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Philo Taps Into TV Binging Anxiety with Comfort Creatures in Surreal Spot by Honor Society

12/07/2022
Marketing & PR
Los Angeles, USA
527
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Director Jesse James McElroy teams up with Bandit editor Heather Danofsky on new campaign

Television company Philo recalls a time when TV watching was straightforward and stress-free with a colourful creature-filled ad out of agency Red Antler and the partnership of women-owned production companies Honor Society and The Producers, directed by Jesse James McElroy. 

In the spot, a young woman trembles at the helm of her television, remote in hand, paralyzed by potential woes. The sheer volume of TV show choices, indecision, or a litany of new streaming outlets - anything could be the matter. Philo illustrates an alternate reality where all you have to do is turn on the TV and kick back and relax, allowing viewers to retreat to their comfort zone and become a 'comfort creature' of any stripe. Bandit editor, Heather Danofsky, helps add a dose of magic to the life-sized creatures with post-production and VFX by the Bandit team. 

Shot on location in Mexico City with Spectrum Mexico over two days, McElroy’s vision was to create as much of the magic in-camera as possible. Along with the agency, he conceived, designed and oversaw the creation of 11 comfort creatures who reflected the inner comfort of each of the actors and the shows that bring them joy. Each unique creature was brought to life either by an actor wearing the costume or by puppetry and animatronics. McElroy says “Coordinating physical effects, costumes and puppeteers on top of an entire set crew, required everyone to be on their cooperation A-game. I’m thrilled with how the ads came out and am incredibly grateful to the brand, production, and post teams for seeing this vision come to life.” 

Coordinating physical effects, costumes, and puppeteers on top of an entire set crew, required everyone to be on their cooperation A-game. I’m thrilled with how the ads came out and am incredibly grateful to the brand, production, and post teams for seeing this vision come to life.

In addition to the anthem, the campaign also includes two 15 and two 06-second spots. 'Prom' showcases a girl going to prom who discovers that her date and her dad have bonded over their love of a history show. 'Friends' spotlights a tight-knit group of friends growing even closer via TV show fandom. 

While the creatures were made with practical effects, Heather Danosky and Bandit's flame department provided additional creative support. Notes Danosky, “The footage and creatures were amazing. It was a pleasure to work with Jesse and the agency to help bring such a rich concept to life. Chris Davis and the flame team worked tirelessly to bring out the magic and personality in each comfort creature through additional VFX enhancements, rig removal, and compositing.”

The spot marks another ad out of Honor Society’s partnership with Australia-based The Producers, forged to address a shifting production climate in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. The alliance allows both shops to collaborate creatively and shoot globally with an expanded roster of talent on both sides.

Heather Danosky is an NYC-based editor specialising in high-profile short and long-form commercials and branded content. In addition to Red Antler, she’s worked alongside agencies including Grey, Ogilvy, TBWA Chiat Day, Huge, Dagger and Publicis, working on campaigns for top brands such as Pantene, Suave, Spotify, Patron, Dawn, Coppertone, Venus and Under Armour. Beyond commercial work, she chalked her name to many music videos and documentary films. 

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