W+K Gives the Gift of Calm in This ASMR-y Ad for the National Trust

Fueled by the words of Octavia Hill

"Our lives are overcrowded," this ad begins, the words themselves crowded out by noisy everyday affordances. We were so annoyed by the stress-triggering din that our first instinct was to wonder, "So your solution was to make a 75-second ad?" 

Because that's a long ad. Then again, it's worth it, and the sensory terrorism doesn't last long. We bring you Wieden + Kennedy London's contribution to the National Trust's 125th anniversary. 

National Trust 125th Anniversary

The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is a charity organization charged with environmental and heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has 5.8 million members, and 27 million people visit its spaces each year. 

"For years the National Trust ... have been working to preserve and protect, to look after species in decline; to reintroduce species we know are integral to caring for the natural world," says its director general, Hilary McGrady. "Our next chapter will be about scaling this up." 

The ad says little about the National Trust's ambitions—to plant 20 million trees in the next 10 years, create green corridors for people and nature in towns and cities, and become carbon neutral by 2030. 

Instead, it draws from words spoken by its co-founder, Octavia Hill, in 1883. "We all want quiet. We all want beauty. We all need space," we're told, as the man-made clamor cedes to a ticklish ASMR experience of babbling brooks and chirping birds. 

"Modern-day living has made it increasingly difficult to connect to the environment," says Wieden + Kennedy executive creative director Tony Davidson. "The quote from founder Octavia Hill ... reminds us how we all need nature, and is still as pertinent today as it was all those years ago. We wanted to bring people a sense of calm, and remind them how it feels to be at one with nature."

If you've ever felt compelled to toss someone the keys to your life and run, maybe the stones, water, trees and soft panels of sunshine shown here will speak to you in a way a throbbing club scene just can't. It makes us long for something that often feels inaccessible to city dwellers, and that's probably its greatest merit: what a waste for one's feet to know only concrete, or for us to interest ourselves only in human drama, barely remarking on the interspecies discourse forever happening in the margins of our habitats.

The work will run online and via print. McGrady hopes it will galvanize people "to fight with determination and care, to save our common treasures."


W+K London
Creative Director: Flo Heiss
Creatives: Derek Lui, Harry Ingrams
Executive Creative Directors: Tony Davidson, Iain Tait
Account Director: Ollie Pym
Account Manager: Preety Mudhar
Chief Strategy Officer: Ben Armistead
Planning Director: Sam Belt
Planner: Vincent Johnson
Producer (TV + Print): Rose Fairley
Design Director: Karen Jane
Lead Designer: Alex Thursby- Pelham
Designer: Xueling Wang
Business Affairs: Helena Thomas

TV Production
Production Company: All Mighty Pictures
Director / DOP: Anthony Dickenson
Executive Producer / Creative Director: Mark Harbour
Editorial Company: The Assembly Rooms
Editor: Jack Williams
Footage Research Company: The Director Studio
Post House: Time Based Arts
Post Producer: Jo Gutteridge
Flame Artist: Adam Paterson
Animation Lead: Jess Gorrick
Animators: Tom Robinson and Tom Mackay-Thomas
Colourist: Lewis Crossfield
Sound Company: String and Tins
Sound Designer: Joe Wilkinson

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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