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Your Shot: Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam’s Poem to Earth


Ode to our planet as told by Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko for S7 Airlines

Your Shot: Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam’s Poem to Earth

There are no words befitting of Earth’s beauty - but if you want to get anywhere close, there are perhaps no more beautiful words than those of poetry. Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam’s latest campaign for Russian airline S7 is an immersive ode to the diversity and beauty that our planet boasts, as told by Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko. Who better than a guy who has spent 164 days away from Earth in space? Absence makes the heart grow stronger, so they say. The end result is a beautiful film directed by Park Pictures AG Rojas and serviced by Blue Sky Adriatic

LBB’s Addison Capper spoke with Evgeny Primachenko, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam’s Creative Director for S7 Airlines, to find out more.

LBB> Why is the voiceover to the film a poem? Why was that the method that made this the most immersive for the viewer? 

EP> Well, when you talk about the beauty of our planet I guess you can’t help but get a little poetic. It happens naturally, although there are probably no words that can fully describe Earth’s awesomeness – which we acknowledge in the opening line of the film.

LBB> Given that it’s a poem, the copy is obviously super important. Tell us about the experience of crafting that. How long were you working on it? How did it differ from other campaigns you’ve worked on? Where did you look for inspiration? 

EP> To write this spot we spent a lot of time studying the ‘overview effect’, which is “a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts and cosmonauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from orbit or from the lunar surface”, according to Wikipedia. We also read dozens and dozens of interviews from different astronauts and then collaborated with the Russian cosmonaut, Andrey Borisenko, to give ‘the poem’ authentic and personal shape.

LBB> When did the idea come into play to use Andrey Borisenko within the campaign? What inspired that idea? 

EP> The idea to use Andrey came to us in the very beginning of the project. Why him? Because he’s the modern, active Russian cosmonaut. Andrey spent 164 days in space in his previous expedition so, like no other, he knows how it feels to be away from Earth and how much we should all appreciate our planet.

LBB> The actual production took you all around the world - where? Can you tell us more about the experience? 

EP> We shot in Thailand, Croatia, Spain and Russia. It was quite a trip with an insane amount of shots to capture each day. 

Thai caves were hot. As hot as Finnish saunas. They were also full of pretty big white spiders that turned out to be albino scorpions. Cool, right?

Croatia was beautiful, we shot the opening scene there with the little girl on the cliff. As you can see in the scene, the light is a pretty important aspect. We had only about 15 minutes to get it right. That was a lot of pressure, but fortunately we had a great DOP, Michael Ragen, who works well with the natural light.

Shooting in the Thai water market was interesting. We had a lot of shots of people cooking Thai food there. And after every take we had to eat the food. By the end of the day we’d all gotten bigger.

LBB> What were the most memorable moments from the production? 

EP> Shooting in Russia’s stunning Hermitage. We had the whole place to ourselves and it was the first time an advertising campaign had ever been shot in the historical museum. Just being in that place felt so grand. You don’t know where to look, everything around you is stunning. If you’ve never visited the Hermitage, it’s definitely the thing to do next time you’re in St. Petersburg. It’s a treasure.  

LBB> How have you continued the immersive theme outside of the main film?

EP> The sensory theme extends to the campaign’s print and OOH, which includes building wraps and billboards across Russia. Each execution is dedicated to a global destination S7 Airlines flies to and portrays a sensation visitors are likely to experience when travelling there – from the culinary smells of Bangkok to the bright lights of Shanghai. We also integrated the headlines into the imagery to further reflect this sensory immersion.

In addition, we created radio spots that transport listeners to jungles, cities and even on a free-diving adventure, and with that we emphasise the sounds of each destination to create the feeling of truly being there. Online we also created digital and social activations, and worked with S7 Airlines to create a landing page on the brand’s website that enables Russian travellers to find their next travel destination based on their sensorial preferences.

LBB> What were the trickiest components of the campaign and how did you overcome them?

EP> It was important for us to always stay relatable and insightful. We didn’t want to create another flashy travelogue campaign. We challenged ourselves to portray a meaningful message that potentially could cheer people up and encourage them to appreciate our world and our life a bit more.

Park Pictures director AG Rojas used a wide range of cameras to give the film this feeling of relatability, as well as making the film a sense-awakening experience.

We shot on Alexa, mini DV, harinezumi camera and even on iPhone. For example, the scene with a boy counting the distance away from the thunderstorm is shot on mini DV, which is essentially an old home video camera. Now imagine the same scene shot on, say, Red. It would be a completely different story. What DV footage did for this particular scene is give it an aesthetic of a childhood memory. Something we can all relate to.

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Genres: People, Thu, 06 Oct 2016 15:00:13 GMT