I usually can't get too little of ye olde agency holiday card - but in this case, I can't get enough. It sort of exactly expresses how messed up this year was, but at the same time, I'm just in awe at the creativity, positivity and resilience of human beings - especially these human beings - under adverse circumstances. Props to Gabi Hastings (CD) and Sonia Abrams (Edit) and the whole team. Hellloooooo 2021.
So this idea was a long time in coming. We just launched, just in time for the holidays, with the following press release: (why write it all twice, huh?)
Date: November 23, 2020
Slash Dynamic Productions
“Give Meat the Day Off”
Meatsdayoff.org releases new campaign just in time for Thanksgiving.
Give Meat the Day Off – The Why
Personal health is on everyone’s mind. So is the health of the planet.
Giving up meat for just one day a week can cleanse your body, and lessen the burden that meat production places on the environment. It’s been well-documented that meat production is one of the leading drivers of climate change, and places untold pressure on our water, air, land, fuel and grain resources.
Jane Goodall recently made a concise, and passionate case for reducing meat consumption here.
The impact of everyone taking one day off from meat a week are summarized by Reader's Digest, here.
Like, for example, if everyone takes one day off from meat a week, we could save enough gas to fill every car in Canada and Mexico – as well as save millions of acres of land – an area twice the size of Delaware.
What’s the best weapon? Not preaching or being polarizing – we thought there’s enough of that going on. We thought we’d take a flanking maneuver and attack the problem with humor.
And thus, “Give Meat the Day Off” was born.
In the :30 TVC PSA, we see an overworked pig named Francis Bacon, slaving away while is workmate, Federica Chicken commiserates over the cubicle wall. Two posters for use as print and online creative show the colleagues enjoying a well-deserved day off.
Give Meat the Day Off – Why Now?
“If Trump can pardon a turkey (an actual turkey, not for instance Roger Stone) we felt that we all could give animals a day off.” Jokes aside, people are always asking what we eat for Thanksgiving. And that got us thinking – what a great time for our new campaign.
Give Meat the Day Off – The Production Journey
The current production environment has caused agencies and production houses to be creative in ways they’d never dreamed – raising barrier and extending timelines.
The director call for the project took place in early 2020. With the onset of pandemic, global production of course, was shut down. But that didn’t stop Kiran Koshy and the team of Slash Dynamic. Director, DP, editor, photographer, composers, animators, set designers – not to mention, one heck of a puppet maker – all worked together virtually and utilizing social distance protocols. Talent from upstate New York to Dallas, Texas to Long Beach, CA all rallied and came together. John Turcios, agency creative by day and set-builder by night, hand built the entire set by hand, to scale, in his garage. It took months to pull off, but in the end, we created something we can all be proud of – both creatively and philosophically.
For further questions, reach out to Max@meatsdayoff.org or 424-335-7114.
Creative Director/Copy - Max Godsil
Creative Director/Art - Gabi Hastings
Director - Kiran Koshy
Production Co. - Slash Dynamic
Exec Producer - Tanya Cohen
Assistant Producer – Caitlin Cohen
DOP/Colorist - Charles Gerstner
Set Builder - John Turcios
Puppets - Jocelyn Krodman
Photographer & Stylist - Bonnie Holland
Lighting - Paul Guarente, John Guarente
Finish - Mike Jensen
Animator - Sarika Matthew
Retoucher – Thomas Canny
Editorial Co - Treehouse, Dallas
Editors - Max Smith, Adam Henderson
Sound Design & Mix - Eric Jenkins
Music - Dustin Ballard
Track - Clockwatcher’s Lament
Hey. What's up. So here are my favorite things about this spot that just ran on the 2020 Masters.
The people that made it. AD: Gabi Hastings. Production Company: The Artery, including editor Michael Elliot. The little design details, like the candy stripes on the track that flip up, and the type, etc. And finally, that kick-ass track that we licensed by The Dirty Nil. Full track here:
So, before I forget: my awesome creative partner Gabi Hastings and I helped out the startup Hest with a Kickstarter campaign. We did a video, and some other online promotional content - IG stories and the like.
HEST is a new company bringing a great night's sleep to the outdoors with innovative portable mattresses, and now a new pillow to complete the set - (that's what we did the Kickstarter for, which as you can see from the screen grab above, was a ROUSING success.)
The screen grab is not clickable but that button - click it! click it!
OK, what other pertinent info:
Oh, of course, the video was shot and edited by my nephew Adam Ambuske who is a film student at USC and is already a super kickass DP with a bright future ahead of him. So that's the news for this week - stay safe, and stay ... just stay. Here's the video -->
Oh hello. It's been awhile. I've missed me. How have I been? Well, same-ol' same ol' - "One groundhog day at a time."
So this just in ... sorta? Mercedes announces a global sustainability initiative to create a line of all-electric zero emission vehicles, to be built in carbon neutral factories!
And here's the low down from our marketing correspondent: The Mercedes sub-brand "EQ" already has vehicles on the road in Europe and the first EQ vehicles will reach the US in 2021.
(For further reading, and images simply search Mercedes EQS or EQC or even EQ concept ... pretty cool and visionary stuff. I think, in the case of the EQS, the actual car is going to be pretty close to the concept.)
What else ... The first of the carbon-zero facilities that Daimler/Mercedes are building, code named "Factory 56" is already operational in Sindelfingen, Germany. Other factories, both new and retrofit, are due to follow suit over next two decades.
(Again, for further reading check out Mercedes Ambition 2039.)
This film (I'm sure you watched it already? Are you still reading ??? ) teases the notion of "leaving no trace" and was the last thing I shot in person before the whole Covid production shutdown.
(And the way things are going, may be the last thing I personally oversee ... ever? I dunno, kids.)
Bottom line: I have a couple qualms with the final execution. But regardless, I think it's a good thing.
Look, I'm not the most habitually uncynical human you've ever met. I can find the cloud on every silver lining. But when Burger King is serving veggie burgers, car companies are committing to carbon neutrality and no one bats an eye when my neighbor Eric introduces us to his husband, I say good on ya folks. We're moving forward.
The important thing is to try.
To all those those that try and succeed, thank you.
To all those that try and fail or no one notices - thank you even more.
I'd like to end this post by quoting Dave Thomas, the singer of Pere Ubu from an obscure yet great album called The Story of My Life that you unfortunately can't even find on Spotify:
"All the world's like a one-armed man, swimming hard, the best that he can."
Special thanks to Gabi, Vico, Michael and Chris Coccaro.
CD/CW: Max Godsil CD/AD: Gabi Hastings. Director: Vico Shabari at the Artery.