Shaquille O'Neal and His Mom Lucille Star in Ads for Epson

'Preserve what's priceless' theme really resonates

About a week ago, Epson's new pitch for its FastFoto FF-680W high-speed photo and document scanning system, featuring Shaquille O'Neal and his mom, would've seemed like just another sweet campaign.

Of course, timing is everything. And as the coronavirus scare escalates, these commercials, created by agency 31,000 FT, pack all the feels.

The combination of elements is striking. There's beloved sports icon Shaq, riffing in his inimitable style at a time when arenas around the world stand dark and empty. Mix in Lucille O'Neal—when we're all concerned about the well-being of friends and family members over 60—plus the "Preserve what's priceless" theme, and you've got unexpectedly powerful messaging that's eerily in tune with our turbulent times:

Epson | Lucille and Shaq 1
Epson | Lucille and Shaq 2

Lucille and Shaq joke about his boyhood days and scan some treasured photos with the FF-680W. At one point, the big guy tells his mom he loves her. That's basically it, but amid the COVID-19 onslaught, that's more than enough.

Carter Keith, CEO at 31,000 FT, says his team strove to find the brand's "higher purpose, and bring that purpose to life." Given the context of our daily lives: Mission accomplished!

Today, the innocuous campaign manages to tap into a vein of cultural anxieties and concerns. (Inadvertently, no doubt, as it was produced weeks if not months ago.) Watching the spots, viewers may feel overcome with nostalgia for a kinder, gentler existence that seems achingly near, yet maddeningly far away.

CREDITS

CD/Partner Marshall Lestz
CD/Partner Dean Hlavinka
CEO/Partner Carter Keith
Digital Director Mathew Line
Producer Kathy Martin
Director Xander Strohm
Production Company Backyard Films
Editor Andy Mcgee
Editoral House Republic

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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