Facebook and Droga5 Lovingly Profile Coogan's Bar in NYC, One More Victim of Covid

But there is hope for small businesses, campaign says

"People came and they met and they felt comfortable. It's what we did with Coogan's. You felt safe, and if you were safe, you could be joyful. And if you were joyful, then you could really go home with the dream that you had."

That's how Peter Walsh, a co-owner of Coogan's restaurant and pub in Manhattan's Washington Heights neighborhood, describes the experience his beloved establishment fostered for 35 years before its closure owing to economic hardships brought about by the pandemic.

We meet Walsh in "Survive," a moody three-and-half-minute film directed in bittersweet documentary-style by Smuggler director Miles Jay and cinematographer Bradford Young (an Oscar nominee for Arrival). It's part of an integrated initiative from Facebook and Droga5 to help small businesses as they fight for their lives:

Survive - Coogan's - Facebook

For Walsh and his partners, the dream is over—at least for now. Unfortunately, they've got lots of company, with more on the way. By some estimates, one-third of New York's small businesses might disappear for good due to the economic malaise. Of course, coronavirus is a scourge nationwide, and local establishments across the nation—notably restaurants—struggle every day to reopen, stay open and pay their employees.

Walsh hopes telling his story proves instructive for such operations, and serves as part of a broader legacy.

"My father use to always say, 'Always be a moving target, young man. Always be a moving target,' " he says at one point in the film, over images of a melancholy late-night run through the neighborhood. In other words: Stay nimble and flexible, keep hustling, and never lose the will to survive.

The spot anchors the Facebook Small Business campaign, which also includes an online hub to help users support local merchants.

"Right now, in the midst of the pandemic, almost half of all small businesses in America could close within three months," Droga5 associate creative director Tom McQueen tells Muse. "Facebook came to us with this startling fact and the urgent ask to remind people that we all have a part to play in the survival of the places we love. We tend to forget that all our combined actions can make a tangible difference, and with the right support, many of these businesses can make it through the year ahead."

The team chose Coogan's for the hero film because it was "the beating heart of a very diverse community, a place where people from all walks of life came together to eat, sing, dance and enjoy each other's company," says McQueen. "This vibrant space became our symbol for the fight many businesses are facing against uncertain futures."

"Every line of the voiceover is delivered by the real owners, staff and customers to create a chorus of community—a contrast of connection and disconnection from the place they loved," adds Kate Rouch, vp of marketing at Facebook.

The downbeat tone—intensified by Lykke Li's slow, smoldering take on the Gloria Gaynor classic "I Will Survive"—drives home the message that small-business failures are losses that strip communities of their identity. Places like Coogan's provide a joyful presence and sense of belonging. When such businesses close, it's like a death in the family.

" 'I Will Survive' was a song creative director Thom Glover had in mind very early on," McQueen says. "It was sung there, at Coogan's [on karaoke nights]. But there's a poignancy that's often overlooked. With such strong lyrics, reimagining it in an unconventional way became a really exciting thought. Coogan's may be gone, but American small businesses can and will survive."

The team approached Li, a Swedish singer, with the project, and signed her up after hearing her initial demo. "Her bittersweet cover just seemed to accompany the visuals so effortlessly," says McQueen. "And the response since it has aired has been so overwhelming that she plans to release the full track in the coming weeks."

Additional films and shorter TV-commercial edits are also on tap, along with out-of-home and audio elements, featuring Coogan's, Som Records in Washington, D.C., and Dulan's Soul Food Kitchen of Inglewood, Calif.

A bluesy instrumental interpretation of "I Will Survive" drives this installment that focuses on Austin, Texas:

Street Spirit - Facebook

Droga5 took a somewhat similar creative direction in June, creating a dynamic film with director Haley Anderson to introduce a Hennessy program that made $3 million in relief funds available to struggling entrepreneurs.


Facebook, Inc. :: Support Small Business
Buy Into Something Bigger :: Integrated Credits List

Client Facebook, Inc.
Campaign Support Small Business
Title 'Survive' :60, Austin 'Street Spirit' :30
Launch Date August 24, 2020

