Edelman Deportivo discusses taking on the megacorps in a brilliant film that’s championing small businesses and taking on Bezos
Swedish fintech company iZettle is picking a fight. Less than a week after its acquisition by PayPal, iZettle has firmly set its sights on the winner-take-all companies endeavouring to dominate the retail business by the power of scale and big data. In a brilliant Black Mirror-inspired film - created by Edelman Deportivo and directed by Iconoclast duo Alaska - iZettle looks to the not-so-distant future in which the mythical ‘Giant Corp’ dominates the market (we wonder who Giant Corp might be based on?), all the while following a small business owner who refuses to give into her competitors. Its message? Shop local.
LBB’s Alex Reeves spoke with Edelman Deportivo creatives Hanna Stenwall and Martin Jon Adolfsson to find out more.
LBB> What was the initial challenge or problem that iZettle came to you with?
H&M> iZettle came to us wanting a communication concept. They wanted to break category and be authentic. iZettle’s true purpose needed to be the core of the concept, not something added after a while.
LBB> Where did the insight come from that drove the creative idea for the campaign?
H&M> Running a business is not glamorous, it’s damn hard work. You have to compromise many things in life, both personal and professional. The thing with small businesses is that iZettle’s competition is generalising them as if they were all doing the same thing. The only thing they really have in common is the urge to go their own way. Running a small business is anything but small, to them.
LBB> The campaign could just have been about the general positive feeling that shopping local and supporting small businesses gives people, but you took things in a much more rebellious, dystopian direction than that. Why did you decide to make it about taking on the ‘Giant Corps’ as well?
H&M> If you want to really break category, you can’t be nice and sweet. At this time, with giants taking over, rates escalating – pushing small businesses off of the high street - we realised that we had to build resistance to create actual change. We had to show people what will happen to the world if we don’t support our local shops. The uniqueness, the diversity, the weird niche knowledge that gives us our freedom of choice. All this will be lost if we don’t act. It’s giant corporations vs smaller businesses. It’s mass produced vs hand-made. It’s conformity vs diversity. We wanted people to understand the importance of our independent businesses, and for the ‘selfmades’ to feel proud and keep doing their thing.
LBB> Certain details, like the drones for example, make it pretty clear that you’re taking on Amazon, as the biggest contributor to the death of the high street. What were your thoughts about the decision to make it so clear?
H&M> Well, there are many companies out there exploring the possibilities of using drones within their delivery systems. And if you want to explore what the future might look like, of course you have to take that into consideration. But as with all communication, you have a few seconds to make your mark in the life of the viewer. People have to make their own assumptions of what story you are trying to tell. As you just did, yourself.
LBB> The campaign also talks about some pretty massive issues facing not only small businesses, but humanity in general. The riots against automation feel worryingly close to reality. Why did you decide to include those scenes?
H&M> Take some recent popular culture events, for example. The Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, and Black Mirror – they all take place in a not so distant future. But it’s instantly relatable to the lives we live 2018. And the fact is, the issues raised in this film are not science fiction.
LBB> iZettle is a startup that’s just been bought by PayPal - a considerable sized company in its own right. Did that factor into the campaign when you were working on it?
H&M> PayPal is driven by the same vision as iZettle. We never saw that as a conflict with the story we tried to tell.
LBB> How did the idea translate into the final film? It’s really cinematic and bold!
H&M> Look, we come from a place where it’s important that the core of the story is earned, even when it’s paid for. People don’t care for advertising. So, if you want someone to take action, and care, you can’t hold back. You need to push all the buttons and enhance all the details. Hopefully that can make it simple enough for people to care about, at least for a moment.
LBB> Why did you decide Alaska were the right directors for the job? And what is it you think they uniquely brought to the film?
H&M> When we collaborate with production companies, we search for people with ‘the nerve’. Alaska proved their talent over and over again. They are humble, crazy-minded and collaborative. They understood our idea from the very beginning and together we developed the story to what it is today. We also want to give a shout out to Iconoclast and Colony, and iZettle’s own brand team, who all put their heart and soul into the production.
LBB> There’s a familiar style to the dystopian scenes, reminiscent of Blade Runner, Black Mirror and dozens of sci-fi movies. What were the main influences or references?
H&M> Firstly we looked into what the world might actually look like in the future, based on the idea we had that giant corporations are taking over, using tech and data to ‘give the consumers what they want’. There are several references out there, we got influenced by many different films, series, anime, music videos and songs, and moulded it all together into our own version of it all.