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Ads We Like: JWT’s India and Amsterdam offices unite on Jimmy Nelson cultural preservation project

JWT’s creatives from its India and Amsterdam office have united to create an ad that promotes photographer Jimmy Nelson’s ‘Blink. And they’re gone’ project.

The campaign, which features Nelson’s work with indigenous people from around the world, aims to promote the preservation of cultures that are in danger of dying out.

“If we let the cultural identity of the indigenous people disappear now, it will be lost forever. It’s literally a case of BLINK and they’re gone. And if this happens, we will lose one of the most valuable assets we have – our rich human cultural diversity and heritage," said Nelson.

"The depth and wealth of our humanity will shrink. This must not happen. Our collective cultural identity is too valuable to be destroyed by homogenization. We must unify and fight to support indigenous cultures and take personal pride in the myriad of their cultural traditions that are still to be found on the planet today."

Ahead of a wider collaboration between Nelson and JWT in 2019 a video was created to introduce the overall message. The film, which took 90 days to edit, was directed by JWT India’s chief creative officer, Senthil Kumar in Mumbai, who directed the film, working closely with JWT’s global creative lead, Bas Korsten, who is based in Amsterdam.

“When Jimmy contacted me over a year ago I was instantly drawn to his work and his ambition. Jimmy wanted to start a global discussion on the preservation of cultural identity. A discussion like the one we instigated with The Next Rembrandt project two years ago. I’m really happy that JWT India’s Senthil Kumar and I can contribute to this unique project with a mix of creativity and technology,” said Korsten.

The film uses photos from 30 years of Nelson’s work, including over 1500 photos, of which some are never-seen-before images of 36 of the last indigenous communities of this earth.

Alongside the vide and campaign call to action, Nelson has released a book called ‘Homage to Humanity’ and VR and AR executions of his work. An app allows people to scan the images in the book to see behind the scenes content.

“It was a huge honor to collaborate with legendary photographer Jimmy Nelson and direct this all-important film. It was life-changing to travel far and wide across the indigenous earth, through each one of Jimmy’s stunning photographs. The ambition is to share the cultural evolution of these remote and ancient indigenous cultures in a mind-blowing form, which will move every viewer to share the experience with the world,” said Kumar.

In 2019, the plan for the campaign is to use more ‘disruptive technology’ to bring this call to action to life.

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