Squarespace Profiles Real-Life Dreamers in Stylish New Campaign

'A website makes it real'

A trio of stylish new commercials from Squarespace begin with entrepreneurs sitting alone in darkness, typing on computers, dreaming of new businesses they're striving to build. 

Suddenly, their visions coalesce around them, changing and growing, abuzz with ever-increasing activity. 

In one ad, a car-restoration shop expands before our eyes, walls receding as if by magic to extend the workspace, while the neon sign outside glows bigger and brighter every second: 

Squarespace | Make It Real | Garage

Next, busy waitstaff, kitchen crew and customers fill a fast-morphing bistro, as tables revise the floor plan of their own accord: 

Squarespace | Make It Real | Restaurant

Finally, a printing startup booms into a fashionable money-maker from its founder's attic: 

Squarespace | Make It Real | Printing

"A website makes it real," we're told at the end of each ad, returning to the dreamers, who once again sit alone at their keyboards, using Squarespace to design digital destinations and bring their ambitions to life.

Created in-house and attractively staged by Anonymous Content director Patrick Daughters, these minute-long ads do a fine job of portraying entrepreneurial dreams as the bedrock of business success. The notion of a company's "reality" stemming from its website might seem, at first, a tad fey. Then again, almost all commerce these days is digital to some degree, so it really doesn't make sense to rent space, produce goods and hire staff unless your online engines are firing on all cylinders. 

"The journey of bringing something new into the world is rarely a straight line," says Ben Hughes, client director of brand creative. "There's this whole mental game that happens first where you 'try on' different versions of the idea and mold it until it feels ready to share. The process of building a website on Squarespace is very similar, because you have the flexibility to continue tweaking until it matches your vision. So we wanted to draw a comparison between those things and show how building a website can be a crucial part of shaping your dream and bringing it to life. The moment your site goes live is incredibly legitimizing for your idea." 

The campaign marks something of a stylistic departure, as it feels more intimate than some of the company's previous work that fused famous faces with quirky humor. Examples include an Emmy-winning 2017 Super Bowl ad with John Malkovich, and Spike Jonze's fantastical foray with Idris Elba from January.

Of course, the message remains the same: Squarespace helps power your dreams. That said, it's presumably easier for the target audience to see themselves as striving makers than relate to Hollywood stars. This is all about keeping it real, not reel, after all. 

Reinforcing the "reality" theme, out-of-home elements rolling out in New York, Chicago, Toronto and London highlight actual customers.

They're a varied bunch, including this "ballet-dancing, drag superstar"…

… and a supplier of cacti and other "hard-to-kill" but "easy to love" flora:

There's a watchmaker who fashions timepieces from melted meteorites…

… and a vegan fried-chicken joint that also serves "a side of Satanic puns":

Vegan ... Satanic. Heh. 

"You'd imagine there was some risk in launching that idea," Hughes says of Temple of Seitan in London. "But having a strong brand and being able to express it through their site helped make them successful. We love featuring customers who have the boldness to do things their own way."

Many of these folks "are members of the independent workforce and have left the safety of a conventional career to make a bet on themselves," he adds. "They're intimately familiar with that butterflies-in-your-stomach moment when you feel your idea is ready to be put out into the world. We want to show them that Squarespace is a worthy partner for their dreams by owning that emotional territory."

Check out more OOH work below:

CREDITS

Squarespace - "Make It Real"

TV

Client / In-House Creative: Squarespace
Chief Creative Officer: David Lee
Director of Brand Creative: Ben Hughes
Creative / Senior Art Director: Mathieu Zarbatany
Creative / Senior Copywriter: Clare Anderson
Creative / Designer: Matt King
Director of Creative Production: Sandra Nam
Creative Producer: Laura Ferguson
Business Affairs Manager: Kiersten Bergstrom

Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Patrick Daughters
DOP: Franz Lustig
Production Designer: Robert Pearson
Managing Director: Eric Stern
Executive Producer: Lori Stonebraker
Producer: Bettina Schneider

Editorial: Cut & Run
Editor: Ben Campbell
Assistant Editors: James Donahue / NYC + Chris Hutchings / UK
Managing Director: Lauren Hertzberg
Executive Producer: Sophie Hogg
Executive Producer: Ellese Shell
Senior Producer: Eytan Gutman

Finishing + VFX: MPC
VFX Supervisors: Rob Walker, Tim Kafka
CD: Michael Gregory, Alvin Cruz
2D team: Tobey Lindbäck, Mazyar Sharifian, Larry Merrill, Chris Hunt, TaraMarie Jacobson,
Selim Yang, Kyle Belko, Gustavo Bellon, Peter Ulukpo, Ashley Forbito, David Ince
3D Leads: Dan Fine, Miguel de los Rios Vila
3D Team: Samir Patel, Sherryn Pattarawuttiwong, Mason Dash, Lucy Choi, Justin Maynard,
Chimin Yang
AE animator: Tony Li
DMP: Daniel Bayona
Concept: Amy Wang
Executive Producer: Matthew Loranger, Karen Anderson
Producer: Anna Kravtsov + Colin Clarry
Production Coordinator: Katherine Miccio, John Edson

Color:
"Printing Studio"
Company: MPC
Colorist: James Tillet
EP: Ed Koenig
Production Coordinator: Katherine Miccio

"Restaurant"
Company: MPC
Colorist: Ricky Gausis
EP: Meghan Lang
Associate Color Producer: Tanner Hladek

"Garage"
Company: CO3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Color Producer: Alexandra Lubrano

Music + Sound Design: Q Department
Mix: One Thousand Birds
Mixer: Torin Geller
Executive Producer: Kira MacKnight
Producer: Alex Berner-Coe

OOH / DIGITAL OOH

Client / In-House Creative: Squarespace
Chief Creative Officer: David Lee
Director of Brand Creative: Ben Hughes
Creative Director: Nessim Higson
Creative / Senior Copywriter: Clare Anderson
Creative / Designer: Matt King
Creative / Designer: Daniel Rutledge
Director of Creative Production: Sandra Nam
Creative Producer: Kim Santella, Leslie Ogoe
Business Affairs Manager: Kiersten Bergstrom

In-house Shoot
Photographer: Craig Reynolds
Set Designer: Alicia Sciberras
Retoucher: Derek Kalisher
Production Designer: Dave Scroeder, Wan Kang

BANNERS

Director of Brand Creative: Ben Hughes
Creative Director: Nessim Higson
Creative / Senior Copywriter: Clare Anderson
Creative / Designer: Daniel Rutledge
Creative Producer: Leslie Ogoe
Vendor: Squarewave
Production Designer: Dave Scroeder
Designer: Wan Kang
Motion Designer: Drake Miller

SOCIAL

Client / In-House Creative: Squarespace
Chief Creative Officer: David Lee
Director of Brand Creative: Ben Hughes
Creative Director: Nessim Higson
Creative / Senior Copywriter: Clare Anderson
Creative / Designer: Matt King
Creative / Designer: Daniel Rutledge
Photographer: Craig Reynolds
Retoucher: Derek Kalisher
Director of Creative Production: Sandra Nam
Creative Producer: Kim Santella
Business Affairs Manager: Kiersten Bergstrom

Animation: Method Studios
Executive Producer: Jesse Kurnit
Producer: Kristin Engdahl
Producer: Irka Seng
Creative Director: Wesley Ebelhar
Designers:
● Keri Moller
● Sungtae Kim
● Joseph Perno
● Lance Marxen
● Aaron Goldberg

Mix: One Thousand Birds
Mixer: Torin Geller
Executive Producer: Kira MacKnight
Producer: Alex Berner-Coe

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.