In recent weeks, as working from home became de rigueur amid the scourge of COVID-19, brands, platforms and media outlets, including Muse by Clio, began presenting tales of professionals forced to transplant their work lives to the home front. With schools closing, the kids are home too, of course, sharing a suddenly altered reality with their parents 24/7.
German supermarket chain Penny takes a kids'-eye view of this social phenomenon in a short film developed by Serviceplan Campaign. Sweet but not saccharine, the 80-second spot acknowledges that change can be strange and disconcerting, while at the same time illustrating how WFH—while intensely challenging for parents—can bring families closer together:
"We're not allowed to go outside anymore, but that means we have more time to cuddle," a school-age narrator explains. "Mommy and Daddy are always playing on their computer. They call it their home office. And I'm helping them."
We watch that "help" take the form of kids blowing soap-bobbles and using the hallways as a racetrack. Lines such as "Originally we wanted to go on holiday by plane, but not I fly around our apartment" suggest the power of kids' imaginations to transform potentially negative developments into grand adventures.
Ultimately, these youngsters savor the chance to strengthen their bonds with Mom and Dad. Judging from the parents' reactions, the feeling is entirely mutual.
"It is not only our employees who are currently doing so much at the moment, but also families—many of whom we have as customers—are dealing with major, unexpected challenges in their everyday lives every day," says Stefan Magel, Penny's COO and divisional director. "We would like to show them with this campaign that they have our full respect for this."
On social, the chain invites its followers to post at-home-with-the-family content via the hashtags #erstmalzuhause and @pennydeutschland. Penny plans to spotlight some of those submissions on its Instagram page.
"We wanted to show that we understand the situation of the families and give them a more lighthearted perspective," Serviceplan creative managing director Christoph Everke tells Muse. "It is not easy for all of us, but there is a chance to see it differently—if you look at it as a child does."
As for making the film in the current climate, "we had foreseen what was coming up—the restrictions of going out and the fact that all the kids would be sent home from school and stay there for a longer period," Everke says. "So we were able to produce the footage with a small team before the public lockdown."
Serviceplan copywriter Emilia Möbus, who also holds a film-school degree, served as director, achieving a warm, unaffected vibe throughout the video. Her team shot the footage at a colleague's apartment the day before Germany told most of its citizens to stay home.
Christoph Everke - Executive Creative Director
Moritz Dornig – Creative Director
Matthias Schuster – Creative Director
Alessia Coschignano – Senior Copywriter
Katharina King – Junior Copywirter
Johanna Köhler – Junior Art Director
Frederike Striegel – Account Director
Emilia Möbus – Director
Neverest GmbH & Co. KG
Aisha Blackwell – Executive Producer Film Department
Madeleine Benning – Production Assistant Film Department
Le Hof Media GmbH
Jonas Lembeck – Executive Production Officer
Philip Hofmann - Executive Production Officer
Georg Nikolaus – DoP
Maggy Fischer – Post Producer
Georg Nikolaus – Colorist
Supreme Music GmbH
m-sound studios GmbH
Giesing-Team Tonproduktionen GmbH
Carla Graßel - Speaker