These Beautiful Ads for Audiobooks Flow Like Abstract Art

Storytel and B-Reel get under your skin

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:

Storytel | Open Your Ears | Gut Feeling
Storytel | Open Your Ears | Sound Wave
Storytel | Open Your Ears | The Ear

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."

CREDITS

Client: Storytel
Agency: B-Reel
Alexander Gårdenberg
Andrea Dahlbäck
Andreas Godwin
Hanna Ståhl
Helena Månsson
Maja Beckman
Oscar Erlandsson
Petra Albrektson
Rebekah Cabré
Zack McDonald
Production: MINK Management
Marie Linins

Photography, direction, development and set design:
Studio Kleiner
Carl Kleiner
Evelina Kleiner
Andrea Portoles

Glassblower: Simon Klenell

Camera operator: Mathias Näslund, Mastodont Film

Post-production Film: The Line
Olle Ljungman
Sara Hagwall
Anders Bergén

Post-production Stills: Sam Stuller, Stilletto

Sound: Lexter

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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