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Advertising’s Humanity Outreach

Many advertising agencies and filmmakers last year, laudably devoted intuitive conceptual time to creative initiatives, for worthy social causes, and some notable advertisers, took a break from selling their wares, to use their media reach, in selling ourselves to ourselves, with exemplary humanitarian outreach communication campaigns.

1. J&B Rare, She

Advertising Agency: El Ruso de Rocky, Madrid, Spain

Production Company: Agosto, Madrid, Spain

Masterly directed by filmmaker Gabe Ibáñez, with emotive empathy, the J&B Rare short-film, featuring a soundtrack rendition of Charles Aznavour’s song “She” by Music Production House Chaco, is for me, one of the most movingly produced, scenarios of last year.

On the Muse by Clio website, Angela Natividad, author of Generation Creation, provides erudite introductory context, to J&B and El Ruso de Rocky ‘She’s’ advertising initiative, that makes for highly recommended reading.

Here’s one insightful excerpt: “You can’t help who you are. It’s a nature that’s stronger than our forces and our discipline. But we’ve perhaps all had the experience of discovering that, in the context of our society and our time, that same nature, inoffensive on its own, can make our lives a solitary tragedy”.

“It’s up to us how to negotiate, and maybe transmogrify that pain to as much for ourselves, as for the ones like us who follow. This is the beating heart of ‘She’, a J&B Tale”.

2. Ronald McDonald House Charities, Captain Olson

Advertising Agency: TBWA, Madrid, Spain

Production Company: Primo Content, Barcelona, Spain

Post Production and VFX Studio: Serena, Madrid, Spain

Ronald McDonald House Charities, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, USA, is an independent, nonprofit organisation, operating in 64 countries and regions, providing medical care to children, and support to families, to be actively involved in their health and well-being, by being able to be housed nearby.

TBWA Spain and Chief Creative Director Juan García Escudero’s insightfully inspired ‘Captain Olson’, short-film scenario, was brought to emotional life, by widely lauded director and filmmaker, Felipe Gomez Aparicio.

The superbly produced short-film, with remarkable performances by its young stars, features a soundtrack by Spanish concert, film and TV music composer, Fernando Velázquez.

3. John Lewis & Partners, The Beginner

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks, London, UK

Post Production Studio: nineteentwenty, London, UK

In continuation of their ‘Building Happier Futures’ initiative, John Lewis & Partners, teamed up with UK Charity Action for Children, and Scotland’s voluntary organisation working with and for, children and young people, who are in care, named Who Cares?

Directed by filmmaker Steve Rogers, ‘The Beginner’ commercial, is a heartwarming human portrayal, of insightful pathos and empathy, featuring a soundtrack rendition of American Rock Band Blink-182’s, “All the Small Things”, by Atlanta, Georgia, USA, vocalist and entertainer, Mike Geier.

4. Penny Supermarket, The Rift

Advertising Agency: Serviceplan, Munich, Germany

Production Company: ANORAK Film, Berlin, Germany

Service Production Company: ICON Films, Bucharest, Romania

Post Production and VFX Studio: Time Based Arts, London, UK

German discount retailer Penny’s end of year communication initiative, filmed at a residential high-rise in Bucharest, Romania, was masterly directed by filmmaker Seb Edwards.

Eliciting superb performances from his cast, ‘The Rift’ scenario centres on everyday-life’s needs for more tolerance, empathy, and open-minded understanding.

The atmospheric short-film, with its impressive visual effects, powerfully portrays the running cracks that increasingly appear in society, with analogous scenes of an ordinary apartment block, literally being torn apart by the insensitive lack of consciousness by its ill-disposed inhabitants.

On the ‘Muse by Clio’ online portal, Serviceplan managing partner Christoph Everke remarked: “The essence of Penny is community. The retailer has 29,000 employees who come into direct customer contact every day and are exposed to all these conflicts that we describe in our film”.

“At Penny markets, all people, opinions and their disputes meet. They are the neighbourhood market that stands for closeness and community. So, the message comes directly from the heart of the brand.”

5. Montreal Children’s Hospital, Two Little Brats For Life

Advertising Agency: Cossette, Québec City, Québec, Canada

Production Company: Septième, Montreal, Québec, Canada

Post Production and VFX Studio: Post430, Montreal, Québec, Canada

Cossette’s 2022 fund raising initiative for Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, in support of research innovations and paediatric healthcare, centres on a scenario of two mischievous best friends.

Directed by Benjamin Nicolas, of the Montreal filmmakers collective, 4ZERO1, the two young stars, Tyler Epassy as Max, and Remi Brideau as Lou, deliver remarkable self-assured performances in the ‘Two Little Brats For Life’ short-film, that are likably engaging. 

On the Little Black Book’s LBBOnline website, Renée Vézina, President of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, provided this insight.

“Healthy kids are curious and, let’s be honest, they can sometimes be a bit bratty, but we want to give kids the chance to be healthy enough to be mischievous brats again”.

6. Amazon, Joy Is Made

Advertising Agency: Lucky Generals, London, UK

Production Company: Hungryman, London, UK

Post Production and VFX Studios: Black Kite, London, UK

Directed by New Zealand actor, comedian, and Academy award-winning filmmaker, Taika Waititi, the festive season Amazon short-film, features a heart-warming scenario about a father’s love for his daughter.

To a stirring soundtrack of American singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Jonathon Linaberry’s song “You Hold Me Up”, the father played by Jared Turner, with Anouk Christiansen as his daughter, deliver sterling performances of emotive endearment.

On the Creative Boom’s industry magazine website, Ed Smith, Amazon’s General Manager of Integrated Marketing Europe, provided this valuable creative insight.

“We’re constantly inspired by the inventive spirit of Amazon customers, and we wanted to tell a story with a different view of generosity and ‘giving’ at Christmas, and the joy from doing something special for someone you love.”

“We’re happy to play a small part in creating that joy, but the story’s hero is a father’s love for his child.”