DLKW Lowe’s new spot for Marie Curie strikes a fascinating balance between a sense of sadness and hope. Directed by Tom Tagholm, ‘Symmetry’ relays the message that those moments towards the end of life are just as important as our early milestones. If you haven’t yet seen it, fetch a tissue before doing so – there may be a lump or two in your throats come the end. Executive Creative Director at DLKW Lowe Dave Henderson tells us more.
LBB> What was the brief from the client and what were your initial thoughts when you saw it?
DH> The client brief was pretty straightforward in one sense: raise awareness of the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal and encourage people to wear them during March. However, we felt it was about time this great charity actually went a bit further and explained more about the amazing work they do. In short, that is providing care for terminally ill people, in their homes, during their final hours.
LBB> There are some very honest insights within the spot - what did you draw from and how did you reach them?
DH> All the scenarios are very true to life and reflect those little things that often mean the most – first steps, first kiss, etc. Depicting these as someone’s last moments is incredibly powerful and really had to be shown for real too.
LBB> The treatment of the elderly, be it in their own homes or in care, has been the subject of much discussion in recent news. It must have seemed easy to get bogged down with a depressing ad, however, the final production really isn't so - it's powerful and moving, whilst almost being uplifting. How did you strike this balance and how difficult was it to do so?
DH> This was the beauty of the script from the first time we read it. The balance was there on the page. We always encourage the creative teams to search for a truth, an inarguable point that makes the case for the product, service or brand. Creatives Ben [McCarthy] & Seb [Housden] unearthed just that. It’s a powerful way to present ‘end of life’ as actually being a precious, special time. I think a lot of people are moved by the ad simply because they’re finding solace in the point that it makes.
LBB> Strategically, what do you think the spot 'Symmetry' will achieve for Marie Curie as a brand?
DH> Well firstly, we hope the initial response we’ve had translates to a massive increase in awareness and the breaking of Marie Curie’s target of £7million of donations during March. There are a number of very worthy cancer care charities out there – I’m sure this campaign will help further cement Marie Curie’s incredibly important role in the public’s mind.
LBB> What did director Tom Tagholm bring to the final production?
DH> Tom’s approach was to play the script straight down the line – no fuss or fancy techniques. That's a lot harder to achieve than it sounds. A lot of directors can make things look great, but Tom got the script right from the start and was careful that the ‘symmetry’ within the storyline wasn’t matched slavishly from cut to cut. It enables genuine humanity to breathe throughout the film – that’s why it’s such a sensitive piece of work. Almost everyone who watches it either sheds a tear or has a huge lump in their throat.
LBB> What other aspects are planned for the Great Daffodil Appeal?
DH> A 90-second version of the film has already been released online and goes national on the 28th February. It also includes cinema. It’s a great bit of media placement as we can position collections outside in the foyer afterwards.
LBB> How long did it take to fully develop the campaign and what were the key challenges you faced?
DH> The script was written, presented and bought quite quickly by an amazingly smart, trusting client. Really, the key challenge was producing the film for a pretty low budget. But with a charity and script like this, everyone was only too happy to throw their weight behind it. (Thank you Blink Productions!)
Project name: Symmetry
Client: Chris Dainty
Creative agency: DLKW Lowe
Exec Creative Directors: Rich Denney & Dave Henderson