Best of Stash 2020: Brand Films

Unchained from the run-time constraints, hefty media buys, and content rules of television, films produced for online/social distribution have matured into a brand’s most powerful weapon for telling more complex and emotional stories.

Although completely different in terms of tone, technique, and messaging, these seven films take full advantage of the genre’s freedoms to experiment with narrative while blurring the line between art and marketing.

All films were published in The Stash Permanent Collection during 2020 and are listed here in chronological order by the date of publication.
 
 
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AIRBNB “FU”
Included in STASH 140

Oscar-nominated in 2019 for their breakout short film “One Small Step”, Taiko Studio teams with Shanghai prodco Final Frontier to craft an epic heartwarmer in an illustrative 3D style for Airbnb China.

Director Shaofu Zhang at Taiko: “This project was immediately personal to us. Much of our team in Wuhan is around the same age as the protagonist and we realized that many of us had the same experience of missing Chinese New Year at home.”
 
 
 

ODC “THE LIGHT AT THE START OF EVERYTHING”
Included in STASH 140

Director Kim Geldenhuys and Cape Town VFX shop Wicked Pixels take on the challenge of how to capture the essence and beauty of one of the largest and rarest blue diamonds ever discovered, the Okavango Blue.

Produced by 0307 Films through TBWA Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg, the film’s visuals act as a powerful interpretation of a poem by South African author Iain S. Thomas commissioned for the project.
 
 
 

NO FRILLS “A CART APART”
Included in STASH 142

Cher Campbell, ECD at agency john st. and Sean Cochrane, owner of The Vanity in Toronto: “The way we grocery shop has changed pretty dramatically in the past couple of months, and No Frills needed to remind people to follow the new rules.

“Things like keeping your distance, not hoarding products, and not touching every single melon – we knew if we wanted people to actually pay attention to these messages, we had to do something a little more interesting than just putting up signs.”
 
 
 

BODYFORM “#WOMBSTORIES”
Included in STASH 142

This brave mixed-media film directed by Golden Globe-winner Nisha Ganatra and punctuated with animated sequences from Framestore aims to “dispel myths, encourage a positive conversation, and address the life-changing moments in a woman’s life”.

Framestore CD Sharon Lock: “We worked with animators who had wonderful storytelling abilities and whose work was unique and handmade and could communicate a range of tone and emotion to audiences in a short amount of time on-screen.”
 
 
 

VIAGRA CONNECT “LOVE STORY”
Included in STASH 143

Paulo Garcia, Director at Zombie Studio in São Paulo, Brazil: “In order to talk about the often-unspoken problems men face and the stigmatism linked to erectile dysfunction, we had to find ways to capture the real emotion and then transport this to CGI.

“In order to achieve this, we shot the models doing their performance as a couple, seeing the tone and the real expressions and reactions for each moment of the film – then came the real challenge, trying to achieve the same intensity of the performance in animation.”
 
 
 

CYRAMZA “PLANIMATION”
Included in STASH 143

Ry Glover, copywriter at Hornet in New York: “Area 23 approached Yves to create an animated film along with a short documentary for CYRAMZA® – a prescription cancer treatment.

“The main thread of the story was how a small interference can un-synchronize an entire universe, and vice versa: how step by step changes can have a huge effect on the big picture.”
 
 
 

SAVE OUR SONS “HEARTBEAT”
Included in STASH 144

Kyra Bartley, director at FINCH in Sydney, Australia: “I had made another film for Save Our Sons a few years ago (a live-action one), and it was a really positive experience for everyone.

“I’d written the poem earlier, as a way of getting inside the head of a mum whose son has Duchenne and I felt like the lyrical feel of it would really suit animation, so I pitched them this concept and luckily they agreed!”

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