European culture channel Arte has programmed a special summer season of movies and documentaries around siblings. The season promises a look at musicians (the Bee Gees, Brian and Roger Eno), fictional stories (The Blues Brothers, Rain Man), and other public figures – from the British monarchy (Harry and William) to American royalty (the Williams sisters).
When KesselsKramer was asked to create a campaign for the Summer of Brothers and Sisters, the team cast their minds back to their own sibling relationships as children.
Looking back, they realised that their brothers and sisters could bring them joy, but also drive them up the wall. This was the key to the concept at the centre of the promotional campaign: the “de-romanticisation” of sibling relationships.
To bring the idea to life, the team turned to photographer and director Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek, whose portfolio is filled with humour and levity.
In the Arte campaign, Koekkoek captures young brothers and sisters in messy situations, in which there always appears to be a winner and a loser – the small acts of mischief and evil that form the basis of funny recollections years later. His lo-fi aesthetic, helped by the use of a camcorder for the campaign film, was designed to take audiences back into the past.
“Sharing a passion for imperfection, raw imagery and a certain kind of humour makes working with KesselsKramer a no-brainer,” said Koekkoek, who worked on Arte’s Summer of… campaigns with the agency in 2020 and 2021. “This time it was extra special because it allowed me to travel back in time to when I was doing all that weird stuff to my little sister. To create this campaign, we experimented with very old and cheap camera techniques, messy set design and vintage styling to make us feel like we were back in the day.”
The layout cleverly uses just one ‘er’ for both brother and sister, reinforcing the bond between the two (or the idea of being made to share).
“Sibling love is as strangely deep as it is deeply strange and often leads to the most unusual situations. But to siblings they somehow make perfect sense,” said KesselsKramer creative director Maartje Slijpen. “This year’s Summer of… campaign illustrates this special dynamic between brothers and sisters. It’s simultaneously recognisable and absurd, pretty complex and completely normal. And as real as life itself.”