We are Amy, Keeley and Cindy and we are part of the production leadership team at Iris London. Our backgrounds cover everything from TVC and digital to print, live experiences and everything else in between. We started to put our selection together and realised that there was a common theme, all focusing on either awareness or charity. Kind of makes sense, given it’s close to Christmas and most of this work really made us think. For this High Five, we’ve selected five pieces of work that have either pulled at our heartstrings, resonated personally or are simply worth other people being aware of...
QCF's COP26 - 'The World Is Looking to You'
Agency: Iris London
Production: In-house at Iris
Keeley > Ok, so yes, we are starting with a piece from us.Not only because it was a great piece of work from strategy through to execution, but it started a conversation by its very existence. In 2020, QCF (Quadrature Climate Foundation) decided to purchase a large amount of outdoor media space in Glasgow and major transport hubs throughout the UK, from airports to train stations. This act effectively blocked other advertisers from ‘green-washing’ during the period of the conference. They then briefed us to create a campaign like no other. They wanted a creative message that would make global leaders and delegates take notice, feel uncomfortable, be aware of their responsibilities and motivated to take significant action. The resulting campaign features real people on the frontline of the climate crisis around the world. The human gaze is a powerful thing, and we used exactly this to look to Glasgow, by those affected from floods and fires, through to droughts and locust swarms. Sustainable production was at the forefront, using local photographers in the locations we were highlighting, which heightened the storytelling of every image, and was a huge feat production-wise. We didn’t quite realise how uncomfortable these images would make people feel and that we would be asked to censor our images in airports and train stations, exactly the locations with the biggest footfall and exposure to those attending the conference! So, ensuring that the full images would still be able to be seen, we added a QR code to some executions, so you could access a full 360° panorama of the scene. It achieved more than we could hope for...and even a spot on Channel 4 News!
Choose Love x Carnaby Lights - 'Carnaby Kaleidoscope'
Agency: Choose Love Charity
Even though I can be a bit of a Grinch when it comes to Christmas, I always look forward to the Carnaby Christmas lights. And this year was no exception. Carnaby partnered with Choose Love
to highlight and support the urgent need to raise funds for refugees around the world. The light installation, 'Carnaby Kaleidoscope', was a literal kaleidoscope of colourful butterflies using their powerful representations of life as a metaphor for spiritual rebirth, transformation, change and hope. Choose Love once again hosted its pop-up shop on Carnaby Street which was decorated by London-based artist, Lakwena, known for her bright colours and patterns - perfect to brighten up these winter months! It’s the world’s first store to sell real products for refugees. Every item or package (from daily survival to building futures) represents a similar product or service provided by one of the organisations Choose Love supports around the world with 100% of funds raised going to where it’s needed most. I did several shifts as a volunteer on the shop floor - welcoming customers, explaining the concept and putting purchases through the tills. I was overwhelmed by the generosity and compassion of everyone who came through the door, so even the Grinch in me got a warm fuzzy feeling!
Mental Health Awareness - 'A Mother's Milk'
Photographer: Nicky Hamilton
Retoucher: Stefano Cherubini
Amy > This is a personal piece by photographer Nicky Hamilton. I saw it in a scroll-stopping moment on LinkedIn. It’s not often that I’m scrolling, and I have to scroll back to an image that absorbs me completely - but this one did. Whether it’s because I can personally relate to this image or because of how beautifully it's shot, it got stuck in my throat. I love how a single image can tell a million stories, all different for each viewer. The art of storytelling in print is often lost in the modern world, but this image brought it back for me. On Nicky’s LinkedIn post, he wrote: “New work for my Mental Health awareness series which highlights postnatal depression, a very sad and lonely time for sufferers which I witnessed first-hand through my wife after the birth of our first born 15 years ago. This shot was inspired by the dreamlike delirium my wife suffered from the lack of sleep mixed with the overwhelming feelings of love that she was experiencing. She was engulfed with the constant fear for our baby’s safety and her newfound responsibility. At the tender age of 24, the unplanned arrival was life-changing, for a while she lost herself, physically, emotionally and mentally. She was so young and inexperienced that family and friends would bombard her with advice, some of which would fight against her motherly instinct. That time was a real marathon of emotions for her. We both felt overwhelmed at times but ecstatic with the arrival of our tiny son.”
Prostate Cancer - 'Embarrassed'
Production: Lammas Park
Director: Sir Steve McQueen
Post: The Quarry x 750mph
Keeley > It’s hard not to take notice of a film featuring Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Ward and Morgan Freeman, directed by Sir Steve McQueen. This is all true, but one that also gives voice to a male cancer awareness campaign for black males is pretty arresting. Simple really is powerful in this instance. This is personal for me, as my Dad recently had prostate cancer and is thankfully out the other side, but what the experience highlighted for me was how much more it should be talked about. ‘Embarrassed’ is a perfect title, the antithesis of how one should feel. Breaking down barriers within black culture - any culture - to ensure that there are more success stories of surviving cancer is key, and this film will surely help do that.
The Childhood Trust - 'Met Christmas Tree Appeal'
Agency: Lucky Generals
Keeley > Sometimes it’s the smaller activations that really hit home, and this struck me straight away. This is London-centric, but it’s where I live and I have a toddler myself, so hits home on a whole different level. A powerful way to illustrate the sadness of the idea that there are many children who go without at Christmas. 26% of children living in London live below the poverty line and won’t receive a present this year. Despite the seriousness of the issue, the execution felt even stronger as it was juxtaposed with playful language and familiar imagery in the toy packaging. The product design of these 'non-toys' is just brilliant, and you can’t fail to feel that sense of excitement quickly changing to pangs of disappointment in a child’s eyes. The 2021 Christmas Tree Appeal will provide presents to 16,781 London children in foster care, residential care homes, refuges and from very low-income families. That’s what Christmas is about!