Veteran director Lance Acord, whose long line of commercial hits includes Nike's stirring "Dream Crazy" spot last year, aims straight for the heart in four lovely new spots for Travelers Insurance by TBWA\Chiat\Day New York.
These "Stories of Care" explore ways in which family dynamics evolve over time. Kids grow up, parents grow old, relationships change. These folks face adversity together, gaining strength and wisdom along the way. The brand remains very much in the background, allowing Acord's penchant for poignant storytelling to shine. His style could be described as quietly (or at times, deceptively) intense, with fierce feels rippling just beneath the surface and bursting through at the end.
For example, in the first ad below, we meet a schoolgirl whose café-owner parents don't fully appreciate her artistic nature until tragedy strikes:
You only vaguely realize that your emotions are being played, then … BAM! … that ending hits like a ton of bricks sketched in charcoal and displayed on the wall.
The Thompson Twins' '80s pop fave "Hold Me Now" drives this next tale of a mother and daughter who share car rides through the years:
After watching those spots, it's kind of hard to focus on the screen for some reason. Must've gotten something in my eye.
Anyway, those of you with any Kleenex left can check out two more entries below. First, a beloved wooden chair embodies a family's joys, hopes and struggles. (The Clio Sports Grand winner in Film, "The Table" for Dick's Sporting Goods, used similar themes.)
Finally, a family-owned hardware store serves as a metaphor for big dreams and generational change:
Overall, this well-conceived and executed campaign delivers its message with considerable power. Yes, it's manipulative, even calculating—but that never detracts from what's going on.
Acord presents relatable stories that accentuate the mellow, while going light on the drama. Note the bit halfway through "The Drive," where we suddenly shift from mom and daughter riding on a sunny day to the car's empty cab, its barely cracked windscreen pelted by rain, with muted police lights flashing in the background. It takes about half a second to realize there's been an accident, without screeching tires or twisted metal overselling the scene.
Such restraint goes a long way toward portraying Travelers as a valued, ever-vigilant partner that stays virtually invisible (as a good insurance company should) until you need its help.
CAMPAIGN: Stories of Care
AGENCY: TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York
Chief Creative Officer: Chris Beresford-Hill
Executive Creative Director: Walter Connelly
Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Ashley Veltre
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Holden Rasche
Senior Art Director (“Chair”): Coleman Davis
Associate Copywriter (“Chair”): Alli Walker
Head of Integrated Production: John Doris
Executive Producer: Chris Klein
Associate Producer: Sean Riojas
Director of Business Affairs: Jennifer Bilyk
Business Affairs Manager: Stephanie Ambroise
Talent Manager: Charisse Astacio
Group Account Director: Carrie Lipper
Account Director: Mark Donohue
PRODUCTION CO: Park Pictures
Director/Director of Photography: Lance Acord
Executive Producer: Jackie Kelman Bisbee
Executive Producer: Justin Pollock
Head of Production: Anne Bobroff
Executive Producer: Caroline Kousidonis
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Assistant Editor: Zaldy Lopez
Assistant Editor: Ling Chua
Executive Producer: Sasha Hirschfeld
Head of Production: Evyn Bruce
Post Producer: Vietan Nguyen
Sound Design/AUDIO MIX: Wave Studios
Sound Designer/Mixer: Chris Afzal
Executive Producer: Vicky Ferraro
COLOR GRADE: MPC
Senior Colorist: Mark Gethin
Executive Producer: Meghan Lang
Producer: Susan Harris, Damian Winterbottom
Creative Director: Alvin Cruz
Executive Producer: Camila De Biaggi
Producer: Elissa Norman, Anna Kravtsov
Lead Flame Artist: Rob Walker
Flame Artists: Bilali Mack, Lawrence Merrill, Tamir Sapir, Tom McCullough, Thiago Porto
Nuke Artists: Mazyar Sharifian, Renato Carone
Digital Matte Painting: Daniel Bayona, Sachin Dhapudkar
CG Artists: Dan Fine, Lucy Choi, Francisco Fraga, Jemmy Molero
Line Producer: Abhinav Sharda
Production Coordinator: Katherine Miccio