In its first work from Fig, paint brand Benjamin Moore stretches its canvas to focus on contractors and the heartfelt, often transformational work they do for their customers.
Acclaimed director Errol Morris, an Oscar winner equally adept at documentaries and commercials, blends elements of both genres, urging viewers to "See the Love" in their homes and communities. (And would it kill you to paint your house, for gosh sake?)
"Love is an amazing thing," a voiceover begins in the :60 anthem below. "Now, that may sound trite or cliché, and maybe if it was coming from a chocolate company or a flower shop, it would be. But we're a paint company, so hear us out."
"Love has the power to change everything," the narrator says over shots of professionals applying hues with brushes and rollers. "Love of craft can turn work and labor into a work of art. Love can make you see past flaws to the beauty underneath. Love can turn a pair of hands into a set of tools. Love can turn pigment and polymers into a magical liquid."
In the end, we're told that "Love transforms," and while it's all a bit of a stretch, Morris' understatedly cinematic slices of life paint a persuasive picture.
Flowing from the same palette, these :30s, :15s and :06s add shades of humor and whimsy:
Fig supplanted The Martin Agency on the business in the closing weeks of 2018. Sold through independent hardware suppliers and battling stiff competition from big-box stores and e-retailers, the brand had adopted various advertising styles in recent years. Approaches have ranged from artsy and abstract ("Is This Just Paint?") to self-consciously kooky ("Paint Like No Other," with ventriloquist dummies as pitchmen).
"See the Love" signals another new direction, tapping into traditions and tugging at heartstrings with broad strokes to keep the brand relevant.
"We felt there was a need to differentiate our creative within the space while showing how Benjamin Moore is unique in the category," company CMO Steve O'Neill tells Muse. "We started with our reimagined vision statement to showcase our commitment to the community through inspiration and transformation."
While planning the campaign, "we spoke to everyone from contractors, architects and designers to homeowners to paint retailers, and got a better understanding of how paint inspires them," O'Neill says. "One thing that really stood out to us was when contractors spoke about the reason they do what they do. They want to make people happy by transforming their homes—their work is a form of love."
This approach also acknowledges that, in the home-improvement industry as a whole, "there is a shift away from do-it-yourself to do-it-for-me," particularly in terms of "more people looking to experts for their painting jobs," he says.
Shooting around Los Angeles last fall, the team "rented a real family house, with the family in residence, so there was a strong sense of real life happening," even though actors appear in the actual spots, O'Neill says.
"It became apparent very quickly to the actors and crew that there really is an art to painting," he says. "While it may seem easy, the actors got lessons on how you hold a brush, how you do the brushstrokes—and much more. We scraped real paint from siding and painted real walls," repainting them back to the original color once filming was complete.
"See the Love" campaign
Creative Agency FIG
Founder Mark Figliulo
CEO/Partner Judith Carr-Rodriguez
CCO/Partner Scott Vitrone
COO/Partner Robert Valdes
CFO/Partner Richard Tan
CSO/Partner Caroline Krediet
Creative Director Ross Fletcher
Creative Director Mark Bielik
Creative Director Howard Finkelstein
Creative Director Dave Canning
Creative Director Jed Heuer
Copywriter Stephanie Vicari
Art Director Filipe Nogueira
Head of Production Jill Landaker Grunes
Senior Producer Wes Falik
Executive Director, Client Services Kristen King
Account Director Alexis de Seve
Account Supervisor Amanda Koegler
Media Strategy Director Angela Kohlhoff
Strategy Director Nika Gokhman
Group Project Manager Lindsay Bergman
Project Manager Kaki White
Director of Integrated Business Affairs Sean McGee
Business Affairs Manager Noel Wilcox
Director Errol Morris
Director of Photography Igor Martinovic
Editor Gavin Cutler
Assistant Editor Danielle Minch
Executive Producer Gina Pagano
Post Producer Gina Pagano
VFX + Finishing Mackcut
Animation / GFX (:15s) Joseph Miller
Flame Online / Compositing Joseph Miller
Flame Compositing Joseph Miller
Animation / VFX Producer Gina Pagano
Color Company 3
Colorist Tim Masick
Color Producer Kevin Breheny
Color Assistant Ryan Moncrief
Music Company (Maestro) Good Ear Music Supervision
Music Supervisors Andrew Kahn, Morgan Thoryk, Erik Sutch
Music Company (Anthem) Asche & Spencer
Sound Design + Mix Heard City
Mixer Evan Mangiamele & Mike Vitacco
EP Sasha Awn