Hyperloop from Cleveland to Chicago hopes to revive the 'Rust Belt'

The upper midwest of the US has been termed the 'Rust Belt' for decades now, its former glory as the center of the industrial revolution a faded hulk. But a new film promoting Hyperloop technology hopes to change that.

Micky Coyne and Pete Harvey, two independent creatives, partnered with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies to announce plans for a Hyperloop link between Cleveland and Chicago with a new brand film that declares the term 'Rust Belt' all but dead.

High profile inventors like Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson have made waves recently by hinting at development of the space-age capsules that fly humans in pneumatic-style tubes at 700 miles an hour around the earth, but Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is a company that helped launch the movement. It first announced a partnership with Cleveland and Chicago to survey development of what would be America’s first Hyperloop track.

The company has capped off its plans with a stake-in-the-ground brand film. Titled 'Here Lies,' the eulogy evokes the glory days of transportation in the Midwest, with pictures and beautiful black and white scenes of once-proud factories and towns. It then tosses the term Rust Belt aside to make room for the newly-declared 'Hyperloop Belt.'

“Cities like Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit and my hometown of Pittsburgh are where transportation was born,” said Robert Miller, chief marketing officer of Hyperloop. “Transportation of all kinds – rail, road and air. So it was time to bid adieu to the tired, pejorative term ‘Rust Belt’ and make way for a new era of transportation with the development of Hyperloop between Cleveland and Chicago.”

Miller tapped independent creative directors Harvey and Coyne to work alongside him in developing the strategy, writing the script, and executing the spot. The creative duo even directed the spot, flying to the Midwest in the dead of winter to make the film.

“Nothing about Hyperloop TT is traditional, so I was thrilled when Rob [Miller] tapped us to work with him directly to develop the brand film,” said Coyne. “The CMO-direct-to-creatives model, at least in this case, worked really well. We both trusted each other and learned how to adapt quickly.”

Coyne, a veteran of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Droga5 and 72andSunny, teamed up with his former GS&P writer Pete Harvey, most recently partner of San Francisco agency BarrettSF, with the intention of creating something as disruptive as the brand itself.

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