Agency Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman David Droga
Global Chief Creative Officer Neil Heymann
Co-Chief Creative Officer Felix Richter
Co-Chief Creative Officer Tim Gordon
Creative Director Thom Glover
Creative Director Kia Heinnen
Creative Director Dustin Tomes
Creative Director Jono Paull
Associate Creative Director George McQueen
Associate Creative Director Tom McQueen
Copywriter Christopher Brailey
Copywriter Curtis McDonald
Art Director Maria Kouninski
Copywriter Jenny Yoon
Junior Art Director Vanessa Bittante
Junior Copywriter Jacqueline Salome
Chief Design Officer Jason Severs
Design Director Maria Wan
Senior Designer Eli Hochberg
Designer Adrian Koenigsberg
Director of Business Affairs Dan Simonetti
Senior Business Affairs Paul Van Dorpe
Traffic Manager Wendy Kaplan
Talent Manager Bailey Martin
Director of Film Production Jesse Brihn
Executive Producer, Film Mike Hasinoff
Senior Producer, Film Lisa Delonay
Senior Producer, Film Joe Street
Associate Producer, Film Robert Matuluko
Senior Music Supervisor Mike Ladman
Executive Producer, Experiential Shayan Amir-Hosseini
Senior Producer, Interactive Ian Graetzer
Executive Producer, Print Alyssa Dolman
Associate Director of Art Production Bianca Escobar
Graphics Studio Manager Nereida Valles
Global Chief Strategy Officer Jonny Bauer
Head of Strategy Harry Román-Torres
Strategy Director Diana Gonzalez
Senior Strategist Emily Pfitzinger
Head of Communications Strategy Dean Challis
Group Communications Strategy Director Yan Wang
Communications Strategy Director Patrick Fahey
Senior Communications Strategist Chris Wiegand
Group Data Strategist Wendy Kong
Senior Data Strategist Daria Koren
Managing Director Dan Gonda
Group Account Director Jessica Kingsbery
Account Director Marissa Guerra
Account Supervisor Patrick Glaser
Account Manager Cole Habersham
Group Project Manager Tessa Muchura
Senior Project Manager Theresa Ganchorre

Client Facebook
CMO Antonio Lucio
VP, Corporate Brand Marketing Kate Rouch
VP, Global Business Marketing, CCO Mark D'Arcy
VP, Global Business & Customer Marketing Michelle Klein
Director, Brand Strategy Andrew Stirk
Head of Creative Thomas Markham
Director, Design Zach Stubenvoll
Global Director of Brand Marketing Jasmine Summerset-Karcie
Director, Brand Programs Mayumi Matsuno
Brand Marketing Manager Kaitlin Giannetti
Brand Marketing Manager Gregory Paige
Brand Strategist Pryanka Nigam
Marketing Insights Director Rick Malins
Marketing Research Manager Jenn Dahm
Marketing Researcher Amy Huang
Director, Communications Planning Radhika Narang
Communication Planning Manager Danielle Nichols
Executive Producer, Creative X Julian Katz

Mindshare Worldwide

'Survive' Film
Production Company Smuggler
Director Miles Jay
DOP Bradford Young, Kelly Jeffrey
Partner/Executive Producer Patrick Milling Smith
Executive Producer Allison Kunzman
Producer Erin Wile
Production Designer Akin McKenzie
Assistant Director Doug Torres

Editorial Work Editorial
Editor Ben Jordan
Secondary Editor Theo Mercado
Assistant Editor Julian Laing, Trevor Myers
Executive Producer Erica Thompson
Head of Production Alejandra Alarcon

Telecine Harbor Picture Company
Colorist Joe Gawler
Senior Director, Picture Post Kevin Vale
Senior Producer Jody Peters

Post Production Blacksmith
Lead Compositor Iwan Zwarts
Executive Producer Charlotte Arnold
VFX Producer Ashley Goodwin, Tina Chen
Compositor Jacob Slutsky, Yebin Ahn

Song 'I Will Survive'
Written by Freddie Perren , Dino Fekaris
Arrangement & Performance Lykke Li
Engineered by Scott Chesak

Music Walker
Executive Producer Abbey Hendrix
Senior Producer Dottie Scharr
Engineer Christopher Keyes

Sound Design & Mix Wave Studios
Sound Designer/Mixer Ed Downham, Aaron Reynolds
Executive Producer Vicky Ferraro
Producer Eleni Giannopoulos, Ornela Peka
Assistant Engineer Isaac Matus

—Austin 'Street Spirit' Film

Production Company Division 7
Director Sonejuhi Sinha
DOP Xiaolong L iu
1st Ad Augie Alcala
Managing Director Kamila Prokop
Managing Director David Richards
Head of Production Alex Hughs
Producer Matt Day
Production Supervisor Logan Luchsinger
Production Coordinator Holly Millar

Editorial Cosmo Street
Editor Mark Potter
Assistant Editor Quincey Kai, Josh Berger
Head of Production Anne Lai

Telecine Harbor Picture Company
Colorist Joe Gawler
Senior Director, Picture Post Kevin Vale
Senior Producer Jody Peters

Post Production Blacksmith
VFX Supervisor Iwan Zwarts
Lead Compositor Dan Bowhers
Executive Producer Charlotte Arnold
Producer Tina Chen, Ashley Goodwin
Compositor Justin Keil, Jacob Slutsky, Yebin Ahn

Music Q Department

Sound Design & Mix Wave Studios London
Sound Designer/Mixer Ed Downham
Executive Producer Vicky Ferraro
Producer Ornela Peka

Production Company Magnum Photos
Photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti
Photographer Alex Webb
Photographer Khalik Allah
Photographer Hannah Price
Executive Producer Christopher Peregrin
Producer Natalie Ivia

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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