Bellingham’s Bernardinis Star in Walmart & Mobil Commercial
Oct 29, 2015 06:00AM ● Published by Steven Chisholm
The Bernardinis (L-R): Elizabeth, Shelly, Shelby and Todd
On the weekend of September 26, a Bellingham family was featured in the filming of a Walmart and Mobil commercial while camping in Loudon, NH. The Bernardini family—13-year-old Shelby, 18-year-old Elizabeth, and parents, Shelly and Todd—was chosen by an ad agency to be the topic of an internet commercial scheduled to air on Walmart’s website in January.
Shelly Bernardini landed the role for her family when a friend of hers, Terri Hart, referred her to a friend’s ad agency. “[Hart’s friend] was telling her that they were desperately searching for a family that goes camping up at Loudon at the races to follow them around for the NASCAR experience along with the Walmart and Mobil association, and she immediately thought of me,” said Bernardini.
The camera crew arrived at the Bernardini residence Friday morning, Sept. 26, to begin taping. “[The camera crew] followed me around as I did my packing… [and] followed my husband as he did the preparations outside,” said Shelly. Todd was filmed using Mobil products on the motor home and the family’s diesel pickup truck. Given that the family’s own motor home was not diesel-powered, the agency provided them one for the weekend. The camera crew then followed the family to Walmart to assist them in stocking up on supplies for the trip, for which the agency also paid.
Along the way to the campsite, the camera crew gathered shots both from the highway and from within the motor home. Once they arrived at their destination, the camera crew got a few shots of the family unpacking and setting up camp. “The whole tailgating scenario played a big part in it too,” said Bernardini.
On Saturday, the family and crew members went to the New Hampshire International Speedway to attend the festivities. “We drove around in go-karts. We did 25 laps racing against each other— the four of us... and they filmed all of that,” said Bernardini. “They basically filmed us from there walking down to the grandstands on our way into the track.” On top of paying for the motor home, race tickets, and camping supplies, the agency had also bought the family racing gear featuring the driver representing Walmart.
When asked about the experience of being filmed, Bernardini said, “[We] were doing family-time things... trying to ignore the cameras as much as we could... but then being ready to answer questions when they did Q&A with us.” Even the two daughters felt at ease around the cameras. “They were really good with it,” said Shelly. “My oldest, Elizabeth, has been behind a camera already for Girl Scouts on two different occasions and for school for the cooking contest back in 8th grade when Bellingham made it to the nationals. So she’s almost like an all-pro now.”
Recalling her favorite moments of the weekend, Bernardini said, “Watching the race Sunday... was really nice when it was down to just the four of us, but we had a lot of fun with the camera crew. They were a fantastic bunch. There were six of them with us for two days, and they couldn’t have been a better bunch of people. They were easy to work with, they enjoy what they do, and they just loved us, which made it nice. It was just a good weekend all around: the food, the company, the whole thing.”
Also, Bernardini explained an unexpected surprise that had come out of the interviewing process. “When they started asking us all of these questions..., they had brought up a lot of memories we had completely forgotten about over the past 20 years. So it was kind of a nostalgic throwback for us at the same time, which was really nice to reminisce about,” she said.
The Bernardini family’s commercial is set for a January release and covers a partnership between Walmart and Mobil, but more importantly, Shelly Bernardini believes that the commercial will convey the family-oriented aspects of camping.