Film

Just in time for Cannes, we round up the best in film.

Hellman’s gets real about food
Thanks to a proliferation of mass-appeal docs like Good Hair and Food Inc., documentaries are no longer just appetizing to a select audience interested in niche subject matter. The medium is now being used to shed light on everything from the politics of hair to the food we eat, and the latter was the focus of a short film that Hellmann’s made for its “Eat Real, Eat Local” campaign last summer.
With the goal of communicating that most of the food Canadians eat isn’t locally grown – but it could be – Unilever brand Hellmann’s enlisted Ogilvy & Mather to raise awareness. Knowing that a 30- or 60-second commercial wouldn’t be long enough, the agency worked with prodco Crush to make a stop-motion animation video. Dry statistics about the origins of food were made visually compelling, literally using the food itself to tell the story.
Ogilvy created a TV spot that drove to the online video housed on Eatrealeatlocal.ca and YouTube. The video garnered 50,000 hits after just 10 days and over 200,000 views to date, and the campaign achieved over 20 million media impressions in two months.
Despite the fact that it doesn’t mention mayonnaise once and only shows the Hellmann’s logo briefly at the end, the video and the overall campaign resulted in a share high of 45.8% and a 2.4 share point gain in its category. It’s amazing what a few well-told statistics can do.

Subaru tears into infomercials
You sink into the couch for the evening, the electric glow of the television slowly numbing you into a coma-like state. An infomercial for the Snuggie – the “blanket with sleeves” – comes on and you passively contemplate buying one. Suddenly a crowbar appears at the top of the screen and the Snuggie spot is pulled away to reveal a crisp, clear forest with a Subaru Outback in the centre. This new ad urges you to “Get out more” and you realize maybe it’s time to get off the couch.
It certainly succeeds at grabbing attention – after all, outside of SNL, how often have we seen guerrilla commercial carnage? 
“We needed something in the first part that’s going to get people understanding their behaviour. When you think about the quintessential infomercials, there’s no doubt Snuggie is at the top of the list,” says Andrew Simon, CD at DDB Toronto. Simon says they simply asked the Snuggie folks if they could use the spot, and the company obliged, no doubt happy to get the added exposure.
A second spot featured another infomercial for the Lap’nSnack – a completely fictional product concocted by DDB. According to Simon, they decided to go the fake product route to add an extra element of fun and keep viewers guessing whether or not it was real.
Perhaps one day our dreams will come true and we’ll see the Lap’nSnack in stores, but for now, as Subaru suggests, we should probably just get out more.

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