In this compelling :60 by Artisans on Fire for Nevada's Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, people's eyes reveal a range of emotions, while stripped-down narration, spoken by current and newly laid-off agency employees, focuses on the fears and anxieties of these uncertain times.
Diverse faces flash on screen, in close-up, their expressive eyes alight with apprehension:
"I'm so bored," the voiceover begins, "I can't even see my friends. This doesn't even feel real. I just lost my job. How do we even fill out employment? Are we going to get through this? How will we get through this?"
Ultimately, we learn that Thrive wants to help, offering safe 24/7 delivery of cannabis edibles, topicals, pre-rolls, concentrates and other products.
"With so much on our minds, it's important to rise above and thrive," the ad concludes. "Do your part to keep safe, while we do ours to keep you happy." The tagline: "Stay apart. Thrive together."
The state of Nevada designated cannabis dispensaries as "essential businesses" during its lockdown to fight COVID-19. Although their storefronts remain closed, such operations, including Thrive, continue to dispatch orders to customers' homes.
Artisans on Fire, based in Las Vegas, sourced the visuals from footage shot for a different commercial. Agency staffers working remotely, as well as some employees who lost their jobs the week before, recorded the V.O. via podcasting equipment.
"We put this together in 48 hours while working remotely," says agency co-founder and creative chief Dustin Iannotti. "It's the only commercial I've seen so far that gets into the heads of individual community members and discusses corona-related issues they're dealing with."
Specializing in dispensaries, casinos, online gaming and fantasy sports, the agency cut eight of its 20 positions due to pandemic-ranted issues. Last year, Artisans scored a Bronze Clio for brand design/packaging on behalf of Dreamland Chocolates at the inaugural Clio Cannabis Awards.