Every headache sufferer experiences their pain in an extremely personal way. Excedrin and agency Weber Shandwick sought to visualise this insight from consumers with a campaign themed around a double exposure technique that would display dynamic visual metaphors for what was occurring in each person’s head. Weber Shandwick teamed with creative studio Nice Shoes, who further developed the effect and handled all post production for the VFX-driven campaign.
The Nice Shoes team, led by executive creative director Harry Dorrington and newly signed creative director Andreas Berner, explored the concept across a number of styleframes and motion tests.
“The personal aspect of this concept added a bit of beauty to the pain. So we tried to include that in our designs, which helped prevent the concept from straying into horror,” said Berner. “Keeping the visuals in the natural realm helped to reflect the physical impact being felt, with the lightning strikes and waves crashing acting as a metaphor for what people felt going on inside their heads.”
Each spot was only 15 seconds, so Nice Shoes presented an approach to the agency and client that would capture the actors’ heads in a way that would best feature the double exposure effects within the short time frame. Berner travelled with the agency and production team to South Africa, providing VFX supervision and ensuring that each actor would be captured with a minimal background, at 80 frames per second.
Berner’s presence on-set paired with the immense amount of work achieved in pre-production, allowed the Nice Shoes team to focus on curating stock footage, crafting complementary VFX elements, and carefully compositing it all into the actors’ headspace. Finding the right footage and delicately marrying it to the effects and live action emphasised the strong individuality recognised by Excedrin in their consumers. Nice Shoes colour graded and edited the campaign, with colourist Sal Malfitano ensuring that the brand’s colours were present throughout each spot, and editor Dana Bol making the story of pain and relief work within the tight time span. The integrated post team and workflow provided a strong continuity for the Weber Shandwick team throughout the process ensuring that the intimate insights shared by Excedrin consumers were given powerful visuals that accurately reflected their experiences.