Great stories enrich our imaginations like nourishment coursing through living tissue. They delight the senses and stimulate our hearts and minds. Ultimately, they feed our souls.
That might sound like a lot to visualize. But audiobook publisher Storytel reduces such weighty concepts to compelling abstractions in a campaign from B-Reel themed "Open Your Ears."
Watch as streams of color that represent stories—i.e., new ideas and thrilling concepts—flow freely to the depths of the human psyche:
Sure, the main metaphor—mixing biology, psychology and spirituality—feels a tad fuzzy. Still, it's a fun, unexpected narrative for a category that often relies on author/title name-dropping. Plus, the notion of deriving sustenance from books feels especially apt during the lockdown.
"Early on in the development, our planners pointed out a massive group of people who love stories and consume them in all shapes and forms—except audiobooks," B-Reel co-executive creative director Petra Albrektson tells Muse. "So, we knew there was an untapped market. The tricky part was that these people aren't actively considering audiobooks and won't be convinced by simply seeing the latest titles. We needed a way to draw them in and get them to just give it a try."
Once the team nailed the concept, glassblowers fashioned different shapes to represent organs and bodily tubes. Shooting took place with a minimal crew at Studio Kleiner in Stockholm, with each sequence created in-camera. Such intriguing designs would've made a great interactive installation—with kids pouring in the the colored fluids—at bookstores or malls in pre-pandemic days.
"It was shot just as the virus was beginning to spread in other parts of Europe," recalls Zack McDonald, B-Reel's other ECD. "Being able to walk into the surreal and magical world of Storytel each day was a much-needed escape from the growing pandemic. At the time we didn't realize it, but it's become a bit of a model for how we might approach other shoots in the coming months."
"Because we were dealing with liquids and color dyes, it was impossible to predict exactly what would happen," Albrektson says. "There was a real feeling of experimentation, and it was a lot of fun."
Production: MINK Management
Photography, direction, development and set design:
Glassblower: Simon Klenell
Camera operator: Mathias Näslund, Mastodont Film
Post-production Film: The Line
Post-production Stills: Sam Stuller, Stilletto