Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the current work they think is the best out in the ad world – the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.
This week, Joanne Torres, creative director at Fallon, discusses why Square’s ‘Sister Hearts’ documentary by Even/Odd is important storytelling and a great example of longer-form branding.
We’ve all gotten pretty damn good at the How-Fast-Can-I-Click-Out-of-This-Commercial? game. People watch their screens, counting down to the nanosecond they can gleefully make an ad stop. These are the same people who will mainline seven hours and 47 minutes of a documentary on the OJ Simpson trial and recommend you do the same. Don’t even get them started on how important it is that you watch all 50 hours of The Wire.
Attention spans aren’t getting shorter; our collective patience for uninteresting things is. The silver lining? A groundswell within the industry to create branded content that behaves more like, well, content. Square’s latest ‘Sister Hearts’ documentary by Even/Odd is 16 lean minutes of captivating story. No product features, no logos, no soft-focus shots of a Square reader being used by happy, grateful people. Just a powerful narrative about women in the prison system and a thrift store that makes re-entry into society possible for them. A sobering look at an institution designed to break people down without regard for how they will fair outside of it.
‘Sister Hearts’ simultaneously tackles the topic of prison recidivism and tells the story of an entrepreneur with a small business idea. It’s the fourth film by Even/Odd for Square’s ‘For Every Kind of Dream’ series. In the finance tech space, humanizing small businesses feels like table stakes. The Dream Series makes small businesses imperative to human survival. This campaign could have easily ended up another demo. A barrage of proof points in the this-app-is-easier-than-that-app pissing contest. Instead, Square used their resources to do something far more ambitious: they made something interesting. In doing so, they made themselves interesting.
Joanne Torres is a creative director at Fallon in Minneapolis.
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