy for allowing the stunt, Wall’s held an ice cream social at the Dame Shirley Plaza later that afternoon. Droves of people showed up for free ice cream and live music.

In addition to the ice cream social, Wall’s donated $2,500 to Plumas Arts and $2,500 to the Plumas County Animal Shelter in Hagwood’s name.

The commercial will begin airing April 28 on various websites online.

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