Japan’s largest 5-Star airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), recently unveiled a visually stunning campaign aimed at affluent millennial international travellers. Called ‘Japan Elevated,’ the effort includes a series of 2-minute, 30-second, 15-second and 6-second videos created by ANA’s US agency of record VMLY&R with VFX by award-winning content creator Ntropic.
Set on a typical airline flight, the video quickly evolves to engulf the passengers in an escalating series of visual delights, including a literal walk among the clouds, culinary abstractions, and synchronised dance, all symbolising ANA’s singular in-flight experience. “ANA is unique in the airline category, delivering an experience that brings people the fine quality of Japan in a way that is uniquely authentic and inspiring,” explains Mika Hayama, ANA’s director, PR & branding of the Americas. “We create an air of extraordinary during our flights that gives passengers a glimpse of Japan before they arrive in Japan. We are excited to partner with VMLY&R to launch this campaign, which brings to life the dreamlike experience of travelling with ANA.”
Vibrant and surreal, the FX-heavy project required a close partnership between the agency, director Philippa Price and Ntropic’s team of artists in order to bring the complex vision to life. “Our collaboration was an unusual hybrid of different skills and approaches,” confirms senior flame artist Amanda Amalfi. “When you work with ideas that are so abstract, the challenge becomes how to balance the overall concept with what’s achievable. Keeping an open line of communication on a fast-paced shoot allowed us to find the right mix of fantasy and reality while still maintaining that remarkable vision.“
A director known for pushing creative limits, Price entered the project as the visionary force behind music videos and live performances for Pharrell, Alicia Keys, Drake and Rihanna among many others. Most recently, she was the creative director for Rihanna and DJ Khaled’s show-stopping 2018 Grammy performance and later signed on to be the creative collaborator of Rihanna’s size-inclusive lingerie line, SAVAGE x FENTY. With a keen fashion focus, Price has also designed editorials in Hunter Magazine and has worked with Stella McCartney on three unique campaigns for her line.
“We were all inspired by Philippa’s ideas for the film, especially drawing on her experience as a music video director, and worked to bring those sensibilities to this new medium,” explains Ntropic LA EP Juliet Tierney. “The whole team rallied and the result was something truly beautiful and in many ways unlike any work we’ve done before. It really allowed us to explore new avenues of creativity and we’re excited that everyone involved was game to take that journey with us.”
Ultimately, the final film is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire creative team. “Not only did Ntropic’s VFX expertise shine through on this project, but their ability and willingness to be the ultimate creative partner during the entire process did as well.” Said Taylor Schomann, producer at VMLY&R. “This was a very unique and special project for everyone involved. Ntropic’s dedication to making the work as great as we all believed it could be truly helped bring the dreamlike experience of traveling with ANA to life.”