The Woolmark Company, international marketing subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation (and self-proclaimed "global authority on wool"), released a video series featuring Anjelica Huston, titled "Anjelica Huston Really Cares for Wool." It features a whimsical Huston and her intrepid assistant Francis, whose job is mostly to distill the actress' words for fan mail.
Specifically, fan mail about wool care. And while you'll learn an awful lot about that, you'll also learn that the story of clothes is the story of everyday interactions, even if they're not all what Huston assumes.
The Oscar-winning actress plays a wool guru with a Dale Cooper vibe. There's something esoteric and unstructured about her, and much of that expresses itself in a menagerie of unanswered questions: What are these intimate wool salons she seems to want to engage us in when Francis isn't around? What is the number to her emergency wool hotline? What is responsible for the darkness that sometimes bleeds out in her advice?
Below is the intro video, where we discover Francis is a proper anxiety-ridden millennial, and Huston is capable of walking extremely softly. Their relationship isn't entirely healthy, but it also seems to work for them, so who are we to judge?
All videos were created by agency Born & Raised.
In "Athleisure," we learn a few things: People send Huston gifts related to her love of merino, best exemplified by her keeping of sheep. (We're not sure if the latter is plural. As of May, she had one sheep ... but 13 goats!)
She also receives items of clothing people have issues with. In this case, she gets an "athleisure" shirt that a man fears wearing because it was a gift from his wife, and he's not sure how to care for it.
"The wool will be fine, of course; just toss it in the machine," Huston shrugs. "I'm more concerned about the man who wrote this. His wife dresses him, then he runs. What is he running from?"
The point of the campaign is to provide practical advice for wool care while demonstrating how stupid-easy caring for wool is. You're also treated to a sampling of wool's diversity. The rest of the time focuses on Huston's life advice (in this case, "stop running from his wife and do something useful," like fight a bear) and Francis' attempts to hem that into her letters while still keeping the topic wool-focused.
"If I did ask him what he's running from and why he let his wife dress him, that would only lead to more letters and then I might get attached," Francis confides, once she's rattled off all the practical wool facts she will share instead.
"Suit" is about a "fancy man" who spills some fancy espresso on his wool suit while negotiating a deal. This is also the second time Huston remarks on the use of words she doesn't approve of, so she's clearly a pedant. We feel closer to her now, but also newly self-conscious about our own nitpicky pedantry. Lastly, we feel bummed for Francis, who's clearly a Butters trying her Buttersy best.
After musing that "men should negotiate all important matters in the nude," Huston suggests spot-cleaning the stain with white vinegar. While Francis is clearly relieved to have a straight solution that doesn't require a public strip-down, Huston tsks, "But his fear will still be there. Fear of being naked. Physically. Emotionally."
In "Sweater," Huston listens skeptically to a conversation Francis is having over a wine-stained sweater.
"I've thrown wine on men in sweaters before, and I know this splash pattern," she murmurs, fingering the garment in question, shortly before telling the man to stop lying to his wife (and to her and Francis, if we count the questionable "Bordeaux" provenance).
"Dress" is a lesson in what to do about pilling.
This video caused minor drama in the wool world. The "champion merino male" Huston shows us at the beginning is actually a merino ram from the Jurassic period.
"That has sparked angry criticism from leading NSW England Merino stud breeder, Martin Oppenheimer, Petali, Walcha, who asked why AWI was promoting 'Jurassic' Merino rams to the world," writes Farm Online, an Australian trade publication.
Awkward. The world's wool authority, and its new wool queen, ought to know better than to try pulling the wool over the eyes of a gullible public, never mind their own fratrie.
The long-form ads exist in :07 and :15 variants, too, with the latter also featuring other advice videos. The shorter ones are too fast; the :15 formats are snackably perfect.
Here's a fun one about Merino surf trunks "with lipstick on the crotch!"
The campaign tagline is "Care for something"—ideally as much as Huston cares for wool, and also for your self-realization. We like how simple that phrase gets to be; wool already has a strong association with care, and caring for wool only further reinforces that sensation.
Somewhat adjacent to all this, we recently discovered Kat Dennings is 1) into knitting, and 2) now part of a larger community of people who knit stuff seen on Outlander. That fun fact you get for free!
Agency & Production Company: Born&Raised
ECDs: Josh Rogers, Kirt Gunn
Writers: Kirt Gunn, Josh Rogers
Director: Kirt Gunn
Executive Producer: Carol Stevens
Director of Photography: Steve Yedlin
General Manager, Marketing: Laura Armstrong
Global Communications Manager: Anna McLeod
Creative & Content Manager: Mitchell Oakley Smith
Marketing & Communications Director - The Americas: Jessica Somers
Marketing Project Manager: Anna Buckley
Global Editor: Lisa Griplas
Edit House: Final Cut
Editor: Chris Amos
Post Producer: Natalie Cleveland
Flame Artist: Dirk Green, Significant Others
Beauty & Color: The Artery
EP: Deborah Sullivan,
Beauty Flame Artist: Asaf Yeger, The Artery
Colorist: Aline Sinquin, Five One Color