Over the past year, the US has seen an uptick in hurtful and hateful talk and action between individuals and groups whose beliefs, backgrounds and lifestyles differ from one another. The campaign, marking the first work from Tribeca Enterprises with DDB New York since announcing their partnership in December and with Noble People, Tribeca’s media agency of record, is meant to reinforce the importance of empathy, with a metaphor that great storytelling allows us to see ourselves in others.
The campaign features a short film with New Yorkers from different religious, cultural, and class backgrounds directed by Jared Knecht of Missing Pieces. Each person wears a five-sided mirrored cube on his or her head and ventures into places where they’re typically viewed as the other. Onlookers who encounter them are confronted with their own reflection on the body of the other – forcing them to literally see themselves in others. As part of the project, actors in mirrored heads walked around New York City, where passersby reacted in their own, unscripted way.
The film will run online and before select screenings during the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, which takes place April 19-30 in New York. The accompanying print and digital advertising swaps the heads and bodies of people from very different backgrounds to make the same point.
“Tribeca exists because storytelling brings people together,” said Andrew Essex, chief executive officer of Tribeca Enterprises. “What started as an effort to reinvigorate a community has evolved into one of the premier entertainment festivals in the world. This campaign allows people to experience first-hand the unifying power of not only the festival, but storytelling itself.”
“Stories put us in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations and force us to confront other points of view. Once we’re inside, the universal human truths we find there help us find ourselves – even in faraway places and radically different cultures. More than ever, we need these stories and we need this empathy. Because we need each other,” said Icaro Doria, chief creative officer at DDB New York.