With us for the long haul

For the launch of Vodafone’s Red service, agency Grey London worked with director Frédéric Planchon on a new campaign for the brand, The Kiss. Its the latest in a series of recent ads that evoke the solidity of a life-long partnership

For the launch of Vodafone’s Red service, agency Grey London worked with director Frédéric Planchon on a new campaign for the brand, The Kiss. Its the latest in a series of recent ads that evoke the solidity of a life-long partnership…

Opening on a couple of young sweethearts, the film follows the pair as they get older, keeping the love alive to the strains of Ludovico Einaudi. It ends with the line “Good things should last forever”. It’s very nicely shot and, I felt, not too sentimental in its depiction of a relationship moving through the years. Written by Grey’s Nils Leonard and Leo Rayman, the film was directed by Planchon through Academy.

That a particular brand, or the services it offers, are with you for the long haul has become a familiar trope in advertising in the last few years.

In 2010 John Lewis reinforced its “lifelong commitment” to customers through its film (below, from Adam and Eve) that showed a girl growing up to become a woman, the woman having a family, and growing older.

Last year, again from Adam & Eve, “what’s important doesn’t change” was used by the company as the line that followed the split screen story of a contemporary fella and a gel from the 1920s clearly taking a similar path in life, though one less overtly connected to John Lewis.

Aside from the most recent Lewis’ ad, a practical difficulty in all this is in conveying the time span in which the action is occurring. Here, for Vodafone, there is little to pinpoint any of the scenes down, thus avoiding the question of whether the youngsters are meeting now and becoming old in the future, or whether the elderly couple is present day. (It’s perhaps evocative rather than literal.)

But the point is, that specificity would detract from the ideal that the campaigns are attempting to convey: presenting solidity and reliability in turbulent times, whenever they come. Quite whether the significance of having access to unlimited calls and texts is up there with being with someone for most of your life is another matter.

Executive Creative Director: Nils Leonard. Creative Director: Jonathan Marlow. Head of Planning: Leo Rayman. Media agency: OMD. Production Company: Academy. Director: Frédéric Planchon. Editor: Sam Rice-Edwards at The Assembly Rooms. Soundtrack composer: Ludovico Einaudi – Walk. VFX: MPC. VFX Producer: Paul Branch. VFX Supervisor: Kamen Markov. Grade: Jean Clement Soret. Audio post-production: Factory.

The April print issue of CR presents the work of three young animators and animation teams to watch. Plus, we go in search of illustrator John Hanna, test out the claims of a new app to have uncovered the secrets of viral ad success and see how visual communications can both help keep us safe and help us recover in hospital

